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- Alex -

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The Internet is a great resource for many things, including software. There are a lot of good (and a lot of bad) programs available for download. This guide will tell you about different ways to download software, types of software to download, provide links to some great download sites, give you some tips to make downloads more efficient and successful, and how to download safely.


Freeware is software that is, as the name says, absolutely free. You can download it, install it and use it indefinitely. The authors are usually people who have programming experience, either through their day job or just as a hobby, and write programs they think might be useful. They do it for the fun and don't expect any compensation for it, a very noble attitude that cannot be appreciated enough. Because it is free, you should be realistic. Some freeware is a very amateurish attempt at programming and you end up with a buggy piece of code you wish you never installed, some other freeware is amazingly good and you can't believe that it is free. You'll find a huge collection of links to some of the best freeware right here on this site in our Downloads section.


Shareware is software that is available for free download and allows you to use it for a certain time period after which you are expected to either register it with the owner and pay a small amount to buy a license for unlimited use, or, if you decide you don't like it or don't need it, remove it from your PC. Some shareware relies on the honor system and expects that you contact the owner voluntarily after the evaluation period is up, other will disable itself after the evaluation period is over. Other will disable itself after the evaluation period and can only be unlocked with a valid license or registration number you first have to purchase from the vendor.

Try and Buy

Try and buy is software from a professional software vendor that you can download from their web site after purchasing it with a credit card online. This way you don't have to go to the store or wait for the product to be shipped to you. Usually you download the software and then get a separate e-mail with a license or registration number after your credit card information was verified.


This is a slang term and means pirated software. Warez are illegal! Often warez are programs from professional vendors, often try and buy versions, that were illegally altered to never expire. This is completely illegal as the owner of the software never sees a penny for it. If you ever happen upon a site that offers free software from vendors that you know you have to pay for, write down the URL for the site and then send an e-mail to a few of the vendors whose software was available for free on that warez site. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Why would anybody give away free copies of Microsoft Office if you normally have to pay several hundred dollars for it in the store? Another good reason never to download anything from these sites is that often warez are infested with viruses and serve as a tool to spread them over the Internet.

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