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The 10 all-time greatest free downloads and services

The 10 all-time greatest free downloads and services

Do you use Dropbox, FreeConference.com, Trillian Basic, and the rest of our 10 best no-cost superstars?

In our 15 years of choosing the best free stuff, we've spotlighted the superstars: Adobe Reader, Craigslist, Flickr, Gmail, Google, Mozilla Firefox, and Wikipedia.

Here are ten other classics you might not use--but should.

(For more of our favorite downloads, sites, and services--including a list of all 112 picks, arranged by category--look in the box to the right.)

Ad-Aware Free: This utility is simple to use and does an excellent job of detecting and killing spyware.

Audacity: This versatile open-source program can record sound as well as edit it, through a surprisingly powerful set of tools.

BitTorrent: Easier to use than other file-sharing clients for games, movies, software, or music. Lets you pause or resume downloads, move downloads up and down your queue, and control downloads in other ways.

Dropbox: This download gives you access to 2GB of online storage space, and offers dead-simple file syncing among any number of PCs and the Web.

Evite: Sign up to use this site to create and e-mail party invites and easily track RSVPs online.

FreeConference.com: Register to schedule and make unlimited conference calls with this service.

IMDb: How did we ever settle bar bets about stars, costars, directors, dates, and more about films without the detailed information in the Internet Movie Database?

OpenOffice.org: This full-featured, downloadable Microsoft Office competitor gives you a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, a database, and a drawing application.

The GIMP: In this oddly named image editor, you'll find many of the same photo tools that come with Photoshop, including filters, effects, masks, and layers.

Trillian Basic: From a single interface, you can communicate with many popular instant messengers, such as AIM, ICQ, IRC, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger.


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