Freeware is a pretty simple concept: it is software that you acquire and can use without paying money. Well, given the human propensity to complicate things, it can't be so easy, of course. There are many different varieties of so-called freeware. Here are some of the more important definitions:
- Freeware: that's the overarching category… in general, this means that you can use the software without paying the author(s) a fee.
- Abandonware: once a real product, now no longer actively distributed or sold by its author(s). Copying and using this sort of software is often a breach of copyright, as the author(s) normally retain all rights. On the other hand it's abandoned. Given the legal and moral uncertainties it's up to the user to decide whether he or she wants to use abandoned software. (Sometimes this is also called orphanware.)
- Adware: software that comes with adverts for God knows what (the ads are often updated over the internet). Opera, nowadays a free web browser, once was an adware option.
- Cardware: it's free but the author(s) want a postcard (or an email, then it's of course called emailware).
- Crippleware: Software whose functionality has is in some significant ways been limited. One or two notches worse than Liteware and often nearly useless.
- Donationware: it's basically free. But if you want (want!) you can donate something (normally a small amount of money).
- Expireware: has an in-built best-before date (or a usage count) and stops working on that date (or after the number of permissible program starts is reached).
- Liteware: is software whose functionality has is in some ways been limited (though not as badly as Crippleware); often these programs turn out to be quite usable.
- Malware: has a malicious streak -- it might spy (copy personal information), do something harmful to your computer and/or files. Steer clear:-)
- Nagware: nags you with popup dialogs or similar stuff, to remind you to register. Normally, you just have to click the nag screen away.
- Registerware: You have to register before you can use the software. Sometimes this involves just filling in a simple form on the web; sometimes you have to tell 'em your whole life, starting with your grandparents; sometimes the registration costs actual money (in which case it's not freeware anymore). Often you get an email in return, with a registration code you have to enter into a dialog box.
- Requestware: the author(s) want you to do something, for example perform a good deed, smile (no, really!) or donate some money to a good cause (either the authors' or your choice).
- Selfishware: A pretty strange beast I discovered recently (or perhaps just made up).
- Shareware: software that can be downloaded and tested (“try before you buy”) free of charge. After a defined period of time (often 30 days) payment of a registration fee is required. Most shareware nowadays turns itself into nagware or liteware once the test period is over, though some authors stick with the original idea: you get the full program, no strings attached, and you pay only if you want to. If you don't, that's of course illegal, but the software continues to function normally.
- Spyware: software that does something useful (or pretends to) and while doing that also sends personal information about you and/or your computer to a third party (usually via the internet, and often without your consent).
$updated from: Freeware Hints.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:24 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$