Some of our favorite web services are utterly free (though you might have to cope with an ad or two).

Here are five solutions that we use everyday, from photo editing to PDF creation to text editing. While not as powerful as their pricey counterparts, these freebies are great for the tasks that you rarely do. Faxing, for example. How often do you need to send a fax? Like twice a year?

[kleo_icon icon=”attention” icon_size=””] Heads up! We cannot vouch 100% for the safety of these sites as we don’t administrate them. They’ve been good to us in the past but things change. Check with Norton if you’re unsure.

Free Photo Editor
PicMonkey [kleo_icon icon=”link-ext” icon_size=””]

You can’t get much better than PicMonkey. It has a solid toolset for quick photo edits. You don’t even need to register to get going. Just upload a picture and start messing around.

Free: Easy, no registration, basic edits are solid
Paid: More filters and a stronger toolset

Free PDF Editor
PDFEscape [kleo_icon icon=”link-ext” icon_size=””]

A great way to tweak your PDFs. Our favorite tool: whiteout. It handles PDFs quickly. Doesn’t require a lot of info from you and, once your done editing, you just download your new PDF. It’s incredibly handy.

Free: Quick to upload and edit, great features
Paid: No ads on the pages, online storage

Free Online Fax
FaxZero and HelloFax (Tie) [kleo_icon icon=”link-ext” icon_size=””]

This one is a tie. FaxZero is easier for a quick send but we like the HelloFax interface. Both allow you to send up to 5 pages for free. If you need to send more, FaxZero let’s you purchase a one-off upgrade for 1.99. HelloFax makes you subscribe for a month or more. Both will want you to confirm your email to prevent fax spam (yeah, that’s still a thing).

Free: Good for less than 5 pages
Paid: Longer faxes

Free Writing Tool
Hemingway [kleo_icon icon=”link-ext” icon_size=””]

Brevity is the key to effective communication. Hemingway (the app, like its namesake) is all about succinctness. If you’re sending a newsletter or email, this is a useful tool. Just paste in your text and it will suggest some ways to cut out the fluff.

Free: All you need
Paid: The Mac and iPhone apps are useful.

Free Online Storage
Mega [kleo_icon icon=”link-ext” icon_size=””]

Everyone knows about Dropbox. They give you a puny 2GB of free storage for your online life. Mega gives you 50GB. That may be enough but what we like most about Mega is that everything is encrypted on your system not theirs. It’s a good security model. To boot, their mobile apps are solid too.

Free: 50GB of solid storage
Paid: Huge amounts of storage for less than its US counterparts