The best of the internet's free websites and online services can help organise everything from your workload to your weekend. And we've collated the 50 best free tools on the web for UK users.
Your web browser could well be the most useful – possibly even the most powerful – element of your computer. Despite the promises of chip makers and PC manufacturers, a web application such as Googlemail, running on a massive server farm thousands of miles away, can often be faster and more reliable than the best client-based program.
Developers are pushing browsers by creating even better online alternatives to desktop applications, ranging from spreadsheets to instant-messaging clients to full-blown operating systems.
But innovative and genuinely useful web services are blooming across the internet. Google is probably the best known web-application company – and it's snapped up some of the most promising tools on the net. But a Google badge isn't always indicative of the best tool of its type.
We've tried out a vast number of internet tools – from online office suites and applications to help you get organised, to sites that exist to recommend places, services and other sites. Some of these online applications are shining examples of exactly what's now possible online, while others are less successful but nonetheless a great indication of where the brave new web is bound.
We'll let you know which ones we rate (and why) and suggest alternatives
to some of the better-known online tools. We've also researched and assembled a collection of useful desktop widgets – small desktop applications that pull data from websites.