The web is a treasure trove of free software. But can it serve its purpose? Or will it crash and burn your expensive system? We've rounded-up the best genuine free software and services the web has to offer.
Flickr - the reigning king of photo sharing
Flickr has one reason to exist - image hosting. And at that, it excels. For starters, the interface is clean, and searching using multiple tags is quick. You can view images in multiple sizes or download them.
No wonder then that it is by far the most popular photo-sharing site for professional photographers and amateurs alike. There exists both a free and paid version, and the former suffices for most people. However if you are space-hungry and upload full-sized high resolution pictures by the dozen every week, you might want to explore the latter option.
The home page lets you access recent activity (uploads from friends, comments to your photos, group activity, etc.), search for images using tags and organise your photos. The Flickr Uploadr tool lets you upload multiple images. You can specify different Creative Commons licences for each or all of your photos, useful for enthusiasts who can specify where and how their pictures can be reproduced.
Another popular service is Webshots.com. Many features are similar to Flickr, including the ability to make albums private or public. You also get updates about activity on your album as well as those of your friends.
If most of your contacts are on Gmail, you may find sharing photos on Picasa easy. Once you upload your photos, one click gets you started selecting email ids from your Gmail address book. This integration makes it easy to send album invites. Add to this the clean no-fuss interface, and Picasa makes for another visit-worthy website.
NEXT PAGE: The best free photo sharing software available on the web.
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