It’s no secret, software can be expensive, and saving money by finding quality, open source or free software to replace paid options can save you loads of cash. Although many free software options are amazing, and offer great value, there are some that take advantage of your trust, installing malicious software, spyware or viruses on your computer. Of course, installing something free and untested on your computer can be dangerous, and it’s important to know what to look for and what the red flags are when choosing free software.
1)Do Your Reasearch- How Well Known is the Program?
There are many paid programs that offer free versions, these are generally a safe bet as the reputation of the company and their legitimacy is already established. Make sure you do your research on the software before downloading it and installing it on your machine. Read reviews, and search to see if other users have had bad experiences with it or found that it was somehow malicious.
2)Beware of Grand Claims
Beware of free software that promises and immense value for nothing, although some free programs can be simply amazing, if it seems to good to be true it might just be true. Once again, take your time and avoid downloading and installing programs on the fly, making sure to choose the best quality free programs you can find.
2)What Type Of Licensing Does It Have?
Free software comes generally have one of three licenses, shareware, freeware and open source. Open source and Shareware software tends to be high quality, powerful, and legitimately free. Although Freeware can at times be an excellent alternative, in many cases the software is outdated and buggy, so take that into account when choosing the right free software for your situation.
3) Mix and Match
In some cases several free software options can be used to replace a paid service or program. An example of this might be an antivirus and spyware protection program. Installing two different free softwares, one that offers free spyware protection and the other that provides free anti-virus protection can give you the protection you need for absolutely nothing. So, before you discount a free option check around, maybe two free programs could do the work of the one paid one, providing an excellent service, with no extra cost.
The most important thing you need to remember is that even though it’s free, the try it and see might not always be the best way to go. In some instances installing the software can lead to long lasting problems that could require professional help to fix. So take your time and make sure the free option you choose will deliver as promised, and provide you with the functionality you need without incident. This is key to saving money and having an excellent free software experience.
By taking the time to research and find the best solution, you’ll find free software can be an amazing option to many computer issues.