How to

  • Add a new application

    You can add your software on AlternativeTo by clicking the button "Add new application" in the homepage, then you have to fill the fields Platforms, License, Descriptions etc. , click Next to edit the second page with social informations and Finish to submit the application.
    Your app will be verified and approved as soon as possible :)

  • Add alternatives to an existing entry

    In order to add an app as an alternative to other ones just go to the main app page and click on the option "Suggest alternatives" through the gear icon .
    Then just insert the name of the app to add as alternative in the first field and click "Suggest Alternative".
    Your actions will be verified and approved as soon as possible :)

  • Edit an application

    To edit an entry on AlternativeTo just go to its app page and click the option "Edit Informations" through the gear icon .Then you have to fill the fields Platforms, License, Descriptions etc. , click Next to edit the second page with social informations and Finish to submit the changes.
    Your changes will be verified and approved as soon as possible :)

  • Set an application as Discontinued or Dangerous

    In order to set a Discontinued or Warning message to an app just go to the main app page and click on the option "Report a Problem" through the gear icon.
    Then pick a reason why you want to report that app and write your explanation.
    Your report will be verified and approved as soon as possible :)

Submitting Applications

  • Can you add our software to AlternativeTo?

    You can add it yourself! Just sign up for an account, it's super simple.

    When you're registered, you just click the "Add a new application" button in the sidebar. If you want to suggest your application to be added as an alternative to any other then just search for that app and click the "Suggest alternative" button in the sidebar.

  • How long will it take for an app I submitted to be approved?

    Usually it takes between a couple of days and up to a week. We have limited resources but we always try our best to approve apps as fast as possible.

  • I'm the developer or owner of an application you list, how can I update its info?

    Just create an AlternativeTo account and then email us at support@alternativeto.net and tell us what username you're using. Also provide us with info about what application you want to get admin rights for and some kind of proof that you own the application. For example, you can send the email from a domain that is used by the application.

  • What languages are allowed?

    English is the only language used on AlternativeTo at the moment. All applications added to the database must also support the English language. We think it will be really messy for the majority of our users if we allow apps in other languages since it will be very hard to manage.

    We also want to make clear that we are not native English speaking here at AlternativeTo. The founders of the site are from Sweden and most of our admins and contributors are from non-native english speaking countries. We are sorry to shut out apps that might help our users, but at the moment it wouldn't work very well to allow other languages than English.

    We might build features to support other languages in the future.

  • Can I add multiple versions of an application, like a pro and a free version?

    In general the answer is no.

    On AlternativeTo we don't add all the editions of a product separately, we think it's much easier for the user if we only list one entry with the generic name of the product, but you could speak of the editions in the description. If there is a free/lite version that is fully functional for the main purpose of the app, it should be added as "Free With Limited Functionality". If the free version is more like a trial and only usable for a limited time or has some other major limitations, then only the pro version should be added and it should be listed as "Commercial". If there are two versions of the app, and both are commercial but still provide the same basic functionality, we also only want one version of the app listed.

    This also makes it easier to get a good number of "likes". The only exception we can think of is if the difference between the two apps is so big that the pro and free version are an alternative to totally different apps.

  • I want to add an application with the same name as an existing app, how can I do that?

    Our recommendation for now is to add some relevant extra data to the name. One example is the application "Flux" that is an RSS Reader for Windows Phone and a Development IDE for Mac. Adding it as "Flux - RSS Reader" or "Flux - Development IDE" could be a good solution. We do not have exact guidelines for these situations but use your imagination and common sense and it will probably be fine.

  • How do i extract icons from Windows and Mac applications?

    Check out this forum post for Mac: Forum

    And this one for Windows: Forum

  • What are your policies about XXX / Nudity / Porn?

    We usually do not allow porn sites to be listed. Apps that is about sex in other ways but has no hardcore stuff is of course ok.

  • Can I add Hardware to AlternativeTo?

    In general we do not accept hardware. We can however add an hardware device as a platform if it becomes popular.

  • Can I add not released apps / websites / software to the site?

    If the app is in closed beta or just announced we do not accept it. If the app is in open beta or "kind of easy" to get access to we will probably accept it.

  • What's your policy about apps restricted to geographical areas?

    US and Europe are our primary markets; we usually do not accept apps and services only available in single nations or in other geographical areas. We may add market specific filters to allow them in the future, but it would be too much for us right now.

  • Why wasn't my software / app approved?

