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15 tech upgrades that you can get for free

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You have so much money already on a laptop, tablet, computer, router, network extender, printer and smartphone. You have logged in to the internet and you pay the monthly contribution. You will be glad to know that a lot of the tech is free.

Open-source software, such as the “generic” brands that you can find in a supermarket; they cost nothing, and they often work just as well as their major-brand counterparts. Then, some web sites will give you something for free in the hope you upgrade to a paid subscription in a day.

Speaking of sites, if you want to know about a number of great men, I have recently compiled a list of the 10 use you time and time again. I still can’t believe how many people reached out to thank me for that list. Click here if you want to check it out now.

Here are 15 of my favorite tech freebies, available when you want it.

1. Free online storage in the cloud

Storage in the Cloud is a great way to access and share your computer media library remotely. If you save your documents, photos, and videos in the cloud, you’ll be able to reach them at work, on your laptop when you are traveling or on your phone or tablet wherever you are located.

If you are already a Google user, Google Drive is a versatile option. This free cloud-storage system gives you five gigabytes of free online storage, and you can buy more storage space.

iCloud is the online storage program available for Apple users. This service makes it easy to transfer and view the files in your iPhones, iPads and iMacs. You get the first 5GB for free and can purchase more space as and when you need it.

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you get 5GB of Amazon Cloud Drive space for free and unlimited photo storage at no extra cost.

Dropbox is a reliable cloud storage site. It gives you 2 gb of space for free when you sign up, and you can earn more storage when you recommend others to sign up for a Dropbox account. Not sure which one is right for you? I have your back. Click here for a comparison of all popular cloud services.

Keep in mind that these cloud services can store your files, they are not a true back-up services that can fully restore your files when disaster strikes. For these situations, you’ll need a cloud backup service.

2. Free office software

Microsoft Office is still the most popular productivity software around. It is not free, of course, and many people waffle on whether to buy it. Fortunately, you can get pretty much the same power and performance without the hefty price tag.

First, there is a free and open-source office package Openoffice. This suite features six programs that will feel instantly familiar if you’ve ever used Office. Writer, Calc and Impress are similar to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Even better, it can open and edit the documents you created in Office and saving new files in Office formats.

Other great free online option is Google Docs. Google drive is more than just a word processor; it is a complete suite of productivity programs that are becoming more and more powerful over the years of development. Next time you need to start with a spreadsheet, building a presentation, creating a form, or creating a digital drawing, try Google Documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or others and see if it is something you can use.

3. Free photo editing software

If you know a professional photographer or a serious hobbyist, they, with the help of Photoshop. For everyone else, GIMP is an immersive, top quality, free alternative to Photoshop.

GIMP stands for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It has many of the same capabilities as Photoshop. There are filters, brush tools, gradients, smudging, cropping and erasing tools. You can add colors with a pencil, a brush, or fill in whole areas of the image.

If you are satisfied with the exploring of new software programs, take a dip in GIMP. Open a photo or image that you want to edit.

GIMP is useful in that you have almost all the tools in pop-up boxes surrounding the image. If you would like an image of the shape, or angle, add text, erase parts of the image, or to add layers of texture, you will find all the tools that are right for you.

4. Free stuff from Amazon.com

There is free tech, and then there is free stuff. As in physical raw materials that will arrive at your home – dog treats, cat food samples, luxury beauty items, food, and men’s grooming supplies, among others.

Amazon in the Preview Box program, you can get free samples from Amazon. The product page for each box gives you a good idea of what will be inside, but Amazon can be replaced by a number of the products if necessary.

Amazon in the Preview Box program is better with a Premier account.

5. Free Audio Books

For audiobook fans, Audible, and iTunes have grown to be great treasure troves. Whether you listen to audiobooks at work, in the gym or on long journeys, this told volumes provide hours of enlightenment and entertainment for a price.

Audiobooks can cost a lot more than a paperback, and if you’re not hungry for this week’s best-seller, you can consider Overdrive, which connects you to your local library or an academic institution. Just use the free app and your library card, and you have a right to receive a number of audio books (and Kindle ebooks).

If you are interested in the classical literature, LibriVox is specialized in working in the public domain, read and recorded by an army of volunteers, narrators.

6. Free product samples

In a similar way to a taste of the Box, TheFreeSite send you free samples of consumer products. If you want, you can purchase more substantial parts, but there are no snags. TheFreeSite offers everything from donuts to ease the pain cream. You do not even need an individual membership or a login.

If you want more free stuff? Click here for the three websites that give away freebies.

7. Free internet speed test

For the low and hiccupy Wi-Fi connections, this free internet speed tests can help you figure out whether you are really at your listed prices.

One of the most reliable free speed tests around is Speedtest.net. This site will be the measure of various statistics, such as the ping, download and upload speed of your internet connection. If you a streaming video buff, try Netflix free internet speed test Fast.com. This site is only measures download speeds, but it gives you a fairly accurate measurement of your internet speed at any given time.

