Freeware refers to computer software that if freely available for download. Despite the cost-free access, freeware is protected under copyright by the developer who keeps possession of its distribution, modification, and trading in the future. Freeware is usually issued without its source code so as to protect it from modification by the users. In as much as freeware enjoys a significant appreciation due to its pocket-friendly nature, there are some serious drawbacks associated with it that you should be aware of. They include;
Freeware might not be as user-friendly as commercial versions
Most of this freeware is not so easy to use, this is because the developers of these open source software tend to pay more attention to the functionality than the software user interface making it more strenuous to use, especially for beginners who are not tech-savvy. Therefore, if you need to install such software in your company, be sure that your employees undergo training so as to operate it correctly. Most of the free ware is designed mainly to satisfy the developer’s wishes so as to bring his ideas to life. Finding drivers for other devices can be laborious. This is a great drawback since you may buy a brand new hardware having much functionality, but if the drivers are not convenient for the current operating system then you will not benefit from these functionalities.
Freeware do not come with extensive support
Open source software tends more to advance in line with the developer’s demands and wishes than the user’s needs. This can cause a lot of problems to the users if they don’t know how to operate a particular program, hence, they will have to spend much of their time on it or pay for extensive support. Most of these freeware software are developed by many people. Therefore, in the case the program fails to function properly, the users don’t have a single individual or a company to point a finger to. Furthermore, there are no manuals or help documents since the software is updated after every two weeks.
They are vulnerable to malicious users
Many people can easily access the source code of freeware software but not all of them have good intentions. As most people harness their access to spot limitations and make advancements to the program, others take advantage to ill-treat the product’s vulnerabilities and devise bugs which can infect hardware, irritate other users, and steal identities. Open source products are always not secure enough; therefore, a lot of enterprises usually take an excellent position of not using their programs for important operations like keeping medical and financial records.
They have higher installation costs
It is indeed a total misunderstanding that you save a lot of your money by switching over to freeware software. Almost all personal computers and laptops come with the operating system pre-installed but a small number of open source software applications will fine tune with windows. These incompatibilities exist simply because no one cares about the quality of the software. Many freeware software applications rely on fancies and whims of the developers which are not precisely developed based on users interests. At times menu conventions are not always followed in this software. Technical support is more costly when using open source software than commercial software. This is because the personnel who offer support for free and open source software may demand a lot of money for their services such as installation.
There is no guarantee of updates
Since there are no premium services for the open source software, no one will be responsible for giving you regular updates. You can also get stuck with the same old version for a long period of time without getting any updates. Many people opt to use commercial software over open source but at times it is too expensive so that people who have small budgets cannot afford them. Since many members of the freeware software community make the code in their own time as overworked volunteers, some of the programs in open source software will not function well in new operating systems.
It is difficult to change configurations and features
Once the program or system has been deployed, it is more laborious to change its configuration, both its hardware and software. Remote upgrade of software is possible if the capability is included. Therefore, hardware configuration alteration can be trickier thus the prevailing boards may need to be replaced completely.