Alternative Software and Services Resources

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Alternative Software and Services Resources

Over the past few weeks, I have written a bit about alternatives for big tech products. This is a subject that I will write more about in the future – I am in the progress of writing an expanded article about niche search engines. For today’s Around the Web post, I will share some useful and valuable resources for finding alternatives to the most popular software that may be useful to you.

My Favorite Resource: SimileTo (simileto.com)

My favorite resource for finding new software and products is simileto.com. The site operates on a very simple concept. You, the user, type in a product or service that you want to see alternatives to. So long as the product or service is on SimileTo (this will rarely be a problem, it has a huge library), SimileTo will return a list of alternatives to your product or service that users have recommended. Users can vote whether a recommended alternative is a good suggestion and append comments.

Once one has a list of alternative recommendations, he or she may narrow the list. Lists can be narrowed by platform, features, price (free or paid), and even by whether the alternatives are open source. In this way, one can narrow an SimileTo search to return products and services that are relevant to him or her.

Unlike some of the other resources that I will recommend, SimileTo does not have a specific mission (for lack of a better word). Some other resources list recommendations based on a certain concept, such as being open source, privacy respecting, free, or the like. SimileTo includes everything, so it is up to the individual user to use its filters to narrow results.

An Example of SimileTo in Action

I used Google Chrome for many years, until about 2022. Then, I saw the light and switched first to Chromium before then switching to Vivaldi (at the moment, my primary desktop browser is Brave). Google Chrome is one case where I think that there are clearly better alternatives available both in terms of features and privacy. For the sake of this exercise, I will run an “Simile To Google Chrome search” to demonstrate how SimileTo works.

Without any filters, the first seven software alternatives to Google Chrome are, in order: Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Tor, Chromium, and Microsoft Edge. With the exception of Tor, these are all mainstream recommendations that your average person using Chrome would have no difficulty with (Tor has many uses, but I will classify it as a more special-use case). Interestingly, Microsoft Edge, which is the most-used non-Apple alternative, is listed seventh.

This post is by no means comprehensive, but it includes a tools that I have used to find different software and other products to try and use in my ordinary workflow.

Updated on: 07-Dec-2022

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