There are services that are actually free, those who don’t sell your data and still manage to stay afloat. I use a lot of these. I like the Freemium model, I like the fact that the community is paying for my use of a great service till I can stand on my own two feet. So, I was wondering if there were any services you used for free once but once you got money, you started supporting it. It makes more financial sense to go with folks who offer only paid services, because you essentially are not bearing the cost of those who are not yet able to pay (or will never pay), but are there instances where you went with the company who was providing you free service for all those years out of gratitude?

I use ProtonVPN and I trust the folks at ProtonVPN and hopefully someday be buying a paid plan although some say it’s overpriced! What about you. What is the service you plan on paying for one day or one you are paying for now out of gratitude and a sense of community?

Also, it doesn’t have to paid, let’s say you became a tor node because you wanted to help the service you believe in. Or something like this, you get the idea!

Also, thanks to admins and devs of as I was able to get in without any fuss even after using Tor Browser. And screw reddit for blocking me : )

Edit: It will take me sometime to reply (perhaps a day) but I want to hear you!

The Internet Archive come to mind.

I’ve been running a container for them at home for a couple years now.

Archive Team is unaffiliated with the Internet Archive.

Even though Archive Team is unaffiliated with the Internet Archive, the way you access the archived content is still the Wayback Machine, part of the Internet Archive. Correct me if I’m wrong.


Not sure about the Wayback Machine specifically, but you can access the Archive Team’s efforts on is the internet Archive, which runs the wayback machine

I’m aware.

Oh? Neat, I’ll have to look into it more. Thanks!


Lemmy itself. How many people do support their instance and the developers?

  • Bitwarden. Didn’t take long to start supporting them as the price point is incredibly reasonable.
  • Mastodon (monthly donation to instance admin)
  • Some random Android apps which have a paid/plus version and a free one. I use my free Google credits to upgrade, so doesn’t actually cost me anything but supports the developer. I tihnk the first I did this with was ACalendar.

Bitwarden. Didn’t take long to start supporting them as the price point is incredibly reasonable.

As a bitwarden user, thank you ;) and I look forward to join you. Bitwarden is an amazing service.


Bitwarden for me too. Small price to pay. Signal is another and tend to chuck a few euros to lots of small freeware developers if I use their software often.

I just went premium for my account and my wife’s account. Well worth it.

I use a lot of free and open source software, and some of the stuff I use a lot I support with donations. Python, Mozilla, FairEmail are examples of software I have donated to. Wikipedia also.

My local library! I’ve taken out hundreds of materials over the past few years completely free. Discovered a new genre of books I love, and used their other benefits to noticeably improve my skills - free professional lessons and seminars, free access to Lynda/LinkedIn Learning, free one-on-one resume coaching, and lots more.

I have a paid proton account, recently upgraded. Yes, it’s not cheap but i do feel like supporting them and i am very pleased with them and their services. And yes, i do donate to some services, provided i trust them (no shady business like tracking, selling my data etc), they don’t keep nagging me for money, and i use it a lot. And i don’t do subscriptions, it should be one time only or when i feel like wanting to spend some money to support them, if i can miss it. I recently also donated to Lemmy, because the devs are so transparent in what is happening, what kind of difficulties they run into, what their thoughts are, etc. I enjoy Lemmy a lot. While it is different from reddit - where i subscribed to little niche things that are not present in the fediverse just yet -, i really feel like most people are kind, helpful, and enthusiastic to help make Lemmy a vibrant alternative. I never spend a cent for reddit.

Edit: i also paid for the Simple apps in f-droid, really like those a lot, so i wanted to show my gratitude to the dev

I look forward to be someone like you dude! seriously! I want to do everything you are doing, not out of compulsion but as a form of gratitude, as a thank you!

I’m not a charity institution. I use whatever is better/more cost-effective for my needs.

I will, however, point out that the ability to migrate and/or downgrade (from paid to free for example) is something in which I place A LOT of value. I will use stuff that is substantially worse than the market leader simply because it allows me to take my shit and leave if I ever change my mind. Being able to move from a paid to a free plan when you are no longer using something is pretty important.

