The Computer Savvy Perspective – The Good, Bad And Ugly Sides Of Freeware Software (April 2013)

Dear Reader,

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Written By: RemySe7en- (CSW) Editor-In-Chief

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6 Responses to The Computer Savvy Perspective – The Good, Bad And Ugly Sides Of Freeware Software (April 2013)

  1. Mayr Times says:

    Hi Remy, What a well written article.  I’ve gained some more insight as I’m sure the rest of your readers have.  So far I’ve very cautious and won’t download any freeware unless it is something that is really beneficial to me and you give it a high rating in your reviews.   That hit home to me with your “ends up hijacking your Internet browser.”  Don’t know what I did to have that happen to me, but by the grace of God I got myself out of it as you remember.   Thanks again for the article and look forward to your forthcoming “reviews”. Best regards, Mary

    ________________________________

    • Remy "Se7en" says:

      Dear Mayr Times,

      First of Mayr thanks for all the kind words. It is after all my first entry in to the new ongoing editorial feature. that you guys seem to want so badly. So it is great to get any feedback. Besides the feedback I got on the title sounding a bit odd. Well any feedback is good feedback. I guess.

      No onto the next part. Yeah I noticed from our readers e-mail and comments. That people are generally confused, as to where to go and what to download. Or for that matter what they should be looking for. But I wanted it to be geared to our mid-level readers. Not to complicated but at the same time very informative. If you want to read it all and do some research or even change. Your own freeware downloading behaviors.

      Because like I said it is not all safe sailing out there.

      Well as always much appreciated Mray,

      Remy

      • Erin says:

        Hey there Remy,

        I agree with Mayr a very well written feature. This is the 3rd or 4th of the new editorial feature ? Any ways well done Matt and Andy with the other TCSP (The Computer Savvy Perspective) editorial features.

        And no worries with regards to the title. It sounded to me odd at first, but it makes sense in the end.

        Later,

        Erin

        • Remy "Se7en" says:

          Dear Erin,

          Thanks and Kudos Erin. As to your question this would be the 4th edition of the feature. Andy did 1 , Matt did an in-dept 2 parter and I did the most recent 1. I’m not sure who up next. It maybe Danny not sure at this point.

          Later Dayz,

          Remy

  2. Williams S. says:

    Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

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