Advertising
Advertising

19 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

19 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a powerful raster graphics editor which supports layers, masks and several color models. In addition to the built-in tools and functions, there are plugins available to expand its capabilities. Photoshop is known by most as the industry standard in image editing, and its name has even become a verb in the modern English language.

So, why doesn’t every one use Photoshop? Well, all those features come with a larger pricetag that many casual users are comfortable with. So if you’re looking for image editing software without the price tag, here are 19 free alternatives to Photoshop.

1. GIMP

19 free alternatives to photoshop - gimp

    By The GIMP Development Team (GIMP and GTK+ installers for Windows web site) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

    GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free image editing program available for several operating systems including Windows, OS X and Linux. GIMP is also open source software which means you can access the program and modify it to suit your needs as necessary. This has enabled the generation of many 3rd party plugins which expand the capabilities of this already powerful software. GIMP is probably the most well-known free alternative to Photoshop.

    2. Paint.net

    Lifehack_19 free alternatives to photoshop_paint_net

      Paint.net is a free photo and image editing software for Windows. Paint.net support layers, its undo has unlimited history, and it comes with many special effects and editing tools. With a large user base, it’s easy to find helpful tutorials on their forums or a plugin to help you achieve your desired effect. (Paint.net was also included in this list of 15 powerful free computer programs.)

      3. Gimpshop

      19 free alternatives to photoshop - gimpshop

        By CrazyTerabyte at en.wikipedia [GPL (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons

        Gimpshop is modification of the open source software GIMP. The programmer who created Gimpshop was attempting to make the user interface feel more like that of Photoshop. It’s available for the Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Its impressive features include layers, filters, masks, channels, levels and more. Their site includes a video tutorial library to help you master the effects and tools it offers.

        Advertising

        4. Photofiltre

        19 free alternatives to photoshop - photofiltre

          Photofiltre

          is image editing shareware available for the Windows operating systems. The software offers brushes, masks, filters and more. There are also two premium paid versions which include layer capability, animated GIF formation and vector adjustments.

          5. Pixia

          free alternatives to phtoshop - pixia

            Pixia is a Japanese painting program. The program was translated to English and is available for Windows operating systems. Their site includes tutorials and links to user generated filters.

            6. Seashore

            19 free alternatives to photoshop - seashore

              Seashore

               is an open source image editor available for Mac’s OS X. It’s based on GIMP technology but modified to allow for more user friendly image editing. Seashore includes layers, brushstrokes, and other tools. However, the software is still in development and users are likely to encounter bugs, according to their website.

              7. Cinepaint

              19 free alternatives to photoshop - cinepaint

                Cinepaint

                is raster-based image-retouching software available for linux and Mac operating systems. According to the original about page, Cinepaint has been used by Sony Picture Imageworks (and other studios) in the creation of animated films. This GIMP-based software supports high fidelity image file formats and up to 32 bit color channels.

                Advertising

                8. Inkscape

                free alternatives to photoshop - inkscape

                  By Ramón Retamar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

                  Inkscape is a free, open source, vector graphics program available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Inkscape is full of built in tools and functions with more available through user created add-ons. They boast a large community which can be found on their site forum and on several social media platforms.

                  9. Xara Xtreme

                  free alternatives to photoshop - xara xtreme

                    Xara Xtreme for Linux is a graphics editing program available for Linux. It is an open source, vector drawing program based on Xara Xtreme for Windows. There are tutorials and videos available on their site as well as a group forum.

                    10. Krita

                    free alternatives to photoshop - krita

                      By Tyson Tan (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
                      Krita

                      is an open source, raster based program designed for illustrating, sketching and painting. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Krita has layer support and includes transforming, brush and drawing assistant tools.

                      11. Chocoflop

                      free alternative to photoshop - chocoflop

                        Chocoflop is an image editing program available for Mac. Although development of this software was discontinued it still runs on OS Leopard. The software supports layers, has several filters and tools and allows for non-destructive image editing.

