Find Software Alternatives with Alternative.to - gHacks Tech News

Find Software Alternatives with Alternative.to

Alternative To is an interesting web service that suggests software alternatives for software and services on Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac and Linux operating systems plus online services.

Alternatives to software programs or online services are useful in a number of situations. This is the case if a service closes down for instance, or a software is no longer developed. You may also be interested in similar programs to one that you use already, for instance to compare it to the alternatives, or for finding a better program.

The site itself is powered by a big database of program and services names, and alternatives for them. To get started, enter a name or search term in the search box on the Alternative.to website, and hit the show button.

Update: Alternative.to has expanded in other areas recently. While you still get software and online service alternatives delivered, you may also enter music, devices, or anything really that you can think of.

Alternative.to review

alternative.to

The site lists alternatives on the page that opens. Results depend a lot on the popularity of an item, and the available alternatives. If you enter Firefox for instance, you get 17 browser alternatives right now, but when you enter Vivaldi, you get none right now.

Each alternative is listed with its name, a short description, a rating (how good of an alternative is it), and user comments if available. Each alternative is linked to its own page on the Alternative.to website.

One downside to the current system is that links may not be provided at all times. The Pale Moon page for instance does not link to the Pale Moon website. This means that you may have to use a search engine to find the homepage of the product.

You may add alternatives to any query, but need to sign up for an account to do so. The alternatives that you add are suggestions which the site's staff checks. There is no guarantee that alternatives do get added to site though. Registered users may also comment and rate user activity, or follow other users of the site.

If something that you enter is not known at all, you get the option to create an article (create knowledge) about it.

Verdict

Alternative.to is a handy online service that you may use to find alternatives for pretty much anything. The results are hit and miss though, as you may get a good selection of alternatives, or only some, or none at all.

If you just want to find software alternatives, you may find this AlternativeTo web service useful for that as well as it concentrates on that.

Old Alternative. review

software programs

It works by selecting one of the applications that are already listed on the website or by using the search form on the top of the page. The website will then display a profile page for the selected program that contains a short description, tags and platforms it is available for. The main part of the screen is however filled with alternatives that are sorted by user recommendations. Registered users can add their votes, visit the website of the software and even find alternatives for that application as well.

The alternatives can be filtered by license or operating system. It would for instance be possible to show only free software alternatives for the Windows operating system. Additional tabs are available that display user comments, ratings and Twitter information. The alternatives listed for Adobe Photoshop include GIMP, Paint.net, Pixlr and Picnik among others. The profile page provides comfortable means to view user opinion on software alternatives for a specific program with the option to visit the website of the developer for further information or downloads.

The main page can be filtered by operating system as well to narrow down the choices. The applications that are listed on those pages can also be viewed by most popular, most views, recent and those without alternative. The service offers an easily accessible way of discovering new applications for a selected operating system.

Update: The service has recently been redesigned. It displays a list of popular and new services on the homepage with possibilities to click on those service to open the service's or program's profile page on Alternative To. Alternatives are especially listed for popular programs, websites and services. Many lesser known products do not even have a profile page on the website.

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    Comments

    1. Aaron said on April 13, 2009 at 9:16 pm
      Reply

      http://www.osalt.com/ has been around for a while. Great site.

    2. Paulus said on April 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm
      Reply

      Great find this is so much beter than the site’s i have up til now.
      And to bad that Neowin’s Freeware Alternative List is last updated on 2005/11/27. Is there a more actual list avalibe? I like the filehippo.com website and download.cnet.com websites.
      I like somewhat the for-free-on-internet.com and giveawayoftheday.com websites.

    3. Roman ShaRP said on April 14, 2009 at 11:31 am
      Reply

      Thanks!
      Looks like nice choice of alternatives.

      Paulus, you can add Snapfiles Freeware to your list. They have very rich freeware collection.

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