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Free software downloads could save you a packet

Switch to free software and save £1,000


Advanced photo-editing software

Switch to free computer software and you could be quids in, says Which? Computing, which found users could save up to £1,000.

Which? Computing magazine challenged one expert to live and work using free software and services for a week, and found that by swapping to free products to keep their PC safe, set up a home office, edit photos and listen to music, computer users could save up to £1,000 in total.

Gimp, OpenOffice and Spotify save money on software

Using Best Buy instead of Microsoft Live OneCare netted a £40 saving. Read Which? security software reviews.

Similarly, the expert found photo-editing software Gimp a viable alternative to Adobe Photoshop (£615). Gimp is a free download from www.gimp.org

Using OpenOffice word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software to set up a home office, instead of paying for Microsoft Office, saved £400. OpenOffice can be downloaded free from www.openoffice.org. Which? reviews also help you compare features and prices and find Best Buy office software. 

And buying music CDs or MP3s was replaced by listening to free music online with Spotify, netting another significant saving. Sign up for Spotify at www.spotify.com.

Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing said: ‘If you know where to look, you can listen to music, watch TV, make phone calls, share photos, back up your files, read books, play games and more – all for nothing’.

However, certain costs couldn’t be avoided, such as a monthly broadband subscription. And some free services couldn’t match the choice and quality of paid services, such as watching TV online.

Find the best and most reliable broadband in the Which? review of more than 120 broadband packages.

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