HomeTechOur Top 100 Budget Buys: Affordable, Tested Tech That's Actually Worth It

Our Top 100 Budget Buys: Affordable, Tested Tech That’s Actually Worth It

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Custom art for PCMag's 100 top budget products


(Credit: Bob Al-Greene)

Staring at the grocery-store shelf these days, prices rise seemingly before your eyes. Your utility bills, too, tick upward every month. Times are tough, and the money crunch is real. Hidden bargains have more appeal than ever…but you have to know where to look for them.

Let us help with personal tech. Some of our favorite products and services—out of the more than 1,500 that we review every year—are completely free. Others do far more than you’d expect for their bargain-basement prices. We’re not talking about bandwidth-limited VPNs, or $50 printers that require many times that in yearly ink costs (though we review those, too). We perk up when we find products that deliver both performance and value. Elegance and affordability. Features and frugality.

Below, check out the most outstanding values of the moment across categories we test: from hardware to software, home entertainment to health, big PCs to slim smartphones. Keep this list of the latest bargains on your radar in these tough economic times. Good tech doesn’t always have to be hard on your budget. (If you’ve had an especially good year so far, though, be sure to also check out the absolute best products we’ve tested, regardless of cost.)

 

Cheap Laptops

Acer Aspire 3 (A315-24P) Image

Best Cheap General-Use Laptop

If you’re looking for a top budget laptop, consider the Acer Aspire 3 (A315-24P), a lower-power machine that can still handle basic web browsing and light office tasks with surprisingly little difficulty. It has a plain design, but its battery runs for ages, thanks in part to an efficient processor. Your priority in the entry-level segment should be to find a laptop that does what it says on the tin, and this Acer model does exactly that.

MSRP $399.00

Microsoft Surface Go 3 Image

Best Cheap Tablet Detachable

Although it runs Windows 11 with an optional keyboard, Microsoft’s Surface Go 3 competes more directly with Chromebooks and Apple’s iPad than traditional laptops. A compelling starting price, paired with top-notch styling and build quality, make this the best inexpensive Windows 2-in-1 tablet you can buy. It’s not exactly a major leap over its predecessor, but Microsoft’s rivals haven’t been able to consistently provide worthy competitors.

Base Configuration Price $399.99

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34

Best Cheap Chromebook

Asus Chromebook Plus CX34

Asus is among the laptop-making leaders partnering with Google on its “Chromebook Plus” initiative (which aims to deliver better Chromebooks for under $500), and its Chromebook Plus CX34 brings more performance, longer battery life, and even better features than ever to budget ChromeOS models. The snazzy CX34 represents a standout value in this category, making it an easy recommendation and worthy of our Editors’ Choice award. If this is the new direction Chromebooks are heading, we are all for it.

MSRP $399.00

Acer Nitro V 15 (ANV15-51-59MT)

Best Cheap Gaming Laptop

Acer Nitro V 15 (ANV15-51-59MT)

The Nitro V 15 won’t top any speed charts, but it’s a fine value in a budget gaming laptop. A GeForce RTX 4050 GPU and Intel 13th Gen Core i5 processor deliver steady 1080p gaming performance, enabling a beyond-60-frame-per-second (fps) experience in many titles. The 1080p screen features a 144Hz refresh rate, meeting the minimum expectation for a gaming machine in 2024. Under-$1,000 gaming laptops are increasingly rare, and areas that are often major pitfalls in budget builds—the screen and the chassis build quality—pass muster here. Plus, many other laptops in its price range compromise on specs (most notably, the GPU). For the price, we applaud the Nitro V 15 on most fronts.

Starts at $699.99

Cheap Phones & Tablets

Nokia 2780 Flip Image

Best Cheap Voice Phone

The affordable Nokia 2780 Flip isn’t perfect, but it handles calls without issue and satisfies the itch if you prefer phones with a clamshell design. In addition to 4G data, it offers Wi-Fi, basic apps, and an FM radio. The only downside of this cheap phone? Battery life could be a little better.

MSRP $89.99

OnePlus Nord N30 5G Image

Best Cheap Android Phone

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G offers a lot more than you might expect for $300. It charges at up to 50 watts, performs admirably (thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip), supports C-band 5G spectrum on all US carriers, and has an impressive 108-megapixel rear camera. We also like its fast 120Hz display, and that it comes with both a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

MSRP $299.00

Apple iPhone SE (2022) Image

Best Cheap iPhone

Apple’s 2022 iPhone SE keeps the crowd-pleasing small design and Touch ID fingerprint sensor of the previous model. It also now has 5G, which gives it better reception than its predecessors, especially as T-Mobile and Verizon expand their 5G networks. Of course, if you can find a 2020 model of the SE around, you can get similar app performance for even less money.

MSRP $429.00

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022 Release) Image

Best Cheap Android Tablet

Amazon Fire HD 8 (2022 Release)

This simple 8-inch slate isn’t a powerhouse, by any means, but it offers easy access to gobs of media at a price that most competing 8-inch tablets can’t match. A clear step up from Amazon’s extremely entry-level Fire 7, it’s an appealing option for Amazon Prime subscribers, first-time tablet buyers, or anyone seeking a robust spare slate to carry on adventures.

MSRP $99.99

Apple iPad (9th Generation, 2021) Image

Best Cheap iPad

Apple iPad (9th Generation, 2021)

The base-model iPad, starting at $329, is all the tablet most people need. Its A13 Bionic processor runs the latest iPad OS apps speedily, and its wide-angle front-facing camera is perfect for Zoom calls. It even works with the first-generation Apple Pencil.

MSRP $479.00

Cheap Desktops, PC Components, & Upgrades

HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-2060 Image

Best Cheap Tower-Style Desktop

HP Pavilion Desktop TP01-2060

When shopping for an especially affordable full-size desktop PC, you’ll always have to compromise, but this HP Pavilion Desktop gives you plenty for your dollar. Crucially, its eight-core AMD Ryzen CPU delivers more-than-capable performance, and it runs quietly. You’ll also find room to add storage over the years, and the chassis is loaded with useful front-facing ports. Some useful nice-to-have features are missing—like multiple HDMI ports and Wi-Fi 6—and you’ll have to sift through bloatware, but this desktop aces the core essentials.

Starts at $549.00

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i Image

Best Cheap All-in-One Desktop

Affordable all-in-one (AIO) desktops continue to be a shrinking portion of the PC market, and really good ones are hard to find. In our recent tests, we found the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i to be one of the sleekest-looking budget AIOs of recent memory. For the money, the IdeaCentre delivers in the screen department, backed up by decent speakers for an all-around enjoyable multimedia experience in the low-cost category. With reliable day-to-day productivity performance in our test model, the IdeaCentre AIO 3i gets enough right to top this small class.

