We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
78,630 News Articles

The Best Free Software, Mobile Apps, and Web Services, 2012 Edition

59 terrific tools for getting your work done, finding great deals, planning a trip, keeping yourself entertained, and more.

The Internet is like a fancy Hollywood party with lots of swag: You can get tons of stuff for free, but not all of it is good. Still, some of the Web services, apps, and downloads out there are great, and don't require you to pay a cent. Our 17th annual roundup of free stuff includes dozens of no-cost services, apps, and programs that are worth your time. To help you find the most valuable freebies, we've categorized them based on which types of people they'll help most. Enjoy the free life!

(To read the related story about each category of free stuff, click the appropriate heading below, or use the contents box to the right. You can also consult our alphabetical list of all of the downloads, apps, and Web services described in our Best Free Stuff package.)

Free Tools for the Tech-Savvy Businessperson

Any.DO Website | Download (Android)

AnyMeeting Website

CardMunch Website | Download (iOS)

CloudOn Website | Download (iOS)

CrashPlan Website | Download (Windows 32-bit) | Download (Windows 64-bit)

F.lux Website | Download (Windows)

Ghostery Website | Download (Windows)

Google Docs Presentations Website

K-9 Mail Website | Download (Android)

LogMeIn Website | Download (iOS)

OmmWriter Dana I Website | Download (Windows)

Parcel Website | Download (iOS)

Parcels Website | Download (Android)

Tape-a-Talk Download (Android)

YouSendIt Lite Website

Free Tools for the Commuter

Imo Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

Lookout Mobile Security Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

NextBus Website

Pulse Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

Scanner Radio Website | Download (Android)

SMS Backup and Restore Download (Android)

Software Data Cable Website | Download (Android)

Trapster Website | Download (Android) | Download (BlackBerry) | Download (iOS)

Voxer Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

Waze Website | Download (Android) | Download (BlackBerry) | Download (iOS)

WeatherBug Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

Zite Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS) | Download (WebOS)

Free Tools for the Social Media Fan

AV by AOL Website

Follower Wonk Website

Google+ Hangouts Website

HootSuite Website | Download (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Topsy Website

Free Tools for the Traveler

BeFrugal Fly or Drive Calculator Website

Foursquare Website | Download (Android) | Download (BlackBerry) | Download (iOS)

Hotspotr Website

TripIt Website

WorldMate Website

Free Tools for the Shopper

Dashlane Website

Hotspot Shield Website | Download (Windows)

OpenLabel Website

Scoutmob Website

WootWatch Download (iOS)

WootWatcher Website | Download (Android)

Free Tools for the Health Nut

Calorific Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

CardioTrainer Website | Download (Android)

The Eatery Website | Download (iOS)

Instant Heart Rate Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)

Free Tools for the Entertainment Buff

Cinemagram Website | Download (iOS)

Crackle Website

Cut and Slice Website | Download (Android)

Google Music Website | Download (Windows)

League of Legends Website

Lightworks Public Beta Website | Download (Windows)

The Lord of the Rings Online Website

MovieLens Website

Picozu Editor Website

Pinterest Website

Planetarium Website | Download (Windows, Mac, Linux)

Stitcher Radio Website | Download (Android) | Download (iOS)


IDG UK Sites

Nokia Lumia 930 review: The flagship Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone

IDG UK Sites

Live Blog: Apple financial results, record June quarter, 35.2m iPhones sold, $37.4b revenue

IDG UK Sites

Welcome to the upgrade cycle - you'll never leave

IDG UK Sites

Why smartphone screens are getting bigger