A bug is any issue in the coding, features, or design of a software tool that causes usage issues and hampers performance. Bugs also damage user satisfaction and can lead to loss of customers if not addressed. As an IT manager, you know how important it is to keep track of bugs in your workflow and a bug reporting tool can make this process easier.
Bug tracking software helps you automate the capture, analysis, assignment, and resolution of bugs. It also saves you time by allowing you to maintain a single source of information on bugs, which includes everything from the number of bugs detected, who fixed the bug, and how long it took them. This also improves the quality of your product and increases customer satisfaction.
However, if your IT budget doesn’t allow you to invest in bug tracking software or if you need tools that are easy on your wallet, this article is for you.
We’ve listed the top four free bug tracking software tools (arranged alphabetically). All tools offer a stand-alone free plan that you can choose to upgrade if your requirements increase in the future. Read our complete product selection methodology here.
Bird Eats Bug is a free bug tracking software that helps you optimize the performance of a tool by eliminating software bugs. It helps track and fix bugs by allowing you to capture an incidence of the bug with the help of screen recording, console and network logs. This allows you to identify the cause of the bugs faster.
Moreover, since this data is automatically captured in the issue tracking system, software users who encounter the bug don’t need to manually copy-paste the code to share it with the engineers. This saves valuable time and makes the process more efficient.
The paid plans for Bird Eats Bug start at $39 per month, billed annually.
View of a recorded error in Bird Eats Bug (Source)
Bugfender is a bug tracking system. It helps you capture error logs in real-time even from remote users. This offers you a complete view of your application’s performance and helps you simulate the bug to see how it would affect different devices.
The tool also generates real-time crash reports so you can compare the bugs and the crashes they led to, side-by-side. This gives insight into the way in which the bug is impacting your software. Moreover, the tool allows for bug reporting from software users. This means that users of your mobile or desktop app can directly report a bug from within the app, helping you stay on top of the latest bugs.
The paid plans of Bugfender start at $34.8 per month billed yearly.
Maintaining error logs in Bugfender (Source)
Bugzilla is an open source bug tracking system and defect tracking tool. It assists with bug issue tracking, software issues, and any improvements that need to be made in the tool. The bug tracker keeps you updated on the status of bugs in your tool by generating a periodic or real-time bug report.
When you add a bug in the logs of Bugzilla, the system automatically scans your software for duplicate or similar bugs. This allows you to track more bugs in less time. You can also assign bugs to be fixed and keep track of the time it takes to fix a bug with the help of the time tracking feature.
Bugzilla is a completely free bug tracking tool and provides no upgrade options. However, since it’s open source, you can download the latest version of the tool when the latest updates are available online.
Finding bugs in Bugzilla (Source)
Zoho BugTracker is a free bug tracking solution. It helps you capture a comprehensive set of details required for defect management such as the status of the bug (whether it’s active or has been fixed), a description of the software bug, the team responsible for it, and the severity of its impact. Operating like an issue tracking system, you can also share these details with others by exporting them in a file format of your choice such as XLS or CSV.
Moreover, this bug reporting tool allows you to create a view of the bug based on the specific details you want to capture in your order of priority. For example, if you only want to capture the level of severity, name of the bug, and the timeline for fixing it, you can customize the fields and capture only these details. This allows you to record each bug differently based on the details required in each case.
The paid plans for Zoho BugTracker start at $3.34 (based on INR to USD exchange rate as of 19th July, 2021).
A view of the bug status in Zoho BugTracker (Source)
Next step: What to consider when choosing a bug tracking tool
In this article, we’ve featured four top-rated and free bug tracking systems. To choose the bug tracking software that best fits your needs, follow these steps:
- Check with your IT team if they require a specific set of features in the tool for their workflow and then check with the software provider if the tool includes those features. Also, make sure that the features are part of the free bug tracking tool.
- Confirm with the software provider if there are any hidden charges associated with the tool or specific features. Also confirm if there’s a usage limit on the features.
- Visit our bug tracking system page to read user reviews of the tools that you’ve shortlisted. This will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of the tool’s performance, functionality, user-friendliness, etc.
Common questions to ask
- What are the types of support options available: Since each software provider offers a specific set of support options, check with them about the options they offer and see if you’re comfortable with those support options.
- Will the team need additional training for using the tool: If the tool is too complex to operate, your team may need additional training to get started with the tool. Therefore, check with the vendor if such training may be required and if you’ll need to pay for it.
- Does the tool support third-party integration: You may need to integrate the tool with a third party tool to enhance its capabilities or to optimize information sharing. Therefore, check with the software provider if the tool supports third-party integration.
This article was updated on July 19, 2021. Products considered for this article had to:
- Offer a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial software version where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
- Meet our bug tracking market definition: Bug and issue tracking software helps software teams find, record and track bugs in their software.
- Have a minimum rating of 4.0 out of 5 and more than 20 reviews on Software Advice.