1. Drop Box. Praise the genius who invented online storage. Save yourself the USB drives that cost money and are very easy to lose.
2. GIMP. It’s sort of like Adobe Photoshop, minus the price of the software.
3. Media Fire. One of the best ways to download free music. Just google search the artist name followed by the album and follow it with media fire. Usually the first link will be from mediafire.com and if you click that, your album will instantly start downloading. Fast, free, easy. PC users be warned, some links will give you viruses so make sure you are only clicking on the one from mediafire.com
4. Viper. It’s a free online plagiarism detector. In high school, you were given a warning if you were caught plagiarizing. Maybe you got a zero on the assignment or an ethics violation. In college, if you are caught plagiarizing, you get expelled. This program is for Microsoft Windows only, so if you have PC a I recommend you download it.
5. Free Mind. If you like to use brainstorming charts to help you lay out your ideas when writing a paper or doing other work, this program is for you. Did I mention it’s free?
6. Open Office. Most people know about this already, but if you don’t you probably want it. For those of you buying new laptops for the upcoming school year, don’t waste money on Microsoft Office or similar programs. Open Office is the free version, so use this instead! It’s a little different, but nothing you can’t get used to, and besides, when you print something it won’t look any different.
7. Khan Academy. Do you have trouble studying? Too embarrassed to go to a tutor? Need some last minute review before a final? This is the website for you. Go explore, you can learn almost anything for free.
8. AVG. This is the best free internet security program out there. Protects against viruses and spyware, but only for Windows Users.
10. Think Free. This is a combination of some of the previously mentioned software. On ThinkFree you can create, edit, and store documents all in one place. The free version gives you up to 1 GB of storage space, so if you run out you can simply go to Drop Box (listed above).
By Lyndsey, a student a UC Santa Barbara.