Desert Sky Computing

Yes and No.

It depends on what your version of free is. When downloading free software from the Web you will come across the following terms:

  1. 1. Free
  2. 2. Free-trial
  3. 3. Freeware
  4. 4. Shareware
  5. 5. Demos

I will define all five of the types listed above and explain the pitfalls associated with downloading all of these file types on the web.


There are actually two different types of "Free" software. The reason for this is that some software is free to use (you don't have to buy a copy) but it is proprietary, only one person actually owns the code. The other version is the code is open for everyone to use. No one entity necessary owns the code and therefor everyone can make changes to it.\ The first version for the average user actually means free. Free to download, and free to use, and in some case, free to share. In most cases this type of free software is not the "Best" version of this type of software available. It most likely does not have some of the features more expensive versions of the same program but it does work and in many cases is all you need. An example is: Avast Free". In other cases the software provider wants you to have it for free like Adobe Flash or Adobe Reader. In exchange they charge other people for the right to author code written in those formats.

The second type of "Free" is often called "Open-sourced" software. This "means the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. However, even if you make changes and improve the software you may never sell it as your own. An example of the type of program is "Open Office"


Free-trial software is free but with an expirations date. Most free-trial software comes from large software companies that want you to try their software and hopefully before the expiration date, if you are happy with its performance, your will buy it. If you find that this software is not for you, you are required to remove it from your computer. Examples of this type of program are: CorelDraw Graphic Suite, Most Antivirus programs or basically any expensive program you would want to try before buying.


Freeware is a combination of the word Free and Software. It is software that is free to enjoy, mostly by smaller companies. In many cases they ask for a donation if you like the program. You are never required to pay. Most sites like and offer many types of Freeware.


Shareware is software that is provided for a limited trial basis that most likely has an expiration date. Many times the trial time is long, thus its difference from Free-trial software, but the program does a little more if it is purchased. Most sites like and offer many types of Freeware.


Demoware is software that a company want to demonstrate to you. I usually has all the features of the full program but without the ability to save or reproduce the final result. For example, a Presentation Software Company may offer a demo that will let you produce an impressive business or personal demonstration but you will not have the ability to save, copy or use the finished file.


NOTE: When downloading any files from the internet, I ask that you slow down and read each step before clicking, they make the wording very unclear and you may easily find yourself adding unwanted programs to your computer. I am not talking about the full page legal information I am talking about clicking on the NEXT button before understanding that your may be downloading another toolbar. All of the links on this website will direct you to honest websites but they do need to make money, and many of them try to sneak in small add-on programs that for which they receive a fee. You will receive the very same program by clicking on DECLINE