Base Configuration Price $529.00

AMD Ryzen 5 5600G Box 1

Best Cheap CPU

AMD’s Ryzen 5000-series CPUs have been around for a while and are often steeply discounted, which maintains them as solid budget options. You can find the Ryzen 5 5600, in particular, for around half of its introduction price, which puts it right around $130 to $140 and solidly below all of AMD’s latest Ryzen 7000-series processors. We don’t recommend the Ryzen 5 5600G based only on the price; it also delivers solid CPU performance and capable integrated graphics powerful enough to run most games with the settings turned down (and possibly dropping the resolution to 720p). Titles a few years old might even run at 1080p, or with higher settings, but results vary game to game.

MSRP $259.99

Montech Air 903 Max

Best Cheap PC Case

Montech is a relative newcomer to the PC DIY market, but its spiffy Air 903 Max ATX tower case offers amazing value. For $79 in its white trim (or $75, if you opt for it in black), you get four installed fans (three of which have RGB illumination!), a fan/RGB control hub pre-installed in the chassis, side-panel glass, and more up-front ports than you get with most cases twice as expensive. Less cash spent on a great PC case equals more for the rest of your components!

MSRP $79.00

ASRock B760 Pro RS Image

Best Cheap Motherboard

Like with most other components, motherboard prices have trickled upward in recent years. But budget options with solid features still do exist. ASRock’s B760 Pro RS is the best budget Intel motherboard that we’ve reviewed recently. Based on Intel’s B760 chipset, this board features support for Intel 12th Gen “Alder Lake” and 13th Gen “Raptor Lake” processors, as well as DDR5 memory. Plus, it has a solid feature set for just $179.99 MSRP, and it retails for lower than that during frequent sales.

You don’t give up too much for that price, either. The B760 Pro RS can’t overclock, lacks 20Gbps USB support, and doesn’t have a Wi-Fi controller (the last, nothing that a cheap USB Wi-Fi adapter can’t fix if you need it). It’ll get you in on the ground floor of Intel’s latest desktop chips, with their dual Performance and Efficient core designs, for a fine price, and you won’t feel under-served.

MSRP $179.99

Addlink AddGame A93: Top

Best Cheap Internal SSD

The relatively affordable Addlink AddGame A93 PCI Express 4.0 internal SSD tallied above-average scores in our benchmark tests and comes in capacities of up to 4TB. Its lack of DRAM could affect its performance in sustained large-file transfers, but that won’t be a problem for many users. The A93 also meets Sony’s requirements for use with the PlayStation 5 thanks in part to a compact heatsink that fits the M.2 expansion slot of the console.

Starts at $65.44

Asrock Intel Arc A580 Challenger 8GB OC diagonal

Best Cheap Graphics Card

ASRock Intel Arc A580 Challenger 8GB OC

Intel’s Arc A580 is rare thing in today’s graphics-card market: a purpose-built budget card that still offers reasonable gaming performance. Shipping with 8GB of GDDR6 RAM, it’s well-suited for 1080p play. We tested an ASRock version (the Challenger 8GB OC), and it handily ran most of our test games at playable frame rates at max settings and 1080p. The card also has a modern feature set, with built-in ray-tracing hardware for running cutting-edge games. This card’s performance varies more than average from one game to the next, due to Intel’s graphics drivers, and it’s definitely not the fastest graphics card money can buy. But you’ll also have a hard time finding a card with this much performance for less than its $169 asking price.

MSRP $179.99

Cheap PC Peripherals & Networking Gear

Philips 221V8LN: Hero

Best Cheap Productivity Monitor

As a basic desktop monitor for home-office or personal use, the Philips 221V8LN has a lot to recommend it, assuming the screen size suffices. Its 22-inch panel has a native resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, and its near-full coverage (98.9%) of the sRGB color space makes it a good choice for light photo editing and movie watching. Note the limited adjustability (just tilt) and input mix (HDMI and VGA only), but the latter should cover most recent and legacy PCs. This vertical alignment (VA) panel’s 75Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync compatibility puts it in good stead for casual gaming, too. But what really cements its place in this guide is its MSRP of $69, coupled with a generous four-year warranty.

MSRP $69.99

Crucial X9 Pro: Top

Best Cheap External SSD

The Crucial X9 Pro is an excellent all-around external SSD with no significant shortcomings. It is lightweight and compact, available in capacities up to 4TB, and produced good scores on all our benchmarks. The X9 Pro provides 256-bit AES hardware-based encryption and some basic ruggedization features, and is backed by a five-year warranty. Reasonable even at its list price, it is often available at a substantial discount, especially at its higher capacities.

MSRP $129.99

Brother MFC-J4335DW Image

Best Cheap Inkjet Printer (for Offices)

The $159.99 Brother MFC-J4335DW offers paper handling suitable for a micro/home office or personal use and stands out for its speed and low cost per page (0.9 cent for monochrome pages, 4.7 cents for color ones). As a four-function all-in-one or multifunction printer, the MFC-J4335DW prints, copies, scans, and faxes. It offers a 150-sheet input tray, plus a single-sheet bypass feeder, and it has a 20-sheet ADF for copying or scanning multipage documents. It can connect to your computer via USB, Wi-Fi, or Wi-Fi Direct, and it prints from iOS and Android mobile devices using the Brother mobile app. (See more cheap printers.)

MSRP $159.99

Epson Expression Home XP-5200 All-in-One Printer Image

Best Cheap Inkjet Printer (for Homes)

Epson Expression Home XP-5200 All-in-One Printer

This low-cost all-in-one inkjet model is suitable for both homes and home offices, so long as your emphasis is on the printing side of things, not scanning or copying multipage documents. (It has a flatbed scan surface, but no automatic document feeder.) You get impressive output quality for just a bit over $100, and the printer itself is compact for what it is. We’d opt for this model over some closely matched, similarly priced competitors if your print jobs tend to include some photos in the mix.

MSRP $129.99

Canon imageClass MF264dw II Image

Best Cheap Laser Printer

Canon imageClass MF264dw II

Canon’s $230 imageClass MF264dw II mono laser printer offers fast print speeds, clean page quality, and roomy paper handling, making it an all-in-one workhorse option for small and home offices. Text quality is merely a half-step down from top-tier competitors, with characters showing crisp edges and all of the business-friendly fonts we test appearing legible. The MF264dw II is missing the ability to scan in duplex, but if you don’t need this feature, it could be the ideal budget choice.

