What is it?
Shareware is a software distribution where a software can be freely tested before purchase.
It was first released in the early 1980s, and as personal computing became more widely used in homes and offices in the 1990s, its popularity increased.
With the expectation that customers will opt to buy the fully functional version of the application, the format enables software developers to get their products into the hands of prospective users for testing.
The user must pay the money to use the full-featured version of the software after the free trial. If the amount is not paid, the software deactivates itself. Its main advantage is that users can understand and know about the software before buying it.
Shareware is commonly used for games.
Types of Sharewares
There are several types of shareware software. Here are a few examples:
Adware stands for “advertising-supported software.” This software basically displays advertisements to earn revenue for the developer.
This is a trial version of the software that provides the demo or trial of a software. It further divides into two categories:
This software provides only a certain number of features until the user purchases the full version of the software.
In this type, the user can use all the software’s features within the time limit.
This is the type of software that provides the full-featured version to the user. The user gets requested to pay an optional amount here.
This software continuously reminds the user to pay for the software. They display alert messages or dialogue boxes, either when starting the software or while using the application.
This software provides the full-featured version of the software. At the same time, the user must pay an amount for the premium version. The premium version of the software contains some advanced features of the software.
Advantages of Shareware
Advantages of Shareware are as follows:
It is initially free for the customers.
The user can fully understand the capabilities and flaws of the software.
One will not have to pay money for a software he doesn’t like.
A lot of overhead expenses of printing and packaging of software are saved for the author.
Disadvantages/Threats of Shareware
There are many threats to using shareware. Some of them include:
1. Malware: Hackers can fool users using adware and make them download malicious software.
2. Security Vulnerabilities: The shareware is usually more at risk because there are no updates and no licenses in the beginning. If the software is left unused on the system, it may pose a risk to the system.
3. Sponsored Software: Some shareware may download a secondary program which can cause a threat to the system.
4. Data Leaks: Some software can send the system’s data to the author, which can be a great threat.
5. No access: There is no entry after the trial period.
Advantages: Shareware is free, can be copied and is covered by copyright.
Disadvantages: Shareware cannot be modified, and it may be either a cut down or temporary version.
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