Free Software Anyone? Part 2

By James Maguire | Posted May 26, 2006

Yesterday's list of free, downloadable e-commerce and small business-related software and services just scratched the surface of what's out there on the Web. Today we've got a list of even more productivity-related tools to help you work on the cheap.

Remote Access/P2P Tools

BeInSync
Uses peer-to-peer technology to keep your folders on many computers up to date. When you make a change in one folder, it automatically updates the files on the other machines across your network.

GetByMail
Get remote access to all your computers by using GetByMail. The free version displays ads; the paid version is ad-free.

Groove Virtual Office
Uses peer-to-peer technology to connect people in geographically diverse locations. Conduct online meetings, update folders and monitor project information. Groove is free for personal use, or free for 60 days for business use.

iTeamWork
As the name suggests, you and your employees can use this program to stay coordinated on big projects.

LogMeIn
This remote access tool lets you work on your computer from a different (i.e., remote) system.

Blogging Tools
Many e-commerce sites use blogs as marketing tools: they make content updates easy and search engines like them. Blogger and WordPress are two such tools that are free and easy-to-use.

Photo/Graphic Editors

Irfanview
This basic image editor helps you touch-up product shots or graphics and compress your files for fast page load. The program outputs all the common formats: GIF, JPEG, TIF and others.

Omniformat
This utility converts files from most any format to most any other format. For example, it converts Word documents to image files and GIF files to PDF files. The one "catch" is that it won't work unless you install the company's free PDF utility, which displays ads.

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)
If you want to touch up your photos or product shots but don't want to buy an expensive graphics program, take a look at GIMP. It's a free solution, compatible with Windows, Mac and (of course) open source.

Telephony/VoIP/Videoconferencing

SightSpeed
This videoconferencing service offers free software and allows free, one-to-one voice and video calls. They make their money from multi-party calls, which require a paid subscription.

Skype
Cut your business's long distance phone bills by using the popular Skype Net-based phone software. (Note: the person on the other end of the connection must also have Skype.)

Festoon Beta
Festoon lets you use Google Talk or Skype for free videoconferencing.

Free Conference
Lets you schedule and manage conference calls for free. The company also offers a paid version for multi-party conference calls.

Scheduling

Palm Desktop
You don't have to own a PDA to make use of this free desktop calendar and appointment organizer.

Ta-Da Lists
A simple, easy-to-use appointment and to-do list manager.

Miscellaneous

TurboCASH 3.7.4
This is multi-user accounting software offered by an Australian company that claims 30,000 people have used the product.

OpenOffice
If you don't want to buy a copy of Microsoft Office for each of your employees, you can use this free open-source substitute. The files are compatible with Microsoft Office.

Pegasus Mail
A free e-mail client with advanced capabilities: send and receive from different accounts, message encryption, message templates and more.

eFax Messenger
Even if you don't have a fax machine, you can receive faxes with this e-mail utility. It allows a limited number of fax sends before you must buy the premium version.

Google Video
Many online sellers upload an advertising or promotional video to Google Video for free to reach zillions of eyeballs. Ideally, your video's entertainment value means people will keep it circulating — spreading your URL all over the globe.

YouSendIt
If you need to send large files across the Internet, YouSendIt is a useful tool. The free version lets you transfer 100MB files.

Adapted from ECommerce-Guide.com, part of Internet.com's Small Business Channel.

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