Have you ever hear that saying nothing in life is free? I am sure you have. If not then I know you have hear the saying there is no such thing as a free lunch. In other words Something may not cost you money but that item is costing you something. Whether it is time or information. Everything has a price. So what do you want to look out for when you are dealing with free.
So what are you trading for when you use something free?
For hosting you are normally giving up some of your ability to control of your data after your uploads. Some places change your encoding to what they want. Others, Blog Talk radio, will hold your audience hostage if you want to move to a better service. You either pay or you lose them. Some change your ID3 tags so you are advertising their service.
Other directories - You give up potential hits to your site. Then again you get links back to your site.
Software big example as to getting what you pay for. Free may mean little tech support so you have to hunt and