MSRP $229.00

Kodak Step Instant Mobile Photo Printer Image

Best Cheap Snapshot Printer

Kodak Step Instant Mobile Photo Printer

Kodak’s line of snapshot printers is a solid-value budget photo-printing option, and the Step Instant Mobile Photo Printer cranks out quick, high-quality snapshots using Zero Ink (Zink) paper, which uses crystals embedded in the surface to generate the image. Zink printers can’t match the image quality of dye-sublimation models, but this Kodak is a small-format pocket photo printer that’s easy to like primarily because of its extraordinary value, at just $70. Or, you can opt for a $120 starter bundle that includes a 20-pack of paper, a carrying case, a small photo album, markers, thousands of stickers for a host of occasions, and even an improvised clothesline for drying your creations. An optional battery lets you print on the go, too—it’s rated for up to 25 prints on a charge.

MSRP $69.99

Anycubic Kobra 2 Image

Best Cheap 3D Printer

The Anycubic Kobra 2 is an easy-to-assemble, open-frame 3D printer geared toward beginners. It supports a variety of filament types, is relatively fast, and has solid print quality. Leveling its build plate might require some tweaking, and it was a bit noisy in our testing, but the Kobra 2’s affordable price makes it hard to pass up.

MSRP $279.00

The Epson Perfection V39 II on a desktop

Best Cheap Photo Scanner

The Epson Perfection V39 II is an excellent budget flatbed photo scanner with robust software that makes it especially suitable for creative types and hobbyists. A high-resolution 4,800dpi scan engine, top-notch OCR accuracy, and streamlined task processes help it outclass the competition.

MSRP $119.99

Vankyo Performance V700W Image

Best Cheap Home Projector

Vankyo’s Performance V700W is a 1080p projector that’s designed for home entertainment. It delivers surprisingly robust audio and high brightness for its price class, plus good input lag for casual gaming. Plus, its use of a single LCD and a white-LED light source guarantees an image that’s free of rainbow artifacts, which will be a big deal for those users who are prone to seeing them. (Not everyone is.)

MSRP $299.99

Kodak Luma 75 Portable Pocket Projector Image

Best Cheap Portable Projector

Kodak Luma 75 Portable Pocket Projector

The Kodak Luma 75, at around $180, is a tiny, finely crafted yet minimalist take-anywhere portable projector. Weighing just 5 ounces and measuring 0.8 by 3 by 3 inches, it easily slips into a coat pocket. Its native resolution is 640 by 480 pixels, though it can display 1080p input without introducing scaling artifacts. A built-in battery lets you project for 90 minutes between charges. This easily focused projector handles photo and video content well and can mirror PowerPoint presentations; its 1-watt speaker is adequate for a small room. Its rated 30 lumens of brightness limits your image size, but for such a tiny device it does a more than credible job.

MSRP $189.99

Keychron C1 Image

Best Cheap Keyboard

Affordable mechanical keyboards are a rare breed. Even rarer are ones as good as the Keychron C1. With 87 keys across its compact frame, the Keychron C1 packs everything you’d expect from a wired mechanical keyboard at a fraction of the cost. Its retro aesthetic will add a pop of color to any office setup, and it offers support for both Windows and Mac layouts. Equipped with your choice of Gateron Blue, Red, or Brown switches, the C1 provides satisfactory feedback for gaming and office use. However you use it, you can rest easy knowing that the Keychron C1 stands tall among its peers in the bargain bin and earns our recommendation.

MSRP $49.00

Best Cheap Mouse

Just because it’s a gaming mouse, it doesn’t need to look like one. In fact, this five-button wired mouse has more in common with a general-purpose productivity mouse than a superlight esports clicker. That doesn’t mean it’s not ready for battle, though. While its DPI ceiling is lower than expected, it still sports a comfortable grip and a lightweight body, which is essential for first-person shooters and other action games. And for $30, this mouse is easy on the wallet. Whether you’re getting some work done or settling in for a few rounds of online combat, the Cherry MC 2.1 is an affordable, dependable tool.

MSRP $29.99

TP-Link Archer AX10 (AX1500) Wi-Fi 6 Router Image

Best Cheap Wi-Fi Router

TP-Link Archer AX10 (AX1500) Wi-Fi 6 Router

The TP-Link Archer AX10 is proof that you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to upgrade your network with Wi-Fi 6 technology. This reasonably priced dual-band router delivered solid throughput on the 5GHz band and good signal range in our performance tests. Though it lacks features typically found on more expensive models, including link aggregation and USB connectivity, you’d be hard pressed to find these features on any sub-$100 router. If you want to take advantage of the faster connection speeds, decreased latency, and more efficient client battery life that you get with Wi-Fi 6, but need to keep costs down, it’s an excellent choice.

MSRP $79.99

Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi System Image

Best Cheap Wi-Fi Mesh System

Yes, it’s possible to cover your entire home in a blanket of Wi-Fi for a little more or less than $100. We know this because the Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi system can do it. (The price depends on the discounts of the moment.) This ensemble isn’t the fastest mesh system on the market, but it significantly undercuts any other three-piece mesh network we’ve tested on price. The Vilo kit is sure to eliminate any dead spots a midsize house could have, and it’s an unbeatable value as long as you’re not looking to stream 4K video or download huge amounts of data. (See more budget routers and mesh systems.)

MSRP $59.99

QNAP TS-233 Image

Best Cheap NAS Drive

The TS-233 packs some nice features into its stylish white enclosure, including two hot-swappable drive bays, a quad-core CPU, and a pair of USB ports for connecting external drives. It’s easy to manage using the Windows-like QTS operating system, and it offers one-touch backups. Installation was easy, and the NAS turned in very respectable file-transfer scores in our testing. Moreover, it offers a nice selection of QNAP-branded and third-party apps that turn the TS-233 into a multifunction server. Overall, it’s an affordable two-bay NAS designed for budget-conscious home users who’d rather store data in their own personal cloud than pay for a subscription-based cloud service.

MSRP $199.00

Cheap Cameras & Gear

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

Best Cheap Mirrorless Camera

You’re not going to find any ultra-affordable cameras these days, at least none worth buying—if that’s the type of camera you want, you’re better off with a smartphone. Swappable lens models are going strong, though, and there’s still value to be had in shopping for an older, but still available option, like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7. Its 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor supports 4K video recording, is compatible with a wide array of lenses, and offers speedy 8fps burst capture. True, you miss out on some modern creature comforts—the sensor isn’t stabilized—but it’s hard to turn up your nose at the G7’s current price of around $700 with a starter lens.

