July 4, 2018

Sreekanth B

What is The Difference Between Freeware and Shareware Software

What is The Difference Between Freeware and Shareware

Freeware and shareware are software programs that are available free of charge or they can be downloaded from the internet without any cost. However, freeware is different from shareware. Freeware is totally free to be used for unlimited amount of time whereas a shareware comes with free trail for some days which is normally thirty days of time.


A freeware is a software program that is free to use. It can also be downloaded from the internet. Freeware is different from adware as well as shareware because in adware, the user has to view ads while using the software program and in shareware, the user has to pay for it in order to use the program past the trail period.

Even though a freeware is free to use, it comes with an End User License Agreement or EULA. Although the EULA is specific to different freeware programs but there are some restrictions that are common to all of them.

Most of the freeware programs do not have technical support or a Help menu in the program. This is because freeware software programs are developed by programmers in their free time and they don’t have many resources for technical support. Some freeware programs may not have built-in support but they may have USENET groups or FAQ websites that are dedicated to help users in using the program. Even some programmers help users by answering their emails.

Most freeware programs require the user to use them for personal purposes. However, business or commercial use needs a paid license. So it is recommended to read the license in a freeware program while installing it.


A shareware is a software program that can be used or downloaded from the internet free of cost but only for the trial period. After the trail period ends, the user has to uninstall the program because of End user License Agreement (EULA) or purchase the program in order to use it after the trial period ends.

In some shareware programs, the number of days it has been installed on the computer is not counted under the trial period but the trial time is based on the number of times the shareware program is used. This happens in case of gaming programs.

There are built-in mechanisms is some shareware programs that stops their use after the trial period is over. This is done in order to protect the copyright of the author. So, if the user tries to open the program after expiration of the trail period then a popup or error box will open informing the user that the trial period is over. The popup may also ask for the registration key which is available only after it is purchased.

Difference between freeware and shareware

Freeware is a software program that is free to use for unlimited amount of time whereas a shareware comes with a free trial period after which the user has to pay in order to use the program.

Most freeware programs do not come with a built-in technical support whereas a shareware has built-in technical support.

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