9 Best Open Source Software in 2021

It is actually difficult to name the best open source software, as different programs are aimed at solving different problems. Anyway, there is a common idea behind such software, which is the possibility to alter the source code without addressing the developer of the program. Thus, you can “customize” the software without paying money for this.

Top 9 Open Source Software

  1. VLC Media Player - Open source media player
  2. GIMP - Powerful photo and image editing tool
  3. Audacity - Recording computer software
  4. BRL-CAD - Solid 3D modeling system
  5. KeePass - Handy password generator
  6. OpenOffice - Office productivity software
  7. Thunderbird - For open source email management
  8. FileZilla - FTP client
  9. Brave - Private open source browser

Nowadays, you can find open source software used in various, fields from networking to web design, etc., but this article is devoted to the programs with open source code that you can download and use on your computer and laptop.

We concentrated on those programs that can easily replace more expensive default applications. You can download them to your computer and ensure how helpful they are. Almost all programs presented here (except the first one, which is an operating system), can be installed on different platforms – Windows, Mac, and Linux.

1. VLC Media Player - Our Choice

Open source media player
  • Runs well on old hardware
  • Highly customizable
  • User interface is straightforward
  • Expandable via plugins
  • You cannot use tags

Verdict: VLC media player is one of the best open source free video players. VLC media player is a cross between a digital audio recorder and an electronic music synthesizer. If you want to make your videos look as good as possible, you should consider getting VLC media player.

VLC media player offers features similar to professional grade video and audio editors and you can use it to edit any type of video and music.

vlc media player interface

2. GIMP

Powerful photo and image editing tool
  • Fully customizable interface
  • Compatibility with other softwares
  • Manage color efficiently
  • Limited options for 3D designs

Verdict: GIMP is currently the best open source photo editor when it comes to image manipulation and management. But the thing is that not all GIMP users have the same goals. Some want to make fast photo editing, others want to share pictures from their favorite vacation, others want to enhance their videos and still others want to do all of these things in a way that will be most efficient and least expensive. All of those things are possible with GIMP.

If you have thousands of photos that need to be edited or a video that needs to be converted from its analog format to a digital format, then you will have to choose GIMP.

gimp interface

3. Audacity

Recording computer software
  • Free
  • Supports multitrack processing
  • Community support
  • Aggregates multiple tracks
  • Destructive editing only

Verdict: Audacity is one of the best open source music software and podcast recording software available on the internet today. With all the great features this software offers, you will be able to turn any simple recording into a professional sounding recording in no time.

The interface of Audacity is very straight forward and does not require any technical knowledge to operate. The software allows you to easily move from one track to another and you can drag and drop items from one area of the program to another.

audacity open source software interface

4. BRL-CAD

Solid 3D modeling system
  • Cross-platform
  • Ray-tracing for rendering
  • Geometry libraries for developers
  • No documentation available

Verdict: BRLS-CAD is a leading provider of professional, custom and semi-professional design software. This software offers versatile tools and models of different sizes which make it easy for the customer to get the job done.

This is because the software comes in different models that are suitable for different types of architectural projects and this has made it easier for clients to get the software for the project rather than hiring designers from outside the company who may not have the knowledge and experience that is needed to complete the project.

brl-cad open source software interface

5. KeePass

Handy password generator
  • Simple format
  • Completely free of charge
  • Portable
  • Complies with GDPR
  • Dated user interface

Verdict: KeePass is one of the best open source programs for managing password across multiple computers. It is used by corporations for storing client information and by hackers for gaining access to computers that have password protected files.

So, if you want to keep your sensitive information safe, you should definitely download the free version of this open source application and learn how to use it. Then, you can start using it to protect your sensitive information whether at work or at home.

keepass open source software interface

6. OpenOffice

Office productivity software
  • Supported on multiple operating systems
  • With styles and formatting
  • Multiple monitors support
  • Overall outlook is not much attractive

Verdict: The best choice for many businesses is the combination of desktop publishing software with OpenOffice suite. Since Open Office is a free software, it is much easier to stay current on new features and security vulnerabilities than the software developed by commercial companies.

openoffice open source software interface

7. Thunderbird

For open source email management
  • All your messages in one inbox
  • Fast and simple email archive
  • Connects calendar events
  • Old model user interface

Verdict: Thunderbird is a web browser based on the Mozilla codebase. Mozilla Thunderbird is using to browse the internet and view multiple documents across the internet without downloading any software onto your computer. Thunderbird itself also includes a mail client that supports POP3 and IMAP.

This means that you are able to connect to your email wherever you happen to be, either at work or at home. Many people use Thunderbird as their primary web browser, because it's easy to learn and use.

thunderbird open source software interface

8. FileZilla

FTP client
  • Remote file editing
  • Drag and drop
  • Resumes dropped connections
  • Edit in place
  • Looks slightly dated

Verdict: If you are a person who has never used the FileZilla FTP software before, you might be wondering what exactly it can do for you. One of the many things that this FTP software can do for you is that it allows you to create multiple accounts on the public network so that you have more freedom when you use the internet.

You do not have to be locked into one specific computer that you work with because you can create multiple accounts on the FileZilla public network. You will also find that with FileZilla that you can use the Click and Send function so that you can send your files directly from your computer to the person that you need it to go to.

filezilla open source software interface

9. Brave

Private open source browser
  • Great start screen
  • Sync with phone app
  • Frequent customization
  • Pleasing UI
  • Some extensions are not compatible

Verdict: Brave is an innovative web browser that shows user's the way to a safer internet experience. Brave stands out from other browsers in that it does not support pop-up ads which are intrusive, and that it does not track or collect personal information about users.

This makes browsing safe and secure as there will be no need for advertisers to be able to get a hold of your private information and use it for their own ads or purposes. Brave also offers protection from malware attacks that have a tendency to compromise many systems including the ones that run crucial software.

brave open source software interface
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