    It could be many reasons. Either it could be one of the clearly stated rules in this FAQ like nudity, non english apps or something similar. It could also be that we just don't think the app would provide any value to our users. In general we do not approve apps from small websites and local newspapers made with automated tools, companies that provide a custom-made service, personal websites or blogs, magazines, independent radio stations, collections of sounds, ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, video playlists, local and domestic apps.
    We are also declining a lot of apps that are basically the same app but bundled in different ways, like apps to convert various file formats and so on.

    The approval of user submissions is at admins' discretion.

Alternatives

  • Why is not X an alternative to Y when X can do things that Y can?

    Some programs like Outlook, iTunes and Opera have huge feature sets and can do a lot of different things. You could argue that Opera should be an alternative to µTorrent and other torrent application because Opera have a perfectly fine torrent client. The problem is that a lot of people might like Opera but the reason most of them like it is not because of its capabilities to download torrent files. They like it because it is a good web browser that happens to have a torrent client built-in and people who are searching for “alternatives to Opera” is definitely not looking for a new torrent client.

  • Application X is really bad, why is it an alternative to Y?

    Even if you consider an application to be bad, and therefore not a good alternative to another application, it is still an alternative. Other people might disagree with your opinion and as long as the two applications share the same main functionality and focus they are alternatives to each other.

    One of the main ideas with AlternativeTo is to help people find cross-platform alternatives so applications on different platforms can be alternatives to each other. You can filter by platform to avoid listing applications on platforms you're not interested in.

    If an application is discontinued or malicious we have systems to handle that. You can report these applications as not being alternatives and our admins will flag them with a warning or as discontinued. It is still important to list alternatives to a discontinued or malicious application but they should not be listed as alternatives to other applications.

  • What should be an alternative to what?

    An application is an alternative to another application if its main “task” and “focus” is the same. Example: iTunes is an alternative to Windows Media Player because their main task and focus is to consume and organize media. Spotify is not an alternative to iTunes and Windows Media Player because its main focus is to stream music and that’s what it is known for. Even though Spotify have the capabilities to play local files and it’s a music player.

    The main rule is to try to imagine what a person searching for “alternatives to X” really is looking for. If you're searching for an alternative to Notepad then you're probably on the hunt for a simple text editor and not a full-fledged word processing app like Microsoft Word. We are aware that in some cases it can be hard to make the distinction but keeping this in mind really helps a lot.

  • I reported an application as not being an alternative but it's still listed, why?

    Either we haven't had the time to approve the edit yet or we did not agree with you. There are several questions in this FAQ about our policies regarding alternatives. Have a look so you understand our point of view.

  • Why is app X ranked higher than app Y, when X has less likes?

    We want our users to find the best alternatives possible to apps. Therefore we do not only rank apps based on likes since that doesn't say everything. We use a lot of different factors and just as everyone else that tries to rank stuff on the internet we can't be 100% open with exactly how we do it. But in general we can say that the more organic the like is, the better it is. So the best way of attracting likes is just to make a good app and try to tell as many people as possible about it. And it's not a good idea to hire 1000 guys to write bogus reviews and stuff like that (see May I ask people to upvote for my product?: https://alternativeto.net/faq/may-i-ask-people-to-upvote-for-my-product- )

Browse Applications

  • What is "rank" that applications are sorted by?

    Rank is our own algorithm for determining how good an app is. It consists of several different parameters. Number of likes is one of the most important parameters but a lot of other factors also comes into play. Unfortunately, spammers try to take advantage of sites like AlternativeTo so we need to keep most of the algorithm logic to ourselves.

    Please let us know if you think that our ranking doesn't seem to work well somewhere.

  • Why can I only filter by Free / Open Source and Commercial?

    We have chosen to combine all of our various free licenses to one grouped "Free" option that also includes Open Source. We think that most users just doesn't want to pay for an app and therefore this is the most convenient option. We will probably improve this and make it possible to filter by more license types. We do not have a time frame for this change yet though.

  • What is the difference between features and tags?

    There's a subtle difference between them: basically Features describe some options or supports which a program has, Tags are more generic and can detail what a program is.

    For example, a program can have "video-converter" as tag and "Support for HD videos" as feature.

    Anyway our system is quite automatic, so tags that are actually features are automatically converted and the other way around.

  • Why do you still list discontinued apps and apps that has malware etc?

    We usually don't remove these kind of apps.
    AlternativeTo is all about finding alternatives to applications, so if an application is discontinued, obsolete or has malware/spyware then there is a good reason to keep that application in our database and list alternatives to it.
    Moreover we keep apps with Discontinued tag in alternative list if those softwares are still available and working.
    Some apps with Warning tag are still in alternative list because there are disputable behaviors by those softwares and choosing them as alternative is at users' discretion.
    Don't worry: of course we will no longer list dead projects and evident dangerous softwares as alternatives to other apps ;)

User Actions

  • I want to be able to dislike an application, why can i only Like?

