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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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16 free things on the internet that could literally change your life

All of these things are brilliant AND won’t cost you a cent.

THE INTERNET CAN be a weird and wonderful place at times, but how can you make it work for you?

Well, just look at all of these resources out there that can actually have a major impact on your life – and they are all absolutely free. Prepare yourself:

1. Expand your reading of some classic literature – Project Gutenberg

tumblr_inline_mq31a4USRW1qz4rgp Source: Tumblr

With over 46,000 free e-books to choose from, Project Gutenberg is a massive collection of freely available books to download or read online – and it has a wide and varied selection. For the audio book equivalent, check out LibriVox.

2. Learn a language – Duolingo

duolingo Source: Duolingo

This excellent website and app allows you to learn a language online, with a step-by-step process that is intuitive and easy to use. It even has Gaeilge amongst its many, many language options. That’s why tens of millions of people use it to learn a new language from scratch.

3. Sleep better after using a screen – F.lux

f.lux-on-Mac-on-mevvy.com-2 Source: Mevvy

This app for your computer and iphone/ipad makes the color of your screen’s display adapt to the time of day – warm at night and like sunlight during the day. It takes out the horrible bright white light on your screen after dark – so you can sleep better straight after using it.

Get it. Get it now right here. Especially if you use your device at all hours. The strange hue of the screen will seem weird at first, but your eyes will be thankful for it once you get used to it. See also – Twilight for Android users.

4. Edit photos with no download or signup hassles – Pixlr

Pixlr Source: Pixlr

This online web application allows you to edit photos and add effects to them as well. It’s also available on Android and iOS as an app – so you can work on your images offline as well as on. It’s more basic than Photoshop and other software, but it more than makes up for that in accessibility.

For other free photo software, check out GIMP and Get Paint - but they will require a download to work on your desktop computer.

5. Get inspired by the world’s greatest minds – TED Talks

BillGatesPhoto_RyanLashTED Source: Thirteen

TED talks are everywhere online – and for good reason. The aim of the organisation is to provide short talks on interesting topics by qualified people. They can’t go over 18 minutes, so the message is always concise and often inspiring.

6. Relax yourself with the sound of pelting rain – Rainy Mood

Rainymood Source: RainyMood

We probably don’t have much need for it here in Ireland, but Rainy Mood gives you a calm and relaxing background noise of stormy and rainy weather. Pretend you’re curled up under a blanket on a horrible days. *closes curtains to block out sunlight*

7. Watch some of the finest documentaries out there – Documentary Heaven

docheaven Source: HBO/Youtube

This free site sources feature length documentaries from around the web and compiles them for your viewing pleasure all in one spot. Some have been taken down from the Youtube source because of copyright, but there is still a fine treasure trove of free docs here. See also - Top Documentary Films, which does a similar job.

8. Record and edit audio like a pro – Audacity

gif-dj Source: Wordpress

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder that anyone can download easily here.

9. Embrace your musical side – IMSLP

Music Source: Steve Snodgrass

The International Music Score Library Project does exactly what its name suggests – provides free sheet music that is fully downloadable to everyone.

10. Save those great articles you were reading for later – Pocket

slide_321105_3009295_free Source: Huffpost

This app has one simple mission – it allows you to save what you are reading or watching for later, and return to it even when you don’t have an internet connection. When you’re bored and can’t get online, Pocket is there for you.

11. Remember your passwords, every time – Last Pass

frustrated Source: PhotoBucket

Everyone struggles remembering their multiple passwords for all their online accounts. LastPass remembers your passwords for you, and stores them away from view of anyone else. It signs you in to things, basically. So no more clicking that ‘forgot your password?’ button in frustration.

12. Get some more sweet music into your life – Last.fm

tumblr_mfju2urixv1s0r4jho1_500 Source: Tumblr

There are so many ways to get music legally online for free – like Youtube, Spotify, Grooveshark and Soundozer among others. Last.fm recommends music to you based on your listening profile – allowing you to discover more new stuff as you listen.

13. Get a free Harvard education online - EdX

edX_Logo_Col_RGB_FINAL Source: Harvard

This is not affiliated to TedX talks – it’s something completely different.

EdX offers interactive online classes from some of the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations – and it’s absolutely free. MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and many other universities are all involved to give you some seriously high quality information, all at your own pace.

14. Keep all those lists methodically organised – Evernote

noted-ryan-the-office Source: Happyteacherhappykids

This simple app allows you to take detailed notes on your phone and have them waiting for you on other devices. A lifesaver if you’re an avid note-taker.

15. Sort those documents with zero difficulty – Libre Office

Typing Source: Awesomelytechie

Libre Office is a free documents solution that covers a wide array of tasks. Think of it as an open source, and free, version of its Microsoft namesake.

16. Give the gift of your trivia knowledge – Free Rice

freerice-logo_0 Source: Xarxanet

It’s simple really. You go on the site to answer trivia questions – and for each answer you get right, the site donates 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

It has donated over 97 billion grains of rice so far – so there are certainly worse things we can be doing when we’re procrastinating around on the internet.

More 5 reasons we will actually kinda miss the horrors of Internet Explorer>

More 7 amazing things you got for free as a kid>

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About the author:

David Elkin

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