I checked out the following: (I am not linking anything)
- ProWriting Aid- It works, but the user interface is terribly confusing and pathetic.
- WhiteSmoke- The website is riddled with ads/trackers/malware. Please avoid it!
- Linguix- Terrible extension. I could never get to check out the actual product itself.
- GingerSoftware- It has an interesting “sentence-rephraser” but is gimmicky. I had asked them for a refund within 10 minutes of using it (it is only available in the “premium version”). Their website is terrible.
- Many others, not even worth mentioning.
LanguageTools is a decent option, but they couldn’t process my card despite several tries. They seem to offer only a forum for “contact”, and no direct email was listed anywhere on the landing page. It doesn’t inspire confidence- I mean, if a company needs my money, they should, at least, offer customer support! They use FastSpring as the payment processor with no other option.
The only “best-of-the-worst” option is Grammarly. They have been in business for quite some time but have an active affiliate program. Whether it constitutes an ethical business practice is a matter of debate. However, everyone else in the list (barring LanguageTools) offers varying degrees of “affiliate” marketing. If only they focus on engineering and have a stellar product that speaks for itself! It is a long draw.
I think the best way forward is to use Grammarly to check for the issues as and when they crop up and LanguageTools to “polish” it further. I’d follow it up in a later blog post though. No tool is perfect in itself as a stand-alone option.