Computer Software: Is Free Software a Good Idea?

There are a lot of companies that offer free computer software. They do this for a variety of reasons but usually it is part of their marketing plan. Free software can be a great way to save money but it is often not the best option, you may find that the paid version meets your needs better.

The obvious advantage of using free software is that it is free, most people like the idea of being able to save money so this makes using the free software an appealing proposition. There are however some downsides that you have to keep in mind if you are thinking about using free software. In a lot of cases you may well find that these downsides actually make it preferable to just spend the money and purchase the software that you need.

The biggest downside of free computer software is that it is usually not actually free. A lot of times it is offered for free for a short period of time as a trial or it is offered for free with limited functionality. The software that is offered for free on a trial basis is often very good and well worth giving a try but you do have to keep in mind that you will eventually have to pay for it if you decide to keep using it.

The software that is offered with limited functionality is more of a problem. Companies offer this in the hopes that you will decide that you need the extra features and start paying for it. It has become a bit of trend these days to make the functionality so limited that the software is basically useless unless you use the paid version.

The other thing that you really have to watch for if you are going to use free software is to make sure that you know where it is coming from. There are a lot of unethical people who will offer free software that contains a virus or malware, obviously you want to avoid downloading this. It is important that you make sure that you only download software from a trusted site.

The decision on whether free software is a good idea or not is largely going to come down to your needs. Software with limited functionality may work fine to meet your needs for example. In most cases you will find that the paid versions are better but if your budget does not allow for this then the free versions can be a good alternative.