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Ideally, this would help when you are looking for a new app and want to check out all the possible solutions, and also when you are looking to switch from your current app.

Many of the questions on this site ask for 'alternatives to x' so hopefully this question can provide some information to help out these users.

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10 Answers 10

AlternativeTo

AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives, based on user recommendations.

http://alternativeto.net/desktop/dropbox/

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Google & Google suggest.

If you're looking for an alternative to Application X, just Google the phrases:
"Application X vs" and "vs Application X"

e.g. Dropbox.
Googling "Dropbox vs" and "vs dropbox" shows the following alternatives on page 1:
SugarSync, Mozy, Wuala, Drop.io, ZumoDrive, box.net, JungleDisk, Live Mesh, Syncplicity.

Google suggest is even better because it instantly shows the items people are currently comparing.

Just type "Dropbox vs " into the google.com search box, and wait for the suggestions to appear.

Suggest gives the following "crowdsourced" suggestions for "dropbox vs":
sugarsync, mobileme, idisk, box.net, mozy, google docs, evernote, live mesh, zumodrive.

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Wikipedia: if there is a page for one of the apps you are looking at, check to see if there is a 'category page' for that app type

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_notetaking_software

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Xmarks Similar Sites: enter in the url for a web app and then click to categories or look at the similar sites

http://www.xmarks.com/site/webapps.stackexchange.com

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http://webapps.stackexchange.com ;)

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Questions asking for recommendations are explicitly off-topic here, so this answer is not helpful. –  Al E. Sep 27 at 2:54

What To Use is a service that helps you to find software based on specific tasks, topics and through users with similar interests.

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If the app has been listed on MakeUseOf there is a long list of similar apps on their listings. I have found this to be quite useful..

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Hivefive Compares top 5 services/products in given domain. Very useful posts from Lifehacker

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http://www.softwaresuggest.com/ lists software in different categories and is community supported

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I found asking on Quora directly was the best. There's plenty of alternative to type of questions on Quora that doesn't get closed because of strict guidelines.

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