Guest Author - Leena Kothari
When you go for downloading software, words that often confuse you are shareware and freeware. Now let us see, what is the difference between shareware software and freeware software?
Shareware software is one, which is free for use but only for a particular period of time. The user of the shareware software does not have access to the source code and cannot alter it. One can download the software for free but after limited number of trials of the software, he is supposed to pay for it. For example, shareware software may have a thirty day trial. The user will be able to use the software that may be full or partial version depending upon the policy of the software company for a period of thirty days. After the expiry of the trial period, the user will have to pay the registration fee or buy the software to continue the use of the software.
On the other hand, if you have freeware software, you can use the full version of software without paying anything. You can also distribute the freeware software. Freeware software’s are actually available for fame, publicity, and love of humanity or may be they are stripped down versions of softwares that are costly. One interesting fact is that most of the good softwares that you need are freeware softwares. The freeware softwares do no cost you anything but they have a copyright of the author who has developed them.
Today, most of the software companies develop shareware softwares. One of the basic advantages of using shareware software is the fact that you have a chance to use the software for free before you actually buy it. If you don’t like it, you can always uninstall the software and look for something better and the one that suits your needs. In general the shareware softwares don’t have a very high price. Also you have the facility of updating your shareware softwares generally free of cost or at a very nominal price. Most of the shareware softwares are the products of smaller companies; hence they take into account your suggestions very quickly.
Normally, the software companies that develop and distribute freeware softwares don’t provide any help or support if you have any problem or query regarding the software. The support is limited through email reply that you may hardly get. The software developers and distributors of the shareware software will give you support in case you have a query. Another problem with most of the freeware softwares is that most of the time you will have to download large support files along with the software that have the special code that is necessary to run the software. If you are using a slower Internet connection, it may take a lot of time to download such software’s.