5 Dangers of Free Software


Why you must tread very carefully around freeware.–PC Pitstop.

5 Dangers of Free Software

by Mitz from Tips4pc.com

Of course there are both PROS and CONS of free/open source software. Even expensive commercial software has problems so freeware is bound to have its own disadvantages.

All the consumer can do in any case, is weigh up the pros and cons for themselves and then make an informed choice.

Using Free Software – THE CONS

Using free software is free so of course there are cons.

1. Lack Of Support And Documentation

Unfortunately most free or open source software is provided without support. This means that if you have a problem with the software the developer might or might not feel like helping you with that problem. (I say might because some people do help their users even though there is no financial benefit.)

So if you’re one of those people that need regular technical support then free software is not for you.

There is always the users manual or software documentation to read and help with your problem, but unfortunately with free software, there is no guarantee that either even exist.

2. Developer Loses Interest

Some awesome geeks come up with fantastic software but they often lose interest or simply have no time to update or develop the software further.
As free software is a labour of love, paid jobs often take precedence over freebies. Also developing software is a big job and perfecting is an even bigger job. New developers get overwhelmed when users test their software and give their honest feedback and suggestions.

3. Advertising Banners

When the software is freely available, often developers will use advertising banners placed in the software which can possibly make money.

4. Not All Free Software is Safe

When buying software you expect the software the work well and not interfere with your computer system, however free software has no guarantees.

There are precautions to take before downloading free software which should be strictly followed as computer security issues and errors can cost you money.

5. User Interface Is Ugly

Most developers that provide open source or free software don’t waste time on the user interface. That means that the software might not look too fancy, in fact it will be plain and simple. This is not a terrible CON for free software, but sometimes a pleasant and well set out user interface can make the software easier to use.

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This excerpt appears with permission from Tips4PC.com.

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3 thoughts on “5 Dangers of Free Software

  1. I have been stung far more often with commercial software vendors losing interest in a product. They just put the source code in a vault. Open source often gets picked up by someone else. In a pinch I could take it over.

    Open source software tends to be less buggy. However it is typically much harder to install and understand. There is almost a cult of "You should not be using my software unless you are as clever as I am e.g. Wireshark, Maven, CDReport." Exceptions: LibreOffice, browsers, Thunderbird, Don't tar them by putting them in the same breath with adware.

  2. I laugh at #2.

    Heard of Microsoft? Apparently they lost interest in one of their most successful products ever. Called Windows XP.

    Just goes to show that it ain’t just the little bedroom freeware programmer….

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