If you run an online business and are interested in free or cheap ways to help you operate your virtual business have a look at our top 5
Keepass – Free
We all know how many usernames and passwords we have to keep track of nowadays. It can be a nightmare to remember them all. Keepass is a little program that is free and open source.
It stores and protects all of your passwords with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and the Twofish algorithm to encrypt its password databases. Both of these ciphers are regarded as being very secure and AES is apparently used by the U.S. Federal Governments National Security Agency (NSA) for protecting top-secret information.
Carbonite – Cheap
Don’t risk losing your data, especially if you use a laptop. What if your hard drive fails, your laptop gets dropped etc. Can you retrieve your data easily? Carbonite is an easy backup solution that backups to the cloud using encryption to protect your data. The program runs in the background and is very easy to use. You just set it and forget it. It is also only about £42 per year for unlimited backup. This is an insurance policy worth having.
Dropbox – Free Option
Dropbox is great if you work on multiple machines or in multiple locations. Transferring work onto a data stick and having multiple versions in several places can get very confusing. Dropbox solves this by creating a folder that backs up to the cloud into your account. You can then install Dropbox on your other machine(s) and it will automatically synchronise all of your Dropbox folders. Anything you add or update in your dropbox folder gets added or updated in your online dropbox and then gets updated on your other machines. What’s more, it happens automatically. It’s easy and has a free account that gives 2GB of storage.
OpenOffice – Free
Don’t fancy spending on Microsoft Office? No problem, Open Office is an open-source version that offers a great alternative. While it is not identical to Office it does all of the same things, albeit slightly different to use. It offers all of the usual stuff such as spreadsheets, word processing, presentations etc. and it exports/saves in all major formats.
GIMP – Free
Gimp is an open-source free graphics editor. It is a little on the advanced side if you have only ever used Microsoft Paint, however, if you are interested in getting into creating your own web graphics this would be the software to master. It is free and is said to be as good as many of the high-end graphics packages such as Photoshop. Not only that, there are loads of tutorials for it on YouTube.
With this small collection of tools you have your data and passwords all safe and secure, you have nailed multi-location working and have all the documentation and graphics software you will ever need. Check them out and feel free to leave comments or links to tools you rate highly.
2 thoughts on “Top 5 free tools for online business owners”
Thanks! As always some really useful tools and whats more simply explained as to what they do. For us technophobes – its much appreciated!
Thanks for this information. I already use Dropbox and really rate it, but I don’t have Office on my laptop, so will give Open office a go, as well as GIMP for graphics stuff. Really good descriptions and simple explanations, as always. Great!