Igowerf over at the Anandtech forum compiled a rather large list of freeware that can replace commercial products. This helps you save money as you do not have to pay for tools that often offer a similar functionality than their commercial counterparts. A basic example would Open Office which you can use as a free replacement for the popular Microsoft Office suite.
It is a great list with lots of different categories that include Office, Internet / Networking, Graphics, IDE's and editors, Audio/Mp3/CD, System tools, Video encoding/decoding/etc, 3D Modeling/Animation/etc and Misc suggestions.
So, if you are looking for a freeware C++ compiler, a new ftp program that has the same functionality as wsftp or flashfxp, you've come to the right place as you will certainly find an appropriate program for the job.
Update: The list, while still available on the forum, has not been updated in the past five years. This makes it a lot less usable than at the time of writing. While you will still find some recommendations to link to software that is still actively developed, you will notice that some recommended applications have not been updated in a while.
One site that you may like to try is Alternative To a free site that displays service and software alternatives. All you need to do is enter a software or service that you want an alternative for to get a list of alternatives displayed right on the results page.
If you key in Microsoft Office Suite for instance, you will get recommendations such as Open Office, Libre Office or Google Docs, along with a dozen or so more on the results page.
While I cannot guarantee that every application or service under the sun is known by the service, it is likely that it knows all the popular programs and services that you may want to find alternatives for.
You can alternatively click on a category listing like backup, audio or file management to see the most popular applications and services of that category listed there.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.