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  1. #1


    Most of us that use the internet, run up against these names fairly often, and I've wondered is Freeware really "Free", and is Shareware free as well?

    Often, if doing a search on Google for a free version (often an older version of the software) there are all kinds of advertisements for the software, and you don't realize there is a $$ cost until you actually read the information given before clicking "I agree" where they THEN tell you you have an "evaluation" period of the software.
    In years past, there was a version that was absolutely FREE to those that wanted it, but that seems to be harder to get these days, as there is always someone doing their best to get their hands in your pocket.
    I don&#39;t mind paying for some of the software, but find in some cases that there are other software programs, much more technical, that truly are FREE, yet some of the lesser programs want &#036;&#036; after the evaluation. <_<

    Is there some way of reading the information on these products, where you&#39;ll find that there is going to be money asked for, prior to getting to the "I agree" statement?

    Any info on perhaps even how to ask for such products in a search window would be helpful&#33;

    Thanks in advance&#33;


  2. #2


    Freeware is free, but it may be a lesser version of commercial software with some functions disabled or missing.

    Shareware is something like a trial version that they expect you to pay for if you continue to use it.
    • Sometimes it&#39;s on the "honor system".

      Sometimes it&#39;s "nagware" (the software works but you have to click thru a reminder).

      Sometimes it expires (stops working and possibly installs a registry entry to prevent reinstallation without paying).
    Fooling the search engines has become an art. There may not be any reliable way to search for nothing but freeware. However, some download websites have provisions for this in their internal search engines. Other sites only offer freeware.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2003


    To add, programs such as Yahoo, ICQ, AOL AIM, are freeware. Free to use.

    Some programs state, Freeware, but in the end what they mean is "Free to Download", you will see this alot with, "Free Download."

    There is Demoware, Trialware, Nagware, Freeware, Shareware; all define software.

    There is actually more Freeware today than in the past. This has to do with the GNU movement, which has crept its way into the MS Windows world.
    Sites such as Freshmeat.net and Sourceforge offer 99% truly GPL&#39;d software & other licensed software. Free to download, free to use, free to share, free to customize the source code, the only thing you can&#39;t do is claim you wrote the software.

    Shareware, is as Pete stated. Free to download, free to try, but if you like it, then you need to pay for a license.

  4. #4


    freeware rules, download it try it and if you like it you keep it no cost

  5. #5


    Freeware means you can download the program for free and use it completely free for as long as you want.

    Shareware means you can download the program for free and use it for a limited period of time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Europe (mostly)


    for any program you are going to use - it is wise to read licence carefully.
    Sometimes even freeware have some limitation - for example it may be used only by "non commercial" user


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