Your business doesn’t need to spend a fortune on software, there are incredibly powerful free alternatives that might suite your business size and needs.

Check the licence as some software may be dependent on the size of your company and require a purchase for larger companies.


Utility

Notepad ++ (For a commercial paid alternative Sublime Text is also great)

Notepad is in our opinion one of the best applications Microsoft have ever released.  Notepad++ takes this to the next level by being able to edit text based files with auto-complete, tabs and macros.  Its quick and powerful.

Google drive / Dropbox / OneDrive

Cloud storage for your day-to-date files is a great way to protect your data.  All three of these offer file revisions allowing you to recover older versions of documents even if you’ve saved over the top of them.  You can keep files synchronised between different users and computers effortlessly.

Cyberduck

Cyberduck lets you transfer files securly for lots of protocols: FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, Backblaze B2, Microsoft Azure & OneDrive to name a few.

7-zip

This compression utility can compress and de-compress nearly all the main file-types you may come across, the most common of which are .ZIP and .RAR.

Chrome Remote Desktop

If you are using Chrome as your web browser (and we do recommend using either this or Firefox) this extension lets you control remote computers securely, safely and easily.  You can even control them from your iPhone, iPad or Android device.  Ideal for when working away from the office or helping someone out remotely.


Graphics

ShareX

This screen capture tool is hugely powerful.  With automations like saving screenshots to specific folders (hello Google Drive!) or uploading them, this utility is free and customisable.  Capture whole screens, specific windows, areas of windows, animated GIFs, automatically scroll down webpages to create a single image of a long site.  We use it multiple times a day.

File optimizer

This drag and drop software takes your images and reduced their file size without perceptibly reducing their quality.  This is ideal for making sure your website loads fast as the smaller the image file size the less the visitor has to download, and the quicker the website will appear.  The optimisation is automatic, but can be configured.


Security

Malwarebytes

In addition to Anti-Virus software like the built in Windows Defender, the free version lets you manually scan your computer for malware infections and clean them too.  Its proven time and again to be effective without the slowdown and intrusiveness of other anti-virus software.  The paid version automates the scanning.


Media

Davinci Resolve

The free version of DaVinci Resolve has all of the professional editing, color correction and Fairlight audio tools you need for SD, HD and Ultra HD work at up to 60 frames per second. DaVinci Resolve Studio adds support for 4K and higher, along with frame rates up to 120 fps.  This is a fully featured video editor used by professionals on real TV shows and Hollywood movies but its also simple to use after you’ve followed some tutorials and can produce high-quality professional looking videos.

VLC Media Player

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.  If you’ve ever had a video that your computer can’t seem to play, VLC will just play it with no hassle.  Its small and quick and runs on all operating systems.


Communications

Wavebox

New on the scene is this application that brings together all your other web tools.  Primarily focused on Email (Gmail, Outlook.com, Office 365) this tool also lets you add in accounts from Trello, Slack and other web services.  Having these contained within a separate application is convenient as you may accidentally close your web browser.  This also generates native notifications for email alerts, calendar alerts etc.

Tweetduck

This application wraps up Tweetdeck, the multi-column version of Twitter.  Easily monitor multiple twitter accounts and searches in realtime.  Schedule posts for the future and much more.  Its the easiest way to become a Twitter power user.