MSRP $799.99

Front

Best Cheap Full-Frame Camera

With smartphone cameras as good as they are, there’s little reason for budding photographers to grab a compact. If you want to get started with a full-frame model, the same type of sensor format the pros use, we recommend starting with the Canon EOS RP. It’s the best way for beginners and price-sensitive shoppers to get started with a full-frame sensor, either for $999 as a body only or $1,299 with the RF 24-105mm STM kit lens. Additional lenses start at $199.99 if you want to expand your kit.

MSRP $1,299.00

DJI Mini 2 SE Image

Best Cheap Drone

The DJI Mini 2 SE is a good drone for beginner pilots thanks to its ease of use, registration-free 249g takeoff weight, and stabilized 2.7K video camera. Safety features include an integrated GPS, an automated return-to-home function, and a geofence to keep you out of trouble. For photography, the lens snaps 12MP photos in DNG or JPG format. At $339 with a remote control, it’s DJI’s most affordable camera drone.

MSRP $339.00

Sennheiser MKE 200 Image

Best Cheap Vlogging Mic

For less than $100, the Sennheiser MKE 200 mic seriously enhances your camera’s audio quality. It’s a worthwhile upgrade for everything from vlogs to home movies and easily attaches to your camera’s shoe accessory mount. Just make sure your camera has a 3.5mm mic input before purchasing it.

MSRP $99.95

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Image

Best Cheap Instant Camera

Instant cameras are always a hit at parties, and a breath of fresh air from the smartphone photos that dominate our social feeds. The $80 Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 is the latest in a long-running series that prints glossy, high-quality instant photos on either color ($7.50 for a 10-shot pack) or black-and-white ($8.25 for a 10-shot pack) Instax film. It couldn’t be easier to use—there’s just one button and a nifty twisting lens collar for mode selection.

MSRP $79.95

GoPro Hero10 Black Image

Best Cheap Action Cam

Among other welcome upgrades, the Hero10 Black offers more resolution and faster frame rates than the Hero9, while supporting all of the same add-on accessories. Its slim design and wide lens make it a favorite for both POV action shots and live streaming, and you can even use it as a webcam.

MSRP $349.99

Cheap Smart Home Devices

Best Cheap Smart Speaker

The Echo Pop is Amazon’s sub-$50 smart speaker. It’s half the size and $10 less than the Echo Dot, and it can serve as an Eero mesh Wi-Fi node. The Dot sounds a bit better and has a few extra tricks, but the Pop is one of the most economical ways to add Alexa to any room in the house.

MSRP $39.99

Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen, 2023 Release) Image

Best Cheap Smart Display

Amazon Echo Show 5 (3rd Gen, 2023 Release)

The third iteration of the Echo Show 5 continues to be the best smart display available for less than $100. It’s loaded with useful features like Amazon Alexa support and a 5-inch touch screen, and it sounds good for the size. It’s ideal for nightstands and bookshelves.

MSRP $89.99

Wyze Bulb Color Image

Best Cheap Smart Light Bulb

The Wyze Bulb Color is a refreshingly affordable smart light bulb you can control with your phone and voice. At $39.99 for a four-pack, it’s a small investment that delivers a big impact, with the ability to display 16 million colors. It also supports device-triggered automations, schedules, sleep routines, and more.

Starts at $20.99

iRobot Roomba 694 Image

Best Cheap Robot Vacuum

The iRobot Roomba 694 is an excellent value at under $300. It can detect and focus on heavily soiled areas, while Wi-Fi connectivity enables app control, scheduling, and voice commands. The robot missed a few spots and ran a bit loud in testing, but it rarely got stuck and has good battery life.

MSRP $274.99

Wyze Plug Image

Best Cheap Smart Plug

At $15 for a pack of two, the Wyze Plug is easily the most affordable smart plug we’ve tested, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on features. With this little device, you can turn anything that plugs into a wall outlet into a connected gadget you can control from your phone. It has a built-in Wi-Fi radio, supports Alexa and Google voice commands, and works with other Wyze products and loads of third-party smart devices using the IFTTT protocol.

MSRP $14.99

Eufy Indoor Cam E220

Best Cheap Smart Home Security Camera

The Eufy E220 Indoor Cam packs the kinds of features you usually find on more expensive cameras. It delivers outstanding 2K video, detects motion and sound, has smooth remote pan and tilt controls, and even tracks motion. It also offers local and cloud storage, supports Apple’s HomeKit platform, and works with Alexa, Google, and Siri voice commands. The indoor camera is easy to install and performed perfectly in testing.

MSRP $51.99

Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell Image

Best Cheap Video Doorbell

Toucan Wireless Video Doorbell

If you’re in the market for a smart wireless doorbell, this Toucan model is an excellent value. It runs on a rechargeable battery, installs in minutes, and comes with a wireless remote chime that you can place anywhere in your home. Additionally, the camera delivers sharp 1080p video, works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, and offers free cloud storage for video recordings.

MSRP $119.99

Cheap TVs & Media Streamers

Hisense 65-Inch U6 Series ULED TV (65U6K) Image

Best Cheap TV

Hisense 65-Inch U6 Series ULED TV (65U6K)

You might be able to find something cheaper than the Hisense U6K ULED TV, but it won’t have picture quality nearly as good. This model offers fantastic color range and accuracy for its price, as well as better contrast than its excellent predecessor. Other highlights include a Google TV interface, Google Cast and Apple AirPlay support, and a far-field microphone array for hands-free control via Google Assistant.

MSRP $799.99

Chromecast With Google TV Image

Best Cheap Media Streamer

Chromecast With Google TV

The Chromecast With Google TV offers an excellent 4K experience with a remote, an easy-to-use menu system, and all of the benefits of Google TV in a tiny $49.99 package. It easily rivals the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, with a sleek interface and loads of functionality. It’s our top pick among affordable media streamers.

MSRP $49.99

Roku Streambar Pro Image

Best Cheap Soundbar

You shouldn’t expect a ton of power or a dozen audio channels from a cheap soundbar, but the Roku Streambar Pro proves you can still get quality sound and a great set of features for less than $200. Better yet, it doubles as a 4K media streamer, supports Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth, lets you search for content with your voice, and allows for private listening via the headphone jack in the remote. For deeper bass and wider sound, you can pair the soundbar with the similarly affordable Roku Wireless Speakers and the Roku Wireless Subwoofer.