If your internet speed turns out to be lower than expected, there are ways to improve it. Click here to learn how to double your internet speed.

8. Free incredible software and the images are courtesy of NASA

Yes, that NASA – the same people on the moon are the give away of computer programs free.

NASA’s software catalog includes software products for a wide range of technical applications. NASA scientists say that the software is of crucial importance for each of its mission, successes and discoveries, and more than 30 percent of all NASA reported innovations are software, and anyone is welcome to tinker with the programs at home.

In the meantime, NASA also opens its huge library of high quality images. Browse and view historical archived photos of the past few years, including the Mars Missions, New Horizons, and photos of the International Space Station.

9. Free sound editor

If you are looking for a free audio-editing program, your search should probably start and end with Audacity. Audacity is a free and easy-to-use open-source audio editor. It can record live audio and computer playback and convert tapes and records into digital recordings or Cds.

of what makes Audacity great is that it will allow you to do virtually everything you could ever want or need with audio. Only the registration of something? Can do that. Need to edit, combine, or improve the sound? No problem.

In some respects, such as ease of use, Audacity, rivals or exceeds professional software, such as Audition. For recording demos or simple podcasts, Audacity has almost all the functionality you need, including background noise removal.

10. Free firewalls

Aside from your antivirus or malware protection software, another essential tool that will protect your computer against hackers and cyber attacks is a firewall.

Although the newer Windows systems have built in software firewalls, there are plenty of free and more powerful third-party firewall options that are out there. TinyWall, such as the name proudly suggests, is a small, non-intrusive, practically invisible, free firewall program. Unlike other free firewalls that seem to announce everything they do, TinyWall does not use annoying pop-up messages and alerts to warn you about that to do his work.

Another option is ZoneAlarm. ZoneAlarm is a free, downloadable firewall and antivirus system that is highly configurable and effective against many kinds of cyberattacks. It is popular for a reason – it is powerful and feature-packed for something that is free.

11. Free disposable e-mails

There are millions of spam e-mails that get sent every day. Similar to robocalls, it is a technical problem that won’t go away soon.

A way to fend off these unsolicited messages is the use of a disposable e-mail address. You can use a free disposable email service like Mailinator or Maildrop. These services you can create a fake, temporary and disposable e-mail address in order to ensure your safety, so you don’t have to give up your personal and business e-mail addresses of all time.

Need more e-privacy? Click here for more ways to cut down on spam e-mail.

12. Free video editors

Most free video editing programs like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are pretty good entry-level programs, but they are severely limited.

Unfortunately, more advanced software like Final Cut Pro can be expensive. However, there are a number of free advanced video editing software options that you can use.

First of all, this fully-featured video editing program VSDC that is completely free of charge. This program has most of the features that are usually reserved for expensive professional software.

A other free, professional video-editing tool that you can try is to Lightworks. This program has been around since the 1990s, and it is actually been used on major Hollywood films like “The King’s Speech” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

13. Free grammar and writing tools

English grammar is difficult. To avoid embarrassing mistakes, here are websites that can help you check your spelling and grammar right.

For the grammar checker, Grammarly has taken homes and offices by storm. You can paste it into a document to check on the Grammarly site for grammar and spelling errors. You can also Grammarly the browser extensions and check your writing as you type.

Another writing tool that can help you is Hemingway Editor. Copy and paste a few paragraphs on the site of the text box, and the editor will have an overview of problematic features, such as long sentences, obscure words and confusing passages.

14. Free 3-D design software

Are you a budding 3-D designer looking for a free alternative to computer-aided design (CAD) software such as AutoCAD? If you do not want to spend money on professional 3d software, try these free alternatives instead.

For you a 3-D modeling needs, you can try SketchUp. This free tool lets you quickly create 3-D designs and models. With an intuitive push-and-pull-system and a robust tutorial program, even beginners can start creating their own pictures in no time at all.

For novice homeowners another fun but useful 3-D web tool is EasyHome Homestyler. With this free tool, you can design a map, populate it with doors, windows, furniture, appliances, and even people and experience in real-time 3-D space.

15. Distraction-free tools

When you write something boring, we often have difficulty with the type of all those words. Our desktops to gang up against us: there are just so many great things on the Internet, so many IM conversations so many alerts and updates, and we prefer to pay attention to.

That is the reason why they invented FocusWriter, a distraction-free word processor. Not only FocusWriter the interface looks like an old DOS screen, with clear green text and a black background, but it also keeps the data on your productivity, so you’ll know when you’ve been slacking.

What the digital lifestyle, if you have any questions? Call my radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. Of the buy of an opinion to the digital world problems, click here for my free podcasts.

Copyright 2018, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

 

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