It is a truth universally acknowledged that a student is in want of free stuff. Especially in the current financial climate, the more freebies that you can get, the better. And one thing that no student would want to waste money on (except maybe computing majors) is software. Here’s a helpful little list of the best programmes available to students for free. Some of these have been around for a while, but don’t worry, they will all work across devices.
First and foremost, a fundamental requirement for students to have on their computers: an office software suite. There are quite a few free alternatives to Microsoft’s Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc) package, but if we stray away from programmes for a moment, the online offering from Google Drive wins for a number of reasons. Google Drive provides basic word processing software, but in an online format. The main benefit of this is that you don’t need to send your university essays to yourself when you want to print them off in the Uni library for cheaper. Google Docs automatically saves all your work, and stores it online, for you to access whenever you need it. Sometimes working across multiple spreadsheets there can be a lag so you might want to invest in a powerful laptop to avoid excessive lagging. In terms of word processing, for those students that don’t want an online office suite, like Google Drive, the best downloadable, free programme is AbiWord – it is a simple, easy to use, no-nonsense alternative.
Every computer needs anti-virus software, but there’s no need to shell out money for expensive programmes that you’ll still need to renew each year. Save the money by getting AVG’s free anti-virus programme – it’s won awards for how good it is at stopping viruses, so save you pennies for your course books by getting this instead.
The next programme is a little more specialist, but you would be surprised by the amount of times it comes in useful. Audacity is a free open-source audio editing programme. It offers fantastic multi-track recording and editing. So, whether you’re a music student, putting together a student radio programme, making a podcast, or simply recording some songs from you guitar to supplement your income, Audacity is king.
This little list ends with something that will provide a break from your studies with this gaming programme: last, but not least, is Steam. This program allows games to be downloaded and played on your computer – you do, however have to pay for most of these. That being said, there are a few that you can play for free – a reward for all your hard work.