MSRP $179.99

Cheap Health & Fitness Gear

Wyze Scale X

Best Cheap Smart Scale

The Wyze Scale X measures 13 body composition and health metrics, including your body fat percentage, body mass index (BMI), metabolic age, protein level, and weight, and tracking them is easy via its intuitive app. The scale’s useful extras include modes to weigh babies, pets, and luggage, as well as a safe mode for pregnant women and those with implanted medical devices. The Scale X supports Bluetooth app syncing for up to eight users, and it connects with popular third-party apps such as Apple Health, Fitbit, and Google Fit. It lacks a few niceties you’ll find on more expensive models (Wi-Fi connectivity, subcutaneous fat measurements), but the Scale X nails the basics for much less money than most of the competition.

MSRP $33.99

Fitbit Inspire 3 Image

Best Cheap Fitness Tracker

With long battery life, a color touch screen, and all the basic activity and sleep features you need, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is the best fitness tracker you can get for less than $100. The tracker’s simple interface and well-designed companion app make it easy to monitor key fitness and health metrics, including your activity, blood oxygen saturation, breathing rate, sleep, heart rate, and more. Its Exercise app supports up to six activity shortcuts on the device at a time, and you can customize the list via the Fitbit app.

MSRP $99.95

Peloton Guide Image

Best Cheap Fitness Machine

Smart fitness machines can easily run you $1,000 or more. The Peloton Guide, by contrast, is a relatively affordable camera that connects to your TV and lets you see yourself on the screen, alongside the instructor, so you can check your form in real time. The Guide uses computer vision to track your strength training movements, gives you credit for staying active throughout each set, and gamifies the experience by awarding achievement badges based on your performance. It also keeps track of your workouts and offers personalized class recommendations to help you hit all of your major muscle groups each week.

MSRP $295.00

Cheap Headphones & Audio

Anker Soundcore Space One

Best Cheap Headphones

Anker Soundcore Space One

If you seek quality sound and decent active noise cancellation for under $100, the Anker Soundcore Space One headphones are a worthy choice. They come with a cable for wired listening, support the LDAC codec for hi-res streaming from compatible devices, and pair with a full-featured companion app that has customizable EQ. The button layout isn’t ideal, but the ear pads feel comfortable, and 40 hours of playback time with ANC is impressive.

MSRP $99.99

JLab JBuds Mini

Best Cheap True Wireless Earphones

Just because the JLab JBuds Mini are tiny doesn’t mean they don’t offer a full set of capabilities. They sound punchy, include a highly effective transparency mode, work well for calls, and support a companion app with adjustable EQ. Best of all, they come in under $40 and are durable enough for workouts thanks to their IP55 rating.

MSRP $39.99

Earfun K2 Kids Bluetooth Headphones side profile

Best Cheap Headphones for Kids

The understated and comfortable EarFun K2 Kids headphones push out impressive bass for the price and support the AAC codec for quality Bluetooth streams. They also ship with a fabric-lined 3.5mm audio cable for passive listening and should last up to an impressive 40 hours of wireless operation per charge. As for volume limiting, you can restrict the headphones to an output of either 85dB or 94dB.

MSRP $24.99

Anker Soundcore Motion 300 front view

Best Cheap Speaker

Anker Soundcore Motion 300

Anker’s Soundcore Motion 300 speaker gets impressively loud for its size, is fully waterproof, and even includes a speakerphone. As for audio quality, it supports the hi-res-capable LDAC codec and works with an adjustable EQ via its companion app. And even though the drivers already pump out stereo sound, you can pair a second unit for a better sense of separation.

MSRP $79.00

Cheap Gaming Gear & Games

Nintendo Switch Lite-01

Best Cheap Console

Years after its introduction, the Nintendo Switch remains an amazing game system that features excellent exclusives and a massive library of classic and indie games. The Switch Lite is the handheld-only version of the system that removes the dockable option and cuts the price by a third, to just $199.99. It’s an ideal device for playing games on the go, or even just kicking back on the couch.

MSRP $199.99

Corsair K55 RGB Pro Image

Best Cheap Gaming Keyboard

Graphics cards, fast monitors, $70 AAA games: PC gaming can get plenty expensive, and premium gaming keyboards can hit your wallet hard, too. But Corsair’s K55 RGB Pro can keep gamers competitive and their checkbooks in the black. With dedicated macro buttons, a detachable wrist rest, and RGB lighting, the K55 RGB Pro certainly looks the gamer part. It’s not a mechanical board, but it does offer comfortable-enough key action for typing, game mashing, or just surfing the web. Its plastic body signals its budget roots, but it’s a reliable gaming keyboard for just about any situation.

MSRP $59.99

Steelseries Rival 3 gaming mouse

Best Cheap Gaming Mouse

Introduced in 2020, the SteelSeries Rival 3 is a little older than some of the choices on this list, but that speaks to the enduring value of this bargain clicker. At just $29.99, this is a no-frills mouse with a quality sensor that delivers fast movements at a respectable DPI. The three-part RGB rim adds some flair to the mouse’s subtle curves, while the low weight and solid build quality ensure long gaming sessions without issues. It favors a claw grip over a palm grip, but its value proposition might just be enough to sway noobs and hard-core gamers alike.

MSRP $29.99

HP Omen 32q

Best Cheap Gaming Monitor

The Omen 32q lacks some features you might look for in a gaming monitor—RGB bias lighting, HDMI 2.1 ports, built-in speakers—but what this big 32-inch display does keep is far more important. In our tests, its crisp 1440p panel exhibited super-low input lag, a key parameter for serious gamers. With a list price of $399 (which has already dipped as low as $309, as of this writing), the Omen 32q pairs well with midrange and budget PC builds, and it will also appeal to console gamers who prefer performance over 4K visuals.

MSRP $399.99

Wyze Gaming Headset Image

Best Cheap Gaming Headset

If you want a quality wireless gaming headset without spending too much money, Wyze’s latest offering is the way to go. Naturally, it comes with a few trade-offs to meet its budget price: The audio highs aren’t particularly crisp; its mic isn’t exceptionally clean; and its ear cups are a touch wiggly. However, its strong bass, comfy fit, and surprisingly good general sound make it the ultra-budget Bluetooth gaming headset to get.

MSRP $59.99

Razer Enki X Image

Best Cheap Gaming Chair

Now, cheap is relative here. We’ve seen cheaper chairs than the $299.99 Razer Enki X, but none built well enough for us to recommend. The Enki X feels like a premium gaming chair, with an attractive design and good materials such as diamond-quilted faux leather. The chair is as comfortable as more expensive seats, and its back reclines—a nice touch. On the negative side, it sacrifices a full-chair tilt mechanism to hit its wallet-friendly price. But it’s still a commendable value.

