New electronic gadgets make great presents for family and friends, but so many of the phones, computers, and toys come with proprietary programs, privacy-disrespecting software, and surveillance tools hidden inside.
This guide replaces these holiday humbugs with better devices from ethical companies — no creepy remote deletion of files or punitive and mean rules about copying and sharing. Just products and software that respect the freedom and privacy of your loved ones: gifts you can feel good about.
Most of the devices in this list carry a Respects Your Freedom (RYF) hardware product certification, which means that the product meets our high standards for endorsement. RYF-certified devices make great purchases and great gifts at any time of year – learn more and explore the full list on our Web site.
We also hope that our Giving Guide will help you find new ways to talk about how these kinds of devices deny users their freedom, and why it's important to respect your freedoms.
Get it fromTechnoethical
Why it's cool: Your smartphone is so much more than a phone: it's a tiny computer you carry with you every day, and for many people around the world, it's their only Internet-enabled device. Choosing one of these phones lets you bring software freedom everywhere you go. You can have a phone that respects your freedoms while still making calls, running your favorite apps, and sending all the text messages you want.
Why it's cool: The T400 is a popular laptop for running GNU/Linux because of how well-suited it is to work and play. Now you can get it completely free, with these RYF-certified options.
Setting up a fully free system is easier than it used to be, but can still seem daunting — especially if you've never done it before. Luckily, you can now get a new-to-you laptop that's ready to go out of the box.
Technoethical also has a T400s available.
Why it's cool: Take it to the office, take it to the cafe, take it to class, take it home and set it up on the counter so you can rock out while you cook. Do all of this the easy way.
This machine is made to go everywhere with you, and thanks to our friends who make RYF-certified products, you can have your mobility and your freedom, too.
Why it's cool: Use it as a laptop or as a tablet with a built-in stylus. It may not be a brand-new concept, but it'll always feel a little futuristic.
Enjoy all the portability of a tablet, without having to hunt-and-peck every letter when it comes time to do some work. It's versatile, multi-purpose, and stylish, and fits smoothly into every environment in your life (without pummeling you with the abuses of proprietary software).
Why it's cool: Sometimes you need heavy-duty computing power that a laptop just can't provide.
Gamers, video editors, and other users may want or need a more powerful machine — a desktop is the answer when you really need that extra push. Also good for users who want a bigger screen.
An iMac puts designers and filmmakers at risk:
Get it fromLulzBot
Why it's cool: Think ahead -- if you give this to your friend or relative, they might use it next year to make YOU a gift.
3D printers are an amazing learning and exploration tool for kids and a fun toy for grownups, and they've come a long way from their origins in the early 2000s. Keep it free and fun by digging into the thousands of free software options for modeling, and communities that share freely licensed designs.
Why it's cool: Trying to go 100% free but stuck with a proprietary Wi-Fi card? Just plug this into your USB port and you're ready to go.
There are plenty of places to get your literature fix without any pesky DRM. We're highlighting some publishers and shops you should patronize below!
Many consider music essential to the richness of the human experience. Thanks to the many artists, producers, record labels, and shops highlighted on Defective by Design, the rights-respecting options are nearly endless. Check out music from great labels and artists, including:
As winter comes to the Northern Hemisphere, it's the perfect time to curl up under a blanket and watch some DRM-free video. In the Southern Hemisphere? Enjoy relaxing with a great movie actually owned by you.
You can find your DRM-free video fix at places including:
Sadly, there is not always the opportunity to choose freedom. You have to decide what is the right thing for you to do. In this section of our guide, we've highlighted some of the types of devices where there isn't a good choice. We hope you'll take this list as inspiration for the free software projects you contribute to and support.
This page by the Free Software Foundation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0.
The graphics and photos used on this page have been modified by the Free Software Foundation and are licensed separately under the following terms: