PC Software – What Is Freeware and How Does It Differ From Proprietary Software?

The most reliable computer software is often the free stuff. These free programs will protect your computer against malware and other threats which could harm it or steal sensitive data. These programs also help keep you safe while surfing the web by alerting you to sites with harmful content, and preventing you from downloading it unknowingly.

Freeware comprises email and browser programs that anyone can download and use, as well as antivirus and software updaters. These programs are available in dozens and a lot of them are user-friendly, so that even novices are able to use them. Freeware is also a great way to find out whether a program is worth the cost or not before you purchase it.

In 1982, Andrew Fluegelman coined the term “freeware” to refer to a telecommunications software for IBM PC named PC-Talk. Bob Wallace used it to create his word processor PC-Write. Freeware is distinct from public domain software. Public domain software is made available for commercial and noncommercial purposes, but has not expired or returned to the original copyright holder.

Another difference between proprietary software and freeware is that users of freeware have freedom to research, alter and redistribute modified versions of the program that are not given to owners of proprietary software. This means they can run the software on any type of computer system and for any purpose, without having to discuss their ideas with the author or any other entity who designed the program.