Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #186 2/6/2013

Question: What is freeware?


Freeware is software (computer programs) that you do not have to pay to use. There are many kinds of freeware available.

Freeware can be programs developed by large computer companies that they offer to complement what they charge for, software for specific tasks individuals develop and just are wanting to help people.

OpenOffice is an office suite that has a word processing program and spreadsheet that is available for free and many people use instead of buying Microsoft office. I use ccleaner that is freeware that will clean the registry on my computer to let it run faster. Many people use anti-virus freeware with some of the more well-known ones being AVG, Avast, Microsoft Security Essentials. Several of the major database makers provide a free limited use copy thru freeware. Oracle and MySQL are two examples. Sometimes the organization offers a free version and also has a copy for sale with more bells and whistles.

Some people are scared to use freeware as they fear it has malware (viruses, spyware, Trojans, etc.). This is the case of some freeware. You need to make sure your anti-virus and spyware programs are up to date when getting freeware. The best way to get freeware without malware (but no guarantee, but then there have been occasions when bought in store software had malware with it) is to download from the producer of the freeware’s website and not some other site that collects freeware and other software.