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What Is Freeware?

Freeware is software that is provided to users without them having to pay for it. Freeware can be downloaded off the net or distributed through CDs or DVDs. If a software requires the user to view ads in order to use the free program then it is not freeware but adware. Additionally, freeware is not the same shareware because the latter still requires the user to pay for the software if the user wants to continue using it past the trial period of the software.

Even though freeware does not ask for financial compensation from users, this type of software still has a user license or an End User License Agreement or EULA. The license is specific to the particular freeware but there are certain restrictions that are applied to all freeware programs. One of them is that the user is not allowed to change the program, repackage it or sell it. Redistribution of the freeware may be allowed by some freeware programs provided that the program remains unchanged and that the license agreement is not tampered or changed.

Because of its nature, freeware does not often have technical support. Some applications won’t even have detailed help menus. One reason for this is that freeware programmers usually develop these programs in their free time and do not possess the kind of resources needed to set up a technical support function. But then there are some freeware programs that do come with detailed technical manuals and also have its own web site with detailed FAQs and forums where users can discuss the program and basically help each other as a community.

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