MSRP $299.99

Gunbrella for PC

Best Cheap Action Game

There are many Metroidvania games in the indie game scene, but Gunbrella’s compelling revenge tale, challenging platforming, and genre twists help it stand out from the pack. In the game, you control a man toting a gunbrella, a gun-umbrella hybrid weapon that lets you mow down foes or gracefully float your way through stages. (See our roundup of favorite PC games.)

MSRP $13.99

Cassette Beasts Image

Best Cheap Action RPG Game

Cassette Beasts is an awesome indie homage to Pokémon that builds on some of the best aspects of Nintendo’s monster-catching juggernaut. In it, you explore a pixelated open-world island at your leisure, taking on quests and battling rivals with in-depth combat mechanics. You use your mystical tape recorder to transform into monsters and use their powers to take down opponents.

MSRP $19.99

Thunder Ray

Best Cheap Sports Game

Thunder Ray updates the classic Punch-Out!! formula. In this intergalactic boxing tournament, you slug your way through towering alien challengers, each with bizarre abilities. Winning requires studying their attack patterns and fighting back with the correct timing. There aren’t many challengers, but they’re brought to life through such gorgeous illustrated visuals and animations that you’ll want to replay them again and again.

MSRP $14.99

En Garde

Best Cheap Beat-‘Em-Up Game

En Garde is a 3D beat ‘em up that trades vulgar urban fisticuffs for elegant European swordplay. This $20 PC romp takes you across vibrant 17th-century Spanish locales as you slice your way to victory with precise and satisfying rapier attacks. En Garde is short, but full of personality. Randomized bonus modes put your slashing skills to the test after the credits roll.

MSRP $19.99

Best Cheap Adventure Game

Pentiment is a Renaissance-style whodunit set within the beautiful confines of an illuminated manuscript. The $19.99 game forgoes conventional action in favor of an engaging narrative, branching dialogue options, and character relationships. Centering on the life of Andreas Maler, an artisan living in the town of Tassing at the start of the game, you investigate a murder, gather evidence, and make long-reaching decisions. Over three acts and 25 years, it highlights the consequences of your actions and how time and perspective alter the meaning of truth.

MSRP $19.99

Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs Review

Best Cheap VR Game

Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs

For more than a decade, the Angry Birds games dominated mobile gaming with their simple, addictive physics-based puzzles. That same entertaining gameplay translates shockingly well when you add another dimension. Angry Bird VR: Isle of Pigs isn’t a new game; in fact, it’s an update to the PS4 release from a few years ago. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth exploring on new hardware. Featuring improved controls, graphics, and more than 100 brain teasers (plus user-created content), Isle of Pigs is a VR game packed with value.

MSRP $19.99

Cheap Antivirus & Security

K7 Total Security Image

Best Cheap Entry-Level Security Suite

When you graduate to a full security suite, you get much more than basic antivirus protection. In addition to the firewall, vulnerability scan, and other bonus features found in K7 Antivirus, K7 Total Security adds spam filtering, parental control, system tuneup, ransomware protection, and more. Listing for $27 per year, it costs considerably less than most competitors. Its features don’t all perform on par with the best, but if its strengths match your needs, it can be a good choice.

Per Year, Starts at $27.00

Best Cheap Antivirus

At $60 per year, Sophos Home Premium doesn’t sound like a cheap antivirus solution—until you realize that that subscription lets you install and manage protection on up to 10 PCs or Macs. That brings the price per device down to $6, undercutting even K7 Antivirus Premium‘s discounted price. Only one of the testing labs we follow includes Sophos in its regular reports, but that lab awards it AAA certification. And the program earned an excellent score in our own hands-on malware protection test. Best of all, you can manage your installations remotely, even from your smartphone. No more driving across town to sort out an aging relative’s antivirus woes.

Per Year, Starts at $59.99

Bitdefender Internet Security

Best Cheap Security Suite for Many Licenses

Bitdefender Internet Security

Bitdefender Internet Security has many of the same protections you get from Bitdefender’s excellent antivirus software, plus firewall protection, spam filtering, parental control, and more. This entry-level suite includes so many protective components that it rivals the top-tier mega-suites of some competitors. It is a PCMag Editors’ Choice winner for the best entry-level security suite. A 10-license subscription goes for $94.99.

Per Year, Starts at $59.99

Data443 Ransomware Recovery Manager Image

Best Cheap Ransomware Protection

Data443 Ransomware Recovery Manager

A movie director who doesn’t like how a scene is playing out can yell “Cut!” and roll back to the beginning. Likewise, if Data443 Ransomware Recovery Manager detects ransomware activity, it can roll back your system to before the attack. Every time you reboot, it restores your PC to a previous malware-free state, wiping out any changes except your own documents, pictures, and so on. The tool can’t claw back any data that malware has already exfiltrated from your system—it only reverts your PC, not the outside world. In testing, it detected and disabled all our real-world ransomware samples, though its file recovery wasn’t always perfect.

Per Year, Starts at $8.99

Cheap VPNs & Streaming Services

Best Cheap VPN for Flexible Pricing

With a VPN, your ISP can’t see what you’re up to online, and it’s harder to track your movements across the web. IVPN is one of two VPNs we know that use a special account system that builds in privacy while doing away with cumbersome passwords. If you want to use it truly anonymously, you can pay for it in cash by sending your dollars to IVPN’s headquarters. 

It also has incredibly flexible pricing: Standard plans start at $2 per week and top out at $140 every three years, with numerous levels in between. The IVPN Pro tier, which adds port-forwarding and multi-hop connections, is more expensive but still very affordable, starting at $4 weekly and going up to $220 for three years.

Per Month, Starts at $6.00

Mullvad VPN Image

Best Cheap VPN for Privacy Hawks

All VPNs do essentially the same thing: They encrypt your web traffic so your ISP can’t see what you’re up to, and they make it harder for snoops to track you as you move around the web. Mullvad is no different. It uses a privacy-protecting account system and accepts cash deliveries if you don’t want to use an online payment method. Mullvad also takes a strong stance on privacy and transparency. This VPN service stands apart with its flat, cheap pricing: Five euros ($5.48) per month gets you access to all the service’s features, including multi-hop connections. It’s close to half the price of what most competitors charge while offering most, if not all, of the same functionality.

Per Month, Starts at $5.46

Peacock

Best Cheap Video Streaming Service

With Peacock, you can watch a Bel Air reboot featuring a sinister Carlton reimagining that must be seen to be believed. Or you can just rewatch The Office. NBC’s video streaming service ditched its previously excellent free tier, but now has one of the best low-cost tiers we’ve tested. The $4.99-per-month Premium plan lets you watch many entertaining, ad-supported TV shows and movies. Upgrading to the $9.99-per-month Premium Plus tier kicks the ads to the curb.

