Free stuff = Awesome, right?!?! You’re darn right, friends!
And we’re about to get a heaping helping of free stuff right now!
AskReddit users talked about free online resources that we should all know about.
Let’s take a look.
1. A whole treasure trove.
“I found this out myself, Wikimedia, the non-profit that runs Wikipedia, has many more things than just articles!
Wikimedia Commons has various pictures and media, all of which is free use
MediaWiki is free source wiki software, and it has guides and a help desk to help you
Wikibooks has free textbooks on a variety of subjects, including computing, engineering, languages, math, science, social sciences, and a few others.
Wikiversity is the specific one for textbooks and learning materials, including videos.
Wikinews offers free news.
Wikisource has poetry, laws of numerous countries, general literature, and original content.
Wikivoyage is a travel guide, which is helpful especially if you’re planning on traveling during COVID-19.
Other things that are not Wikimedia related:
Coursera, which has free classes for computer skills, different languages, certificates, etc;
Open Library, which has free books online for you to read, in various languages, although they don’t have everything;
HubSpot, which has free marketing and other business tools (you can get a premium account, but you can also get a free account)
Ambient Mixer, which has free ambient sounds from horror to Harry Potter.”
2. Math stuff.
Wolfram Alpha was a lifesaver for checking answers when taking Calc 1-3 in college.
Definitely useful for all sorts of answers, but answers for science and math questions, it’s great.”
3. Good to know!
All scholarly work.
If you type in “volcanoes”you will get a ton of scientific documents about volcanoes, research that is being done on them, and papers that have been written about them.
Next time you write a paper for a science class check out Google Scholar!”
4. Try it out!
“Creddle.io – a free resume builder site.
You fill it out like an online application and it generates your resume in different styles for you.
Landed me a couple of jobs after I started using it.”
5. Very useful.
If a website is asking for your E-mail, and you don’t want your original E-mail to be spammed, you can use the E-mail found on this website that self-destructs after 10 minutes.”
It is a site that shows you alternatives to any software you are looking for. If there is a paid application you would like to use? You can find a free or open source version.
Do you like a program but it slows down your computer? You can find a lightweight alternative.”
7. Great stuff.
Tons of free music, audio books, news reports, newspaper scans, video games, software and movies.
If you haven’t already, please look for anything important you have saved on a USB stick or on your hard drive and archive it here if you find it important or interesting enough.
This site is awesome.”
8. So cool.
“If you’re ever feeling stressed, or feeling the itch to travel when you can’t, you should try Window Swap.
Just click the button and it will randomly take you to a recorded video of the view out random folks’ windows all over the world. You can even upload your own window footage for others to enjoy.
It’s so calming.”
Almost every science text book you could ever want for free. However, you’re not compensating authors/publishers for their work, so the morality is debated.
But if you want access to knowledge for free, there it is. I haven’t ever encountered any issues like viruses either.”
10. Just reach out.
“If you ever want to read a journal article behind a paywall, email the authors!
I do this and I’ve never not had one send me the paper. A lot of the time they’ll even send you supplemental data etc if you want, too.
Even if it’s something for your job.”
11. Time to binge-watch.
“FilmRise channels on YouTube.
Untold hours of free documentary tv series, including old school Unsolved Mysteries.”
12. Tons of stuff.
“Audacity – A powerful audio editor, ideal for music and podcasts.
Autodesk Fusion 360 – CAD/CAM software.
Bit Warden – Open-source password management service.
Blender – Free and open source 3D creation suite.
Cake Walk – music production software
Dark Table – Open-source photography workflow application and raw developer.
Dashlane – Cross-platform subscription-based password manager and digital wallet application.
DaVinci Resolve – Color correction and non-linear video editing application.
FreeCAD – Open-source general-purpose parametric 3D computer-aided design modeler.
GIMP – A powerful open source photo and image editing tool.
Godot Engine – A 2D and 3D, cross-platform, free and open-source game engine released under the MIT license.
Glitch – Build fast, full-stack web apps in your browser.
Glimpse Image Editor – A photo editor for everyone.
Greenshot – A free screenshot tool optimized for productivity.
Handbrake – The open source video transcoder
Honey – A browser extension that aggregates and automatically applies online coupons on eCommerce websites.
Hitfilm-Express – Video editing software with professional-grade VFX tools.
Inkscape – Free and open-source vector graphics editor.
KDEnLive – Open-source video editing software based on the MLT Framework, KDE and Qt.
Keepass – Free and open-source password manager primarily for Windows.
Krita – Free and open-source raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital painting and 2D animation.
Open Broadcaster Software(OBS) – Open-source software for video recording and live streaming.
LibreOffice – Open-source office suite.
LMMS – A digital audio workstation application program.
MagicaVoxel – A free lightweight GPU-based voxel art editor and interactive path tracing renderer.
MediBang Paint Pro – FREE digital painting and comic creation software.
Musescore – Create, play and print beautiful sheet music
Ocenaudio – Easy, fast, and powerful audio editor.
Opentoonz – Animation production software.
Paint.NET – A freeware raster graphics editor program for Microsoft Windows developed on the .NET Framework
Photopea – Web-based raster and vector graphics editor.
Pixlr – Feature-packed online photo editor.
