25 Best Open-Source Alternatives For Expensive Applications (Updated 2023)

Why we are still fond of expensive applications like Microsoft Windows, Adobe, Autodesk etc. when there are a lot of open-source alternatives to replace them. Yes, there are a lot of free options in front of you, from operating systems to other tools to replace your expensive software.

One of the main reasons most of us choose top paid software to do our day to day chores only because of their brand names. And a majority of us still don’t know the open-source world, where you get tools for free with similar functionality or maybe with more features than the expensive ones.

So what is open-source software? :

” Open source software (OSS) refers to software that is developed, tested, or improved through public collaboration and distributed with the idea that the must be shared with others, ensuring an open future collaboration.”

Or simple we can absolutely free full version software or freely downloadable software.

Why you should choose open-source alternatives?

There are a lot of reasons or we can say benefits to choosing open-source tools as replacements for costly software.

  1. Open-source programs give you complete freedom without any shady terms and conditions.
  2. Open-source software code is readily available for anyone who wants it, so anyone can use it, share it, modify it for their own needs, and study it.
  3. No spying eyes. Top paid operating systems and tools track their users.
  4. In some cases, open-source tools offer features or performance benefits that surpass their commercial counterparts.
  5. Finally, cost-effective — no hidden charges, completely free.

Here in this article, we are going to list some best open source software alternatives for expensive applications. Install them and find out how they can outperform your existing paid software. Most of the open-source software (leave the first one, it’s an operating system) listed here comes with cross-platform support, which means you can install it and run it on multiple platforms such as — Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Best open-source alternatives for expensive applications:

Start here — Use Linux distro instead of Windows:

If you are planning to download a pirated copy of Windows, then stop. Why you are compromising your security since there are thousands of free operating systems available in the open-source world.

Linux distro — a better alternative for Microsoft Windows when it comes to privacy and security. Check out some of our articles to choose the best Linux distros that suit you.

1. Audacity

Category: Audio Editor

Audacity is a free open-source digital audio editor and recording computer software application. Key features include recording audio from multiple sources, and post-processing of all types of audio, including podcasts by adding effects such as normalization, trimming, and fading in and out.

Best open-source alternative to: Apple LogicPro ($199.99), FL Studio Producer Edition ($199)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

2. Amarok

Category: Audio/Music Tools

There is much open-source software for music playback and Amarok is one of them which combines music discovery features with an attractive, easy-to-use audio player. Key features include integration with multiple Web audio services, dynamic playlists, bookmarks, scripting, context view and more.

Best open-source alternative to: iTunes

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux


Category: CAD

BRL-CAD is a powerful open-source cross-platform solid modelling system that includes interactive geometry editing, high-performance ray-tracing for rendering and geometric analysis, a system performance analysis benchmark suite, geometry libraries for application developers, and more than 30 years of active development.

Replaces: AutoCAD ($4,195 and up)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

4. Gimp

Category: Graphics/Drawing

Gimp makes it easy to edit photos and other images—just like you would with Photoshop. Suitable for professionals, it includes features like layers, gradients, photo enhancement, color manipulation, digital retouching, and much more.

Best open-source alternative to: Photoshop ($19.99 per user per month)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

5. Inkscape

Category: Graphics/Drawing

A vector drawing program, Inkscape offers professional-quality features (markers, clones, alpha blending, etc.) for graphic designers. The site now also features an open clip art gallery that you can use in your drawings.

Best open-source alternative to: Illustrator ($19.99 per user per month), CorelDraw($429)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

6. Dia

Category: Graphics/Drawing

Dia creates diagrams—for flowcharts, org charts, and more. It doesn’t have as many options for artwork and styles of boxes as Visio, but it’s good enough for most casual users.

Best open-source alternative to: Visio Professional($589.99)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

7. OpenOffice

Category: Office Productivity

Apache OpenOffice includes Writer (word processing), Calc (spreadsheets), Impress (presentations), Draw (graphics), Math (mathematic equations) and Base (database). It can open, edit and export to Microsoft file formats, and it features a very intuitive interface.

Best open-source alternative to: Microsoft Office ($71.88 per user per year and up)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

8. LibreOffice

Category: Office Productivity

Forked from OpenOffice, LibreOffice offers the same types of software as its predecessor with some additional features and extensions. There’s a helpful chart on its website that compares it with Microsoft Office.

Best open-source alternative to: Microsoft Office ($71.88 per user per year and up)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

9. PDFCreator

Category: PDF Tools

PDFCreator creates a PDF file from any application that can print. It also includes the digital signature and encryption capabilities, but it lacks some of Acrobat’s form creating capabilities.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe Acrobat ($381.65)

Supported OS: Windows

10. Blender

Category: 3D Graphics Tools

3D animation software can be prohibitively expensive for amateurs and home users, but Blender is completely free and has been used to create full-length animated films. It boasts photorealistic rendering, fast modelling, realistic materials, fast rigging, sculpting, an animation toolset, full compositor and more.