Per Month, Starts at $5.99

Cheap Content Creation Software & Services

VSDC Video Editor Logo

Best Cheap Video Editing Software

At just about $20, the inexpensive VSDC is a great low-cost option for enthusiast-level video editing. It includes some fairly advanced video editing tools, although it’s well behind more expensive options when it comes to interface and usability. Plan to spend some time learning how to use this video editor because it has a nonstandard workflow.

MSRP $19.99

Adobe Photoshop Express

Best Cheap Photo Editing Software

Adobe has made significant strides at transforming its professional-grade digital art tools into something more affordable for hobbyists. For example, if you can’t afford everything Photoshop has to offer, you can always try Photoshop Express. It’s free to a point, and the paid version costs just $4.99 per month or $34.99 per year.

MSRP Free

Cockos Reaper

Best Cheap Audio Editing Software

Digital audio workstations (DAWs), which let you record, edit, mix, and master music, tend to cost hundreds of dollars. And although Apple’s GarageBand is free, it works only on Macs, and it lacks a proper mixing board (among other things). Enter Cockos Reaper, a full-blown, cross-platform DAW with multichannel recording, mixing, music notation, scoring for video, plenty of customization options, and other facilities normally associated with software that costs much more than its paltry $60. For that price, Reaper offers nearly all of the features and flexibility, if not the ease of use or visual appeal, of powerhouse digital audio workstations like Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro X.

MSRP $60.00

Serif Affinity Designer Image

Best Cheap Graphic Design Software

The $54.99 Affinity Designer from Serif costs just a little more than you’d pay for a single month’s use of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite. Sure, it’s not the industry standard that Illustrator is, but it’s a full-featured vector image editor with a familiar-feeling interface that’s snappy to use. You do lose some pattern-making ability, and you don’t get perfect compatibility with non-Serif software document formats. But for basic and intermediate use, you’ll find a tremendous amount of value here among graphic design packages.

MSRP $69.99

Fade In Image

Best Cheap Screenwriting Software

If you write movie and TV scripts, you need a writing app that can help you appropriately format your work. The screenwriter’s fave Final Draft is the one you’ll hear mentioned most often, but Fade In’s $79.95 is a lot more palatable than that app’s $249 (even if Final Draft is often discounted to around $200). Despite its bargain price, Fade In is a competitive screenwriting package that helps scriptwriters work efficiently and in an organized fashion. It helps you keep track of all the details of your scripts, such as locations, character names, and scene numbers. Fade In is available for macOS, Windows, and Linux, and you can use the same license to install the software on as many personal desktops as you own. Once you pay for the software, you get free upgrades to any new versions. And you can add the mobile apps for just $4.99.

MSRP $79.95

IDrive's logo; the word IDrive with the 'e' drawn in a padlock

Best Cheap Cloud Storage

IDrive is one of the fastest and most full-featured online backup players around. It’s also among the cheapest. Clear interfaces in the IDrive apps for all major platforms let you store, sync, and share cloud files easily. You also get a significantly higher storage quota than any major competitor, with plans starting at 5TB for under $80 per year (and that’s frequently discounted). IDrive also offers full disk-cloning software and remote web-based backup management.

Per Year, Starts at $2.95

AccuWeb Logo

Best Cheap Web Hosting

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get high-quality web hosting. AccuWeb Hosting offers thriftier clients a fantastic selection of low-cost hosting options, particularly its shared and WordPress plans. The longer you commit to a plan (12, 24, or 36 months), the cheaper the rate. You can even select plans for the Linux or Windows operating systems, which is a great option depending on your project.

MSRP $3.36

So Cheap, It’s Free! (Games)

Brawlhalla Image

Best Free Fighting Game

Brawlhalla proves that Super Smash Bros. doesn’t have a monopoly on fun and frantic platformer fighters. You choose from a cast of colorful characters and try to smack them off the stage using your fists or wacky weapons—as they do the same to you. As a free-to-play game, Brawlhalla tempts you to spend real money to quickly unlock everything, but it costs nothing to start throwing some hands, unlike Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

League of Legends (for PC)

Best Free MOBA

The free League of Legends combines role-playing stat progression, tower defense, and real-time strategy to produce one of the most revered games in the genre. Every playable champion is rich and varied, and new ones get added regularly to shake up the meta. To top it off, the League’s competitive ranking system is perfectly designed to fire up your tier-climbing addiction.

MSRP Free

Lost Ark Image

Best Free MMO

Featuring fantastic combat, great visuals, and expansive endgame content, Lost Ark will fuel your loot-grinding obsession for months to come. The game launched in other regions in 2019, so the Western release comes with years’ worth of polish, content updates, and balance adjustments. The game uses a top-down, Diablo-esque camera perspective that’s different from other MMO titles, but once you get used to the look, there’s no shortage of brawl-heavy gameplay. And it’s free, unlike the $9.99 Black Desert Online.

MSRP Free

Marvel Snap Image

Best Free Card Battle

A free mobile multiplayer card game based on Marvel superheroes sounds like something most serious gamers can safely ignore. However, the designers behind Hearthstone turned Marvel Snap into a deckbuilding masterpiece thanks to sublime strategy mechanics. Once you annihilate your opponent with Hulk or ruin their day with Hobgoblin, you’ll be ready to dive into another matchup. You can battle for free and unlock cards at a steady clip, too. Of course, you can turbocharge the experience by purchasing a battle pass that lets you quickly receive cards and bonus goodies.

MSRP Free

Honkai Star Rail

Best Free Action RPG

Honkai: Star Rail is a love letter to anime, space westerns, and turn-based RPGs. As the Trailblazer, you must track and seal the dangerous, planet-corrupting artifacts called Stellaron that have cropped up across the universe. Take up arms in snappy battles that feature rich elemental synergies and turn-skipping super attacks. Story scenarios are a fantastic mix of comedy, spectacle, and melodrama, and it only gets more expansive as new chapters are added. Honkai: Star Rail is free to play, but it features gacha elements for character recruitment.

So Cheap, It’s Free! (Software & Services)

Best Free VPN

Not only is Proton VPN among our top picks for best cheap VPN for everyone, it’s also the best free VPN you’ll find. Flexible pricing and low overall cost make it a great choice for cash-strapped shoppers. Proton VPN also boasts a great set of privacy tools, including multi-hop connections and access to Tor via VPN. Its free subscription tier is really impressive: While you can only access 75 servers across three countries and connect just one device at a time, unlike most free VPNs, Proton VPN places no limit on how much data you can use. That alone is worth the price of admission (which is zero).

