There are plenty of free services available on the web, from photo-editing to social-networking. However we've identified 18 that can be used in place of chargeable services, helping you save money.
Videoconference for free
Most chat and videoconferencing programs are free when your conversation remains between two people, but they charge you to add more. Instant messaging and videoconferencing tool TokBox blasts past that limitation, restricted only by your bandwidth.
Even better, however, your contacts can join the videoconference in a web browser, just by following a URL. They don't need to install an application, and the TokBox website automatically interfaces with each PC's webcam. Just start a conference, and click invite then share link to get the URL.
Make free conference calls
Running a meeting on a shoestring? Just want to organise a family call across the country? Rondee provides free conference calls for up to 50 people, and it offers several great extras.
You can launch a conference call immediately, simply by notifying your participants and giving them a Rondee PIN. But if you plan a call in advance, the service will send calendar-compatible email invitations (with all call-in details) and make a list of replies. It'll even provide a nonspeaking access code, too, so that you can invite people to listen but not talk.
You can activate voice recording for calls planned in advance, as well. After everyone hangs up, participants receive email instructions for downloading the meeting as an MP3 file.
Use a no-cost directory-assistance service
There's no doubt that 118 118 and other directory Assistance services are useful, but the calls aren't cheap. However 118.com offers the same functions as the telephone service but for free, via the web.
Automatically transcribe voice notes for free
You probably have your phone handy more often than you have paper and a pen nearby. If inspiration hits, you could thumb-in text notes on your handset. Better yet, try reQall for automatic voice transcription.
You call a special phone number and speak your message (up to 30 seconds), and reQall writes it down. Depending on what you say, it will even store your notes contextually, adding items you want to buy to a shopping list or scheduling meetings in your calendar, for example.
But I like it just as much for recording my random notes and automatically emailing them to myself - or my contacts - without having to type.
NEXT PAGE: Turn scanned documents into text