Best open-source alternative to: AutoDesk Maya ($3,675)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

11. Cinelerra

Category: Video Editing Tools

Cinelerra — This video editor describes itself as “useful and fast” but acknowledges that it doesn’t have quite as many features as modern professional tools. There’s a community-based fork with very similar functionality and community support at Cinelerra.org.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe Premiere Pro ($19.99 per user per month), Avid Media Composer

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

12. Avidemux

Category: Video Editing Tools

Avidemux can handle many simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks, but isn’t as full-featured as some other video editors. It does have some automation, scripting and batch processing capabilities.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe Premiere Pro ($19.99 per user per month), Avid Media Composer

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

13. Bluefish

Category: Web Site Creation Tools

While it’s not quite as user-friendly as its commercial competitors or the other open-source options listed here, Bluefish offers a very fast WYSIWYG HTML editor that doesn’t use a lot of system resources. Aimed at coders more than designers, it also includes support for a number of other programming languages.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe Dreamweaver ($19.99 per user per month)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

14. KeePass

Category: Security Tools

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords securely. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

Best open-source alternative to: RoboForm, LastPass

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

15. ClamWin

Category: Antivirus

ClamWin Free Antivirus is used by more than 600,000 users worldwide on a daily basis. It comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge. It features high detection rates for viruses and spyware; Scanning Scheduler; Automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database; Standalone virus scanner and right-click menu integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer; Addin to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments automatically.

Best open-source alternative to: Kaspersky Anti-Virus, McAfee AntiVirus Plus

Supported OS: Windows

16. 7-zip

Category: Compression Tools

While WinZip offers a fancier interface and more menu options, 7-zip lets you create 7z files with a higher compression rate, which means it creates smaller files. 7-zip also reads and writes WinZip files, as well as a number of other popular compression formats.

Best open-source alternative to: WinZip

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

17. Psiphon

Psiphon is an Open Source VPN project for Windows and Android. For me it’s excellent, and surely I will prefer it over other free VPN services. Psiphon is a circumvention tool from Psiphon Inc. that utilizes VPN, SSH and HTTP Proxy technology to provide you with uncensored access to Internet content.

Best open-source alternative to: Popular paid VPN clients.

Supported OS: Windows and Android

18. Natron

Category: Compositing Software/Video Editing

Natron is a free and open-source node-based cross-platform compositing software. It offers robust and efficient tools for compositors to get their job done fast with high-quality results.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe After Effects ($1,330), Avid Media Illusion ($24,800)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

19. Clonezilla

Category: Backup/Restore Tool

When it comes to data backup and restoration, Clonezilla is the best open-source solution for you. It allows you to backup and recovers your system should it be taken out by a virus or a hard drive crash.

Best open-source alternative to: Symantec Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image

Supported OS: Windows and Linux

20. FreeCAD

Category: CAD

Like BRL-CAD, FreeCAD is a computer-aided drawing software that targets product design and mechanical engineering. Its main focus is dynamic simulation and analysis.

Best open-source alternative to: AutoCAD ($4,195 and up)

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

21. HandBrake

Category: Video Converter

HandBrake is the perfect tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs. One of the remarkable features of this tool is the conversion of video files to minimize file size without losing the picture quality.

Best open-source alternative to: Nero Recode 2

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

22. Quanta Plus

Category: Web Development Tools

Quanta Plus guarantees a quick and effortless web development environment for developers. Main features include a multi-document interface, WYSIWYG editing and templates.

Best open-source alternative to: Adobe Dreamweaver ($19.99 per user per month)

Supported OS: OS X and Linux

23. NixNote

Category: Utility

NixNote is a free, open-source program designed to help you take notes and stay organized. It also lets us save photos, sound files and documents. It is one of the best open-source alternatives for Evernote.

Best open-source alternative to: Evernote, Microsoft OneNote

Supported OS: Windows and Linux

24. Octave

Category: Educational Tool

Octave is the best open-source educational tool used for numerical computation in an interactive environment. The tool features powerful mathematics-oriented syntax with built-in plotting and visualization tools and also Octave syntax is largely compatible with Matlab.

Best open-source alternative to: MathWorks MATLAB

Supported OS: Windows, OS X and Linux

25. BleachBit

Category: Clean up Tools

BleachBit guards your privacy and frees disk space. It cleans the cache, clears internet history, deletes cookies and logs, shreds temporary files and gets rid of the junk that you don’t know is there.

Best open-source alternative to: CCleaner

Supported OS: Windows and Linux

So, that’s all for now! Try these open-source alternatives instead of costly ones and comment your opinion regarding their features, performance etc. And also let us know other better open-source alternatives for the expensive application which we forget to mention here.

Sabarinath is the tech-savvy founder and Editor-in-Chief of TechLog360. With years of experience in the tech industry and a computer science background, he's an authority on the latest tech news, business insights, and app reviews. Trusted for his expertise and hands-on tips for Android and iOS users, Sabarinath leads TechLog360 with a commitment to accuracy and helpfulness. When not immersed in the digital world, he's exploring new gadgets or sharing knowledge with fellow tech enthusiasts.


  1. Mixed two items there, Blender and the video editor. Also, Blender replaces more than Maya, 3D Max as well

    Most stuff in this list is cool, but only a few are comparable to their closed source counterparts. It’s a shame, but funded, commercial projects have a better shot of working right now. (take Libre Calc, for instance: lacks a number of features that excel has, and has way worse usability)

  2. I guess, you forgot OnlyOffice in the Office Productivity category. Recently they’ve opened the source code of the desktop office suite, and now it’s absolutely free. Has some pros and cons in comparison with LO, but modern UI is definitely a big advantage

  3. Qanta is no longer in development, it has been partially merged with KDevelop, though I don’t think it has the WYSIWYG portion?


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