Some,amp,#34,Free,Stuff,Still, DIY Some "Free Stuff" Still Survives Online
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Way back in the good old days of the Internet (mid to late'Nineties), you could find all sorts of free "stuff"online. Everything from website hosting and email, to software andlong distance phone calls came free of charge.Some of the free services survived, while others used theirventure capital to pay for the mansions and yachts of theirCEO's and then closed up shop within a few months - leavinginvestors high and dry. A few free services still exist on the 'Net in today's morerealistic dot-com economy and today rates as good time asany to take a closer look.** Free Email **Log on to HotMail.com and get yourself a free email accountyou can access from anywhere on the planet you can find anInternet connection. HotMail.com and http://mail.Yahoo.com (with twice the freestorage space of HotMail) rate as two of the mostsuccessful and long-lived no cost services left over fromthe "free" glory days of a few years ago.** Free File Storage **http://briefcase.Yahoo.com still ranks as the number 1 freeremote file storage service on the Internet. Store up to 30 MB of files remotely for access and sharingfrom any Internet connection anywhere in the world. Instead of lugging floppy disks around between office,home, and laptop, you can store them online in your ownpassword-protected briefcase on the Yahoo high-speedservers. A great way to back up and share files worldwide.** Free Website Hosting **Tripod.com allows you to set up your own website absolutelyfree. They support their service with third party banner ads atthe top of every page you display. A great way to get started, but any serious entrepreneurwill eventually want to get their own low-cost hostingaccount costing as little as $5 a month. DotEasy.com presents an excellent alternative to Tripod.comif you want your own domain name and a year's hosting foronly $25 a year. Other free hosting services include: GeoCities.com,gurlpages.com, and myfamily.com.** Free Software **Freeware and shareware, two ways software developersdistribute their creations, either in a "try before youbuy" mode, or as truly free software. Many developers around the world create software for theirown personal use but, lacking a huge buying market or theskills to sell the software, some of them just give it awayor sell it for a nominal fee after you try it. If you know where to look, you can get everything fromgraphics programs and website builders, to FTP programs andrecipe books. Log on to Download.com and Zdnet.com for two of the mostpopular places online to find software before paying fullretail.NOTE: make sure your anti-virus program is up-to-date andbackup all your important files before installing anysoftware.Free stuff online will never disappear because, whenappropriate, it represents the perfect way to start anddevelop a relationship with customers. Unfortunately, the"boom" days of the truly free online "lunch" seem goneforever. Sigh.