Free/Libre Software in daily life

Software products for every need

There are free programs for every use, as well as free complete operating systems to easily replace Microsoft Windows or MacOS, including for low-end computers considered obsolete by proprietary systems. Some programs, such as Firefox and VLC, are well known, but there are many more to be discovered. Since free programs for general use are most of the time gratis, you are able to test them, learn how to use new ones, create, express yourself, and build new skills without restrictions.

Trustworthy software

Because it is not under the control of multinational corporations, Free Software doesn’t aim to control its users. You can therefore install it without fearing parasite programs that spy on us and lock us in. Choosing a free operating system means enjoying virus-free computing, without ads or abusive terms of sale, without extra costs, and without any requirement to create an account with a provider. Since free program focus on whatever their main function is, they are light, efficient, and to the point.

Privacy-protecting software

The PRISM scandal and the French surveillance bill taught us that States exercise massive surveillance. Most of the ISPs exercise a surveillance of their own for commercial purposes, and they have been known to collaborate with the NSA (the US National Security Agency). Free Software enables us to keep our data and communications secure. Free Software is what Edward Snowden used to leak the NSA documents without being spotted. He was trusting them because access to the source code of these programs allows verification.

There are also free programs that can be installed on servers for Internet access: websites, webmails, social networks, self-hosting, etc. Some nonprofits or companies provide these kinds of services, which are run with greater transparency, and follow a policy of not spying on users. This practice is in line with the ethics of Free Software. There is still some way to go in order to reach the same quality of service as with proprietary software, but the point of Free Software is to allow users and developers to collaborate towards building the kind of computing we want, while refusing any compromises that threaten our privacy and freedoms.