                        Advertising

                        12. Photoplus

                        free alternatives to photoshop - photoplus by serif

                          Photo courtesy of Serif website

                          Photoplus by Serif is an easy and free photo editing software for Windows. It has the basic tools you’d need for cropping and retouching images, removing red-eye and restoring old photographs. The Photoplus starter edition is free. For extra features you can purchase the full program.

                          13. Fotor

                          free alternatives to photoshop - fotor

                            Fotor is free software that provides photo editing, filters, borders and batch processing. You can download the program for Windows or Mac, the app for iOS or Android or just use it online in your browser.

                            14. Pixlr

                            free alternatives to photoshop - pixlr

                              Pixlr is a photo editor which includes effects, borders, overlays, stickers, refining, editing and stylizing tools. (If you prefer to pay for the pro version you’d have access to even more tools). It’s available as a download for Windows or Mac, an app for iOS or Android or for use in your browser.

                              15. Sumopaint

                              free alternative to photoshop - sumopaint

                                Sumopaint

                                 is an impressive photo editor full of tools, filters and capabilities (including layers) that you can use directly in your web browser. If you prefer to have a downloaded copy to work offline you can do that for a small fee.

                                Advertising

                                16. Picmonkey

                                free laternative to photoshop - picmonkey

                                  Picmonkey

                                   is a free online photo editor which has tools, filters, borders, overlays and more. You can use Picmonkey for free or upgrade your account to remove ads and increase the number of filters and tools available. (The majority of images on this tech tips site were generated with the help of Picmonkey).

                                  17. Canva

                                  free alternatives to photoshop - canva

                                    Canva is an online photo editor that includes built in design elements, text overlays, predesigned layouts and more. There are also stock images available (for a fee) to help you kickstart your design. For additional options, including the option to save working images in team folders, you’ll need to pay for the upgrade to Canva for work.

                                    18. Pixenate

                                    free alternatives to photoshop - pixenate

                                      Pixenate is an online photo editor that includes basic picture editing tools and functions like redeye reduction, teeth whitening and brightness adjustments. There are also tools for writing and adding shapes on top of your image.

                                      19. Ribbet

                                      free laternatives to photoshop - ribbet

                                        Ribbet is an online photo editor which gives you the ability to store your photos (and editing history) online. The stored editing history gives you more flexibility in making (and undoing) changes to your pictures. There are filters, overlays and stickers available to add to your picture. Or, create a collage from several of your photos and upload them directly to Facebook or Flickr.

                                        Which is your favorite free alternative to Photoshop?

                                        Featured photo credit: home-office1 / Steve Wilson via flickr.com

                                        More by this author

                                        19 Free Alternatives to Photoshop 19 Free Alternatives to Photoshop

                                        Trending in Technology

                                        1 10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely 2 10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100 3 10 Best Spy Apps for iPhone in 2020 4 How To Choose The Best iPad Screen Protector (With 10 Recommendations) 5 10 Best Headsets for Video Chats and Conference Calls

                                        Read Next

                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising
                                        Advertising

                                        Published on September 25, 2020

                                        10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                        10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

                                        When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

                                        VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

                                        How to Choose a VPN

                                        • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
                                        • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
                                        • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
                                        • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
                                        • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

                                        Why You Should Trust Us

                                        Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

                                        Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

                                        1. NordVPN

                                        The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

                                        Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

                                        NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

                                        In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

                                        NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        Advertising

                                        2. ExpressVPN

                                        ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

                                        Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

                                        Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        3. Surf Shark

                                        With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

                                        Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

                                        The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        4. CyberGhost

                                        Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

                                        The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

                                        Advertising

                                        What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        5. IPVanish

                                        IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

                                        IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        6. Private Internet Access

                                        Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

                                        One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

                                        In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

                                        These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        Advertising

                                        7. Hotspot Shield

                                        Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

                                        Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

                                        Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        8. TunnelBear

                                        As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

                                        The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

                                        Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        9. Norton

                                        Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

                                        As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

                                        Advertising

                                        Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        10. StrongVPN

                                        The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

                                        StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

                                        As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

                                        Buy this VPN.

                                        Bottom Line

                                        Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

                                        With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

                                        We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

                                        Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

                                        Reference

                                        Read Next