Regarding your example, Proton VPN is on the higher end of VPNs. I consider it pricy, but they are trying to compete with OVPN. Paying because you need to support is an emotional decision. If you ever get enough money that you don’t care about paying another $5 to get a better service, go with them. Else, choose something paid but cheaper.

someone has to bear the voluntary burden to make the service better for everyone else. It’s somewhat of an act of charity, but you are getting a great service you can trust in return for that. And Protonmail/VPN people have proved that they deserve the trust that’s entrusted on them unlike most others.

But, I understand you point of view

I agree, I like Proton services.

However, offfering a free service is not a favour, it’s a business decision and you should always do what’s best for you. Let rich people pay for the expensive stuff.

Are you, or are you not, grateful for the free service you are using right now?

Being grateful to a free service is a bit hard when a lot of those services use scummy marketing tactics…

There are some interesting, others well, maybe their free services are useful, but their tactics do not align and so it’s difficult to want to support them just because I could. (mostly vpns have real trash marketing). I’d rather donate more to a charity.

Do you donate to charities?

I make small donations yearly to Mozilla Foundation, like 10€.


I donate to all the services I use. Including my Mastodon instance, Wikipedia, Habitica, etc…

EDIT: And I mean monthly. Except for Wikipedia where it’s just yearly.

Well Done! I hope I will do the same one day!

I am finally getting to the point we’re I can start supporting some of the open source stuff I use. Currently only donate to Wikipedia and Kbin, but planning on adding to that list.

We donate to Wikipedia once per year.


We take Wikipedia too much for granted.

It’s a service that has remained ad free to this day. No pop up asking you to be tracked. No pop up forcing you to create an account. No pop up asking you to subscribe to their news feed. It’s one of the few remnants left of the old open web. &

I never ever donated to Wikipedia, I thought, heck, they are famous enough I am pretty sure they won’t go out of business anytime soon and I was right Wikipedia raised about 5M dollars per years from 2016-2021. According to them, it’s to “act as a permanent safekeeping fund to generate income to ensure a base level of support for the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity.” -Wiki

What do you think of that? I mean, I don’t think they need that much to have a financially secure future, do you? I mean, I don’t know how they spend it. Most open source projects don’t have that kind of cash-flow.

They don’t spend it. They invest it and only operate off the interest/returns it generates, not touching the principle. That’s how it can fund the project in perpetuity.

It’s good they’re financially insured in case they face some bad years. Who knows what will happen in the future.

I would be concerned if they barely had any cash reserves at all.


Deeply. I donate annually to a whole bunch of things. And pay for things that have a free option. And I visit local stores even though sometimes they are weaker than corporate stores. I only do this when it’s reasonable to do so.

I trust Proton from an ethics standpoint but I think their sneaky price gouging bullshit is alrrady showing. I am a subcriber to their mail service.

There are services open source or free closed source which are in need of donations.

VPNs do Not need your gratitude. The cost of running a VPN per user is extremely low (just look at the market prices to subscribe to a vpn). Even less for a for profit company. For vpn I would use one offering the best services for the needs at lower cost.

Making a donation to an open source or free service (which doesn’t try to scam you, or get your wallet) would require more effort, but bring more satisfaction because it would keep that open source useful project afloat.

Tho if you like a service and you need more from it, do pay for it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t.

Infinitely grateful, since getting something for nothing is the physical definition of dividing by zero.

SimplePush. They have an API that is simple enough to call with a curl statement and the parameters of that call are used as a notification on your phone. As a developer, I use it for long running tasks that I want to be notified about.

You can even E2E encrypt the messages so nobody can tell when you pirate something download the next version of your favorite distro.

A loosely moderated place to ask open-ended questions

Search asklemmy 🔍

If your post meets the following criteria, it’s welcome here!

  1. Open-ended question
  2. Not offensive: at this point, we do not have the bandwidth to moderate overtly political discussions. Assume best intent and be excellent to each other.
  3. Not regarding using or support for Lemmy: context, see the list of support communities and tools for finding communities below
  4. Not ad nauseam inducing: please make sure it is a question that would be new to most members
  5. An actual topic of discussion

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