    We think it's better to keep it simple and only be able to like. However you do have the option to dislike an app by writing a negative comment or review. We think it's important to motivate a negative vote.

Platforms

  • What is "Custom Platforms"?

    Custom platforms is a way to add any application that is already added to AlternativeTo as a platform to any other app. This makes it possible for example to find Google Chrome alternatives to Firefox Add-Ons and so on.

  • What should i think about when adding a custom platform?

    The main criteria is always that the app you are adding should have a version that is running on the platform you are adding as a Custom Platform. So if you are adding an extension to Google Chrome you should set Google Chrome as a custom platform. If you are adding a jQuery plugin you should add jQuery as a custom platform. Pretty simple.

    The custom platform SHOULD be the platform the app / script / module / add-on / plugin is intended to run on. And it could be everything from jQuery, apache, IIS, Outlook, Firefox, Visual Studio or Eclipse.

  • Should i also add platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, Online and so on when i for example add an Firefox Add-On?

    For now yes. Since custom platforms is a pretty new feature it's good to be able to filter for Windows and also see Firefox add-ons since Firefox exists for Windows and you will be able to use the add-on on Windows.

  • What is the self-hosted platform?

    The Self-Hosted platform is usually used for web apps that you can install and run on your own webserver. It could be alternatives to Dropbox like OwnCloud and similar apps. You should also set the Self-Hosted platform for CMS like Wordpress and other apps that are running on a Web Server.

Licenses

  • What is your general policy about licenses?

    When you add an application you can choose among Open Source, Free with limited functionality (Freemium), Free for personal use, Free and Commercial. When you filter by license on the site we group together all apps that are not commercial into a filter called "Free", you can also filter by "Only Open Source" and "Commercial". We think that this is the best way for the majority of the user since most people only want a free app. Some users think it's important to use Open Source apps so you can also filter only by that.

  • What is the difference between Commercial and "Free with limited functionality" / "Freemium"?

    In general we think that if a free version of the app can perform the main purpose of the app without costing anything we think it's a "Free with limited functionality" app. A good example is Dropbox that works extremely well in the free version but if you want more storage / features you can pay them.

    Apps with time limitations (fully usable for a certain time period only) or usage limitations (usable for a number of times) and so on should be set as Commercial.

Account

  • How do I change my login method?

    On the account page you have a list of the accounts currently associated with your AlternativeTo account. Click the link "Add / Change Login Method" and you will see a page similar to the login page. Now select the login method you want to use and your AlternativeTo account will be associated with that login method as well. This makes it possible to connect multiple accounts to one login on AlternativeTo. At the moment we support Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Github, Microsoft, OpenID and Email/Password.

  • Can you help me to get access to my account?

    The first thing to try is to use the "Forgot Login Method" feature on the login page. You will receive an email with more info about what login method you used when creating your account.

  • How do I reset/change my password for the login?

    You have to fill the "Forgot your login method / password" field with your email address or your username and you will receive an email with your login info and a password reset link too.

  • What are the points that are shown in my profile?

    The points are mostly for fun but it's also a way for us to say thanks and give some credits to active users.
    You get points for contributing to the site in various ways, like posting a comment, add a new app or just like an existing app.

    We have plans to improve this system later with achievements etc.

  • What are the various titles like "User", "Contributor" and so on?

    These are different levels a user can have. If you have submitted a lot of applications or contributed to the site in various ways you will be promoted to "Contributor". Other titles are given manually.

  • I want to change my username, is that possible?

    At the moment it's not possible. The main reason is that we use your nickname for the URL to your user profile. If you have a good reason to change username let us know via e-mail (support@alternativeto.net) and we may help you.

Other

  • Why are you running ads? How can i report bad ads?

    As most site on the internet we are completely depending on ads to be able to get food on the table and pay for hosting, servers and stuff like that. However we do not want to show you ads that in any way are intrusive. If you get a pop-up, pop-under, ads that plays video / audio automatically or something like that, please let us know at hello@alternativeto.net

  • How do i suggest new features or report bugs?

    Use our forums: Forum

  • What should I do if i think an app is using suspicious activity to gain likes / reviews and so on?

    Just let us know in the forum or by e-mail on support@alternativeto.net

  • May I ask people to upvote for my product?

    Feel free to spread the word and bring friends into the discussion :)

    But people should upvote things they genuinely like or find interesting, not because they were peer pressured to do so.

    So remember that incentivizing people to upvote (with discounts, gifts and so on) or, worse, creating fake accounts to like or review your product may trigger the algorithm to drop it in the ranks or remove it from the front page entirely.