Price as Tested $11.49

Avast One Essential

Best Free Antivirus

For many years, Avast has been a mainstay of free antivirus protection. With Avast One Essential, you get Avast’s powerful antivirus protection along with some elements of the Avast One security suite. All of the testing labs we follow test Avast, and it regularly posts perfect or near-perfect scores. This free tool extends protection to macOS, Android, and iOS devices, though not at the same level as its Windows protection. It earns excellent scores in our own hands-on tests, and its features include ransomware protection, a simple firewall, and a bandwidth-limited VPN. 

MSRP Free

PreVeil Image

Best Free Email Encryption

Sending a message using traditional email is about as private as sending a postcard or thumb-tacking it to a community bulletin board. Even when your email travels over HTTPS channels, it’s still exposed to the email provider. With PreVeil, you get full-scale, business-grade email encryption at a cost of exactly zero. You don’t have to spin up a new email address, and the service integrates automatically with Apple Mail, Gmail, and Outlook. Forgot your all-important encryption password? A unique and sophisticated key recovery system lets you get it back with a little help from your friends.

MSRP Free

logo

Best Free Password Manager

Bitwarden is an open-source password manager with a generous free tier and inexpensive premium plans. Under the free personal plan, you can store an unlimited number of passwords and sync them across all your devices. Bitwarden offers native apps for Windows (including a Microsoft Store app), macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Bitwarden’s browser extension supports Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari, as well as the less common Vivaldi, Brave, and Tor browsers. The free version also lets you enable multi-factor authentication via an authenticator app.

Per Month, Starts at Free

Audacity logo

Best Free Audio Editing Software

It’s hard to beat free, and if you’re looking to start a podcast or record music, or just need a tool to assemble and convert some audio samples, Audacity is your program. Now owned by Muse Group, this venerable software started life as an open-source, two-channel stereo editor, but it has grown and expanded to include multitrack recording, many effects, and spectral and spectrogram views for sample-level editing. Despite unlimited undos and redos and a new clip editor, Audacity is destructive at heart, with no support for VSTs or other real-time plug-ins. But if you’re careful with your edits, Audacity will get you where you need to go with no money down—or ever, in fact.

MSRP Free

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) Image

Best Free Photo Editing Software

GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

When you need Photoshop but you don’t have Photoshop, you turn to GIMP. GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is the longtime open-source photo editing alternative to Adobe Photoshop. It’s not nearly as slick or powerful as Photoshop, but it’s free. GIMP includes many of the same tools, features, and functionality as Photoshop, like layers, plug-ins, painting, text, filters, selection, and masking. It’s often slow and a little clunky, but if you need Photoshop and can’t afford it, use GIMP.

MSRP Free

Khan Academy Image

Best Free Online Learning Site

Where can you go to learn the basics of something from school you’ve since forgotten? For most academic subjects, the best place is Khan Academy. Khan Academy is a free online learning service with course material covering math, science, art history, and other subjects. The lessons contain videos, readings, and interactive components, which are sequenced so you can start from square one with any subject and slowly build your knowledge. The site focuses on kindergarten through early college courses, making it an ideal help source for students. Given what it offers and the fact that it’s entirely free to use, Khan Academy is the best learning site for academic subjects. If you want to pursue more university-level courses or develop your professional skills, Coursera is another excellent resource.

MSRP Free

Duolingo Image

Best Free Language Learning Software

Duolingo is one of the best apps for learning a language, and it just happens to be free. You’re unlikely to become fluent using only Duolingo, but it’s an excellent way to learn the ins and outs of a language that’s new to you or to improve your grasp of a language you’ve studied before through practice and exposure. Because it offers close to 40 languages, there’s a good chance it includes the one you want to learn. It’s appropriate for adults and children alike, with mobile apps and a web app that works more like a short video game than what you might expect of a language app.

MSRP Free

Todoist Image

Best Free To-Do List App

Considering that to-do list apps are a dime a dozen, it’s downright shocking that so few of them are truly helpful, well designed, and affordable. Todoist, however, is all that. Whether you use the wonderful free version or pay to upgrade to an inexpensive Premium account, Todoist is clearly the best to-do list app on the market. It works on all your devices, tracks your productivity, and lets you geek out on organizing and analyzing your life. If you need an app to organize your tasks, either by yourself or in collaboration with others, you need Todoist.

Per Month, Starts at Free

Tinder logo

Best Free Dating App

A dating app like Tinder, which prioritizes fast hook-ups over drawn-out relationship analysis, needs to have as many users as possible. That’s why it costs you nothing to sign up and instantly start swiping to let people know whether you find them hot or not. If you want to pay money for perks such as profile boosts and Super Likes, you can do that, too. Still, free Tinder promises plenty of potential romantic rewards, unlike eHarmony’s no-cost tier.

Per Month, Starts at $19.99

Wix logo

Best Free Website Builder

Wix is an excellent website builder—and unlike many of its competitors such as Gator or Squarespace, you can use it for free. You won’t get a custom domain, and you’ll need to be okay with ads appearing on your site, but in return you’ll enjoy powerful tools for building fantastic desktop and mobile sites. Besides, there’s nothing stopping you from upgrading later on.

Per Month, Starts at $16.00

YouTube Music

Best Free Streaming Music

An extension of Google’s entertainment arm and an offshoot of the enormous YouTube platform, YouTube Music lets you enjoy its many ad-supported offerings without spending a dime (though you can upgrade to a premium account to ditch the ads). YouTube Music’s community uploads, music videos, podcasts, scrolling lyrics, and recently added Samples (a music discovery tool) all make for an excellent package. It lacks hi-res audio, but YouTube Music is hard to beat for recommendation-based listening.

MSRP $10.99

Tubi Image

Best Free Streaming Video

Tubi doesn’t offer a limited free tier that simply acts as a teaser for a premium video streaming plan. Instead, it serves up its entire library of major studio releases—for free! Sure, it has ads, and certain movies and TV shows may come and go without warning. Still, Tubi proves you can enjoy great streaming video content without paying for a subscription.

Zoom One review

Best Free Video Conferencing App

Zoom has remained relevant by pivoting from a simple video meeting app to a more comprehensive business communication tool. Now known as Zoom One, the service features an AI-powered assistant and new collaboration tools that you can use outside of meetings. Its robust free tier still offers 40-minute meetings, basic whiteboard features, team chat, and a 100-person attendee capacity, too.

Per User, Per Year, Starts at $199.00



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