Freeware is the alternative sought especially in the face of ever increasing retail software prices, yearly update payment options and the introduction of software licensing schemes. Unbeknown to many is the availability of free legal alternatives for marketed retail software. For example, you can replace Microsoft Office with OpenOffice, 602PCSuite or EasyOffice. Instead of purchasing McAfee or Norton packages you could download AVG Antivirus, Diskeeper lite, JV16 Powertools or PC Inspector File Recovery for free. This website is created entirely with freeware (and a touch of ingenuity) !
There are hidden costs such as time taken scouring the net for viable alternatives (though I have searched out the best freeware for you on this site), lack of convenient technical support and no guarantees of the software remaining free in perpetuity. I still believe monetary expenditure saved is well worth the trouble. We make every effort to ensure that the freeware on this site are genuine and free from malware. Some authors initially release freeware but later insert malware or convert to trialware without notice.
Please contact us if this has happened to any of the software listed on this site. Thanks.
Freeware - Copyrighted software given away for free by the author. Although it is available for free, the author retains the copyright, which means that you cannot do anything with it that is not expressly allowed by the author. Usually, the author allows people to use the software, but not sell it.
Open Source - Generically, open source refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design free of charge, i.e., open. Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community.
History of Freeware:
The term freeware was coined by Andrew Fluegelman when he wanted to sell a communications program named PC-Talk that he had created but for which he did not wish to use traditional methods of distribution because of their cost. Previously, he held a trademark on the term "freeware" but this trademark has since been abandoned. Fluegelman actually distributed PC-Talk via a process now referred to as shareware.
Criteria to be Freeware:
The only criterion for being classified as "freeware" is that the software must be made available for use for an unlimited time at no cost. The software license may impose one or more other restrictions on the type of use including personal use, individual use, non-profit use, non-commercial use, academic use, commercial use or any combination of these. For instance, the license may be "free for personal, non-commercial use."
Everything created with the freeware programs can be distributed at no cost (for example graphic, documents, or sounds made by user).
There is some software that may be considered freeware, but that have limited distribution; that is, they may only be downloaded from a specific site, and they can not be redistributed. Hence, these software wouldn't be freely redistributable software. According to the basic definition, that software would be freeware; according to stricter definitions, they wouldn't be.
Software Piracy is wrong. Pirated software hurts everyone—from software developers to retail store owners, and ultimately to all software users. The illegal duplication and distribution of software has a significant impact on the economy, costing billions of dollars a year in job losses, retail dollar losses, and governmental tax losses—money that would have gone back into local communities.
In addition, companies facing loss of revenue due to piracy must pull resources from the development of new technology, and devote it to protecting both their software, and its legitimate users. In the end, software piracy is unfair to everyone.
We award the Decent Download Award for the best freeware in each category. This is only awarded to freeware that stand out from alternatives in achieving a particular purpose. This is judged on criteria such as user friendliness, features and stability. All freeware that manage to get listed on this site are award winners.
The award is our way of saying thank you for all the time and effort freeware authors have put into developing and releasing free quality software for the benefit of the wider community.
If you would like to be considered for the award, please post your freeware in the freeware forum so that members can review it and make comparisons.
The Freeware Forum, a friendly community where members can discuss all issues related to freeware, get PC tech support or just have a casual chat.