What is the Difference Between Freeware and Shareware – Learn Software Lingo

2 min read

For a while, computer lingo has been quite a nuisance to many people. A simple reason for that is that people have failed to understand what all the new words mean. This has been a problem for many people who were old enough that computers were already a problem in themselves, let alone all the software lingo. On the other hand, younger generations simply do not care and have completely avoided the topics of software, well other than upcoming developers.

Freeware, shareware, what does it all mean? Well, read on and find out, finally.

Shareware – Free to Use for a While

Shareware is the most common type of software which you get to try and then you have to pay for it after a while. There are different types of shareware, meaning that the developers allow you to either use the software for a certain time or that they lock it down to its essentials so that you can “try” it. Here is how shareware is divided.


Demoware is all about you trying the software, but only for a while. After that, it prompts you to purchase it, after which you receive a code or other ways of activating the software.


This type of software may or may not be fully functional, but it often is. They might require of you to make a once in a lifetime donation, meaning you pay for the software. In the cases where it is fully operational, it might get in your way somehow.


Ah, the dreaded of the three. Adware is often found with freeware software, but shareware also makes use of it. In order for you to enable the software completely and get rid of the annoying advertisements, you need to pay money.

Be careful, adware is dangerous as it gathers data about you, from your computer and sends it to the source of said ads, in order for you to get targeted ads. Adware can also be malicious and upload Trojans or other, more dangerous forms of viruses.

Freeware – Our Savior

Freeware software is the type you download and thank the author for creating it, unless they placed a thousand ads in it, making it basically shareware unless you want to purchase it and get rid of the ads. While this happens sometimes, freeware software is actually copyrighted software, just like shareware is, but you can use it for free, completely. It is the type of software most loved after open source.

These are the key and main differences between freeware and shareware. Both are copyrighted, but one is completely free and the other locked down to an extent and you have to pay for the full version.