What Is Shareware?
If you?ve been downloading programs and stuff from the Internet, you must have come across the term shareware and freeware at one point in time. Most of us don?t know the difference between shareware and freeware. Freeware is pretty easy to explain?it?s free to use, that?s all there is to it. Freeware is developed by an individual or a small company for the free use of others. Freeware and shareware are often downloadable from the Internet from sites like www.download.com.
Well, a shareware is actually a software developed by an individual or a company for a public domain that is available for use for a small fee. This small fee that we?re talking about is usually a very small, one-time-fee that won?t be more than what your dinner would cost. Depending on the developer of the shareware, usually sharewares are pretty funky and efficient. Because most of these shareware developers are not restricted with stringent rules and boundaries (and red tapes) like large software development companies, they are free to develop the shareware to meet with the demands of people like them. And often times, sharewares are pretty good.
Sharewares, unlike freewares, are protected by copyright laws. Usually, you can download the shareware from the internet for free use for a short period of time. This is called the ?demo? or ?evaluation? period. If the evaluation period is 15-days, you can freely use the shareware for 15 days without paying anything and when the 15 days is over, the shareware will automatically be disabled. You?ll need to pay the registration fee to continue using the shareware program. Once you?ve paid and registered the shareware, you?re eligible for technical assistance and upgrades.
You can copy and share the shareware with your friends and family but they would have to go through the same thing you have. Sharewares, remember, are not free. If they don?t register the shareware, they won?t be able to use the shareware when the evaluation period is over.
Sharewares are generally safe to use but there are those who embed harmful files into their download folders. When downloading sharewares, take a good look at the developer and check their background. The shareware developer should have a good reputation and a long history of developing shareware. Some unscrupulous people actually place adwares, malwares, worms, and spywares into the shareware. So, be careful.
About the Author: Dakota Caudilla, journalist, and website builder Dakota Caudilla lives in Texas. He is the owner and co-editor of http://www.software-and-everything-else.com on which you will find a longer, more detailed version of this article.