QGIS – Open-source cross-platform desktop geographic information system application
Radio Garden – Explore live radio by rotating the globe.
RawTherapee – Free, cross-platform raw image processing program
Reaper -Digital audio workstation and MIDI sequencer software
ShareX – Screen capture, file sharing and productivity tool.
Shotcut – A slick open source program for advanced video editing.
SlidesGo – Free Google Slides and PowerPoint templates.
Switch – Convert and encode sound files quickly.
The Noun Project – Icons for everything.
TurboTax Sucks A** – Website that makes it easy to file your taxes.
Unity – Cross-platform game engine.
Unreal Engine – The most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool.
Unsplash – Beautiful free images and pictures.
VLC media player – Open-source portable cross-platform media player software and streaming media server
VS Code – Free source-code editor.
Waveform – Fully featured, completely unlimited free DAW for all music creators.
Wavepad – Audio and music editor for Windows and Mac.
Wcostream – Anime and animated Tv-show/movie site with dubs and subs.
7-Zip – File archiver with a high compression ratio.”
“Internet Archive’s Open Library:
You can check out books from a ton of different public libraries. For free. It’s insane.”
14. You gotta have it!
For your cartoon and anime needs.
I have been using this website for years and am watching Star Wars the Clone Wars on it right now.”
15. Get smart!
“Khan Academy is the greatest thing!
Not only is it free education, I’ve had a lot of online courses opt for Khan videos/articles rather than having us buy an expensive textbook.”
You’re able to mix images together to create something new and keep tweaking it until you get something you like.
Personally, I like using it to create characters that look similar to the ones in my head–useful for story writing.”
17. That’s cool.
“You can help plant trees for free by changing your default search engine from Google to www.ecosia.org.
I’ve been using it for years and planted hundreds of trees and search quality is nearly identical to Google.”
18. Just like the books!
It gives a detailed description of almost any book by chapter, saved my life last year.”
You can search for academic journals, articles and papers.
This helped me ALOT with college and it even gives you the citations for whatever you are using.”
20. A twofer.
DeepL.com – a translating service that blows my linguistic mind to this day
Photopea.com – Photoshop, but free.”
I’ve learned half of MIT’s undergraduate physics curriculum during my sophomore year of high school.
There won’t be a need to go to college to get a bachelors degree amount of education soon.”
22. Get busy in the kitchen.
“Cooking lessons on YouTube.
People think I’m an amazing cook when they come over for dinner.
I just hit the pause button a million times on new recipes.”
23. Good to know.
“Sci-hub: access to free scientific articles
Telegram: I use it as free, unlimited and private cloud storage and also to see any recently released movie or download books, etc.”
24. I’m all in!
It’s an awesome language website where you can learn Spanish, French, German, or English for free. I’ve heard the German program is as good as or better than Rosetta Stone.
Better yet, the point of the website is not only to teach people a new language, but help people who already know a little get better and translate web pages.”
25. Discover your history.
“I found out I have confederate ancestors through findagrave.com, and have built a family tree going back to the 1700s.
Pro tip – African Americans get discouraged when building family trees because of the imagined lack of records, but please use:
censusrecords.com, findagrave.com, and the national parks civil war veterans registry. (Black confederate veteran’s pension records will be kept at the state archives, and are not attached to the national registration, which gives branch, regiment, company, and state. confederatevets.org, might have clearer information. Black confederates will have less clear records than black Union veterans.)
You’re working your way backwards with names, states/counties, dates, and other criteria. Please know that the 1850 and 1860 census contain slave schedules, wherein many people find their last name is linked to that of a slave owner, or through an illegal interracial marriage. At that point, much of what remains is diary scraps, ship records, and newspaper scraps (such as those found for free on the Chronicling America Project by the Library of Congress).
Chronicling America allows sorting by keywords, state, and year range, but be aware a lot of state archives contain out of state papers, and desired papers might need unorthodox searches. As a rule the term ‘negro’, ‘sale’, and the surname of a buyer, owner, auctioneer/seller will offer a trail to a port, or at least a county within a state.
Take screenshots, and write things down on physical paper for the best clarity.
While local heritage museums might have plantation or ship records (you’ll have to email/phone multiple in a multiple-county area to know), don’t count on these records surviving the city torching done through the war years. Don’t feel discouraged, because everyone hits a wall eventually.
The European wall is about 1550 or later, when last names became common. It’s very common for misspellings, and pre-national language regional languages to muddle names (eg. German v Dutch, Irish v Scottish, Vietnamese v Laotian). The black wall is 1850 much of the time.
If your goal is to find African nation ancestry, it’s ultra rare to find it. However, language studies have found that the vast bulk of African diaspora in the New World are from the far western African coastal nations. The dashiki, much of voudoo, Creoles, Ananzi the spider, the roots of soul food, and other legacy practices come from this small-ish region.
So Liberia, to the Ivory Coast, Ghana, to Seira Leone, and the northern half of the Congo coast is the ancestral origin point, if that’s your goal. Bantu and French are the chief languages to look at (not Swahili). If you try to find a specific tribal group or nation, you’re not seeing the forest for all the trees.
You are entitled to history. It’s yours, take it.”
Do you know of some more free resources people should take advantage of?
If so, talk to us in the comments.
Please and thank you!