difference between Freeware, Shareware, and Commercial AntiVirus
either distributed for the love of humanity, for fame, or as stripped
down versions of programs that cost money. For the most part, this
is the domain of the independent, or "freelance," developer.Remarkably,
some of the very best programs for use on the Internet are
completely free. Most free antivirus software, even though it's not
commercially sold, is copyrighted by the author. Always check the
license agreement if you consider using the application for anything
other than your personal use.
support, if any, will be limited to e-mail. We've found the support
level to be much lower
than with shareware. We've rarely been able to get an e-mail response
from a freeware developer. Their attitude seems to be, (but this is
only our opinion), that: "I spent a lot of time developing it and I
gave it to you for free. I don't have time to respond to all the e-mail
I get each day."
are unscrupulous people who use the freeware
concept to download junk, (like a virus), into your
freeware requires that you also
download large support files containing special code to run the
software. You may not know this "up front" and it may take "forever"
with a dial-up connection.
are adages that say: "You get what you pay for," and "Let the buyer
freeware may be
difficult, or impossible, to remove. We tried one piece of software,
that when removed, disabled our web browsers and all internet access!
all the words in the english language, FREE has to be one of the nicest!
for the most part, commercially developed, but by smaller companies.
These companies do not market in stores, but sell worldwide on the
internet. They can sell for less because it costs less to advertise.
Unlike commercial software, its hard to find fault
This is probably the main reason for its popularity. There are only a
few problems we can think of.
support will likely be by e-mail, altho many offer limited phone
software may have a
few bugs in it because of a smaller customer base, and lack of the
(usually) extensive "beta tests" performed by large corporations. Its
often the case with shareware that YOU become a
member of the beta test team when you download it!
seems to be an
increasing tendancy among shareware developers to follow the lead of
commercial marketers by selling "subscriptions" for up-dates.
can try the software for FREE! The trial period varies, but is usually
in the 10 to 30 day range. If you do not like
the software, just delete it and look for something better. Be CAREFUL
that the software has an uninstaller built-in or can be removed with
general, prices are much lower than for comparable
developer will listen to you and may even include your suggestions in
up-dates. Try getting THAT from a large corporation!
are likely to find a
MUCH greater variety of shareware software. In our opinion, this is
because the small companies are trying to find their "niche" and are
more creative. Large corporations have already found their niche, and
are wary of taking chances.
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of it, but
all, is commercial software of the kind you may buy at a store. Many of
the companies that produce it are leaders in the industry. In general,
these companies stand very well behind their products. Still, there are
a few things to keep in mind:
cannot test the software to see if you like it.
likely never be denied a refund for "just cause,"
but it may take time at a store to exchange it or get a refund.
bought online, "return" policies are often unclear; you might want to
ask questions first by e-mail.
help from a real person over the phone is all but impossible and most
likely will not be free.
may be "hidden costs" in that, nowadays, you may have to pay
for a "subscription" to keep the software up to date.
usually deal with industry leaders and likely will get a good product.
can pay for support which is often available 24/7. If you are a
business, this may be an advantage.
worries about downloading a virus or other built-in "nasty."
on the subject of freeware, shareware, and commercial antivirus
software. There are proponents of each, and those against each. What it
comes down to really is YOU. How do you feel? What "works" for you?
What do you need to fulfill YOUR needs? Do what makes sense
you, but be careful!
In closing we offer the following caveats:
like to hear
your comments, both pro and con, about freeware, shareware, and
commercial software. Your thoughts may be included on these pages if
you allow us to quote you.
anything, run your antivirus and/or spyware software to make SURE your
computer is "clean," up-front. Run it again after the download. Is it still
clean? Be wary
of software you've downloaded that tells you, out of the blue, that:
"you have a virus" or similar. It may be that this new software can
detect things your present software cannot, BUT, it may also be a ploy
to get you to buy it.
its not mentioned,
BEFORE downloading, question the developer on whether the software has
a built-in "Uninstaller," or if it can safely be un-installed using the
"Add/Remove" feature of Windows.
ever use the
internet without antivirus software. We use FIVE different types PLUS a
firewall. SPAM is an annoyance its nice to be rid of, but thats all it
is. A VIRUS can destroy your computer. It is the greater
threat. Up-date weekly if possible.
Our recommendation: Shareware & Freeware Software
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