This months Computer Savvy Perspective will focus on the bread and butter of (CSW) content. I’ve received a ton of comments and question about freeware. So here is my general view of the subject and The Good, Bad And Ugly Sides Of Freeware Software.
The Good Part Of Freeware:
There are no doubt many good things about freeware. Such as the price point and that often the software is often updated quite often. Beside those 2 main key points. Freeware is very easy to find and there are a ton of options out in the market today. Regardless of your device that you may be using. There will be likely quite a few freeware software options to choose from.
Freeware is also a great place to experiment with different software types. Such as security, optimization suites, communication tools, word processors and so on. Some people may even find that after awhile using a certain program that they may indeed want to drop some coin and buy the paid version of said software they enjoy. But that can leads into some possible downsides of freeware upgrading.
The Bad Part Of Freeware:
Not many people are aware of the bad sides of freeware. But we all have experienced it at some point in out lives with technology. Unfortunately with most freeware comes ads and not always the user friendly and non-intrusive ones. Freeware can also come with a laundry list of catch 22’s. Such as freeware that has a trail periods such as having a limited number of days before you are locked out or the program becomes useless.
Some freeware will require you to register your e-mail address and or other such personal information. Some freeware will even require you to verify your e-mail address with them with an embedded link in an e-mail. With this type of freeware catch 22 their often is the very high chance of getting a lot of spam from said software company that you have registered with. But there are also companies who allow you to De-select the option to opt out of follow up e-mails.
The Ugly Part Of Freeware:
Now there are a few very ugly parts of freeware that can creep on you. If you are not paying attention. Such as getting infected with a virus or installing a toolbar that ends up hijacking your Internet browser.
There is also the possibility that you may use the freeware incorrectly and damage your computer. Causing you to have to format or fall back on a previous restore point.
Freeware also is severely lacking in tech support. So if you run into a problem that you can’t resolve yourself. You may just end up hunting around in the forums or e-mailing the company and praying to G-d that you actually receive a helpful answer to your issue. In a timely manner. Which unfortunately is very unlikely to happen with the bulk of freeware software out there.
The sayings are true you get what you pay for. But that does not excuse the freeware from being poorly made. Nor should it be assumed that all freeware will be bad because it is freeware after all. I’ve seen both sides of the freeware world and I have seen many good and many bad programs. Often you have to give the software ago first and trust your got. Other times it is better to look out for your favorite trusted reviewers (and or review sites) about said freeware. You want to look into.
My biggest word of warning / caution is don’t trust just one persons view of any software title freeware or otherwise. In this case it is better read or view a wide swath of reviews. Because in this case the more the merrier.
Written By: Remy “Se7en” - (CSW) Editor-In-Chief