The Web Surfer’s Guide to the Free Internet
Here be the first edition of the Web Surfer’s Guide.
Before the free parade, please read the following pointers about downloading free stuff online:
1. Be careful what you get. Most free stuff comes with a risk. This may mean its bad stuff (as in bad free music or movies) or that the product is not final (as in alpha and beta software releases full of bugs).
2. Stay as far as you can from Warez and Piracy sites. Even though you may be attracted to the lure of free (illegal) stuff, the risks are extremely high if you don’t know what you are doing.
3. If so inclined, donate, comment, provide feedback, report bugs, help with code, give ideas, promote the product. This will help those who give you for free and will give people a reason to keep supplying free stuff.
Now the good stuff. The free sources links (some here for now, more coming in future revisions of the guide):
Here be “Freeness”
www.frostclick.com/ – Free Music, free movies, free software… free all and very, very legal. How cool is that?
www.frostwire.com/– Free download software – Torrents and Peer to peer (like Limewire)
www.ubuntu.com – Free OS with a huge fanbase and support forum. Almost all issues can be solved there or you can post yours and get help. Try it with the software below.
www.virtualbox.org/ – This is like a computer within your computer. Allows you to safely test other OS without having to do a full hard disk install.
www.drupal.org/ – To build websites you can use this free content management system (CMS). Its all the rage with programmers. Not so user friendly though.
www.joomla.org/ – Same as Drupal, but easier for less skilled programmers. Excellent system for regular users without much programming skills (even without programming skills at all)
www.wordpress.org – A highly popular CMS for blogs. Use it in their site (www.wordpress.com) or install it in your server for more options, scalability and benefits for your site.
www.sourceforge.net/ – Open Source home. Programmers and developers post their newest work here and let you download it free. Search for a tool you’ve dreamed of, chances are, you may find it there.
www.iconpot.com/ – Free Icons for personal, commercial use without having to provide credit everywhere.
www.1001freefonts.com/ – Most of these fonts you can download and use in personal projects, some require permission or to be purchased for online use.
www.net-matrix.com/ – More free software. A huge collection of free software.
www.hulu.com – Free TV shows and some movies. Only available in the US.
www.archive.org – A very interesting initiative to create an archive of all human. There are free movies, cartoons, antique acetate records (music), home videos (yes, home videos). Want to see how a website started? You will find all its changes here too.
www.legaltorrents.com/ – Free legal torrents. Movies, music, animations, images, etc.
www.wikipedia.org – The world’s largest free encyclopedia. Ok, everybody knows it, I just felt I had to mention it.
https://translate.google.com/ – Free Google translator for almos any language. Very good, not as a real translator, but does the job for non important things.
This is a very, very short list of the wonders hidden on the web. I have a much larger collection of free legal stuff sites, but for the time being, this is the first edition… I will come back and work on this guide some more. If you ask for a source of free stuff for a particular subject, chances are, I’ve got it. Post in the comments what you would like to find out and I will add it to the guide on the next revision.