What is Shareware? Staying Safe Online

August 29, 2022 • April Miller


Shareware is a type of software that is released to the public for trial use. This means that you can download and use the software for a certain amount of time before you are required to purchase a full license. Shareware was first introduced in the 1980s, and it has become increasingly popular over the years.

There are also some security concerns that you should be aware of when using this type of software. In this blog post, we will discuss what shareware is, how to use it safely and the security concerns associated with it.

An Overview of Shareware

Shareware is software that allows you to try an online product before you buy it. You can use the software for a specified period, usually 30 days, before you are required to purchase a license. Once the trial period is over, you will need to pay for the license to continue using the software.

Types of Shareware

There are many different types of shareware, and they can be used in several ways. Some common examples of shareware include:


Some types are released as freemium, which means that you can use it without paying for it. However, there are limitations on what you can do with the software, and you need to pay for advanced functions.


Shareware can also be released as adware, which allows you to use the software but shows ads. Adware usually have all of the features of the full version, and they often offer paid versions without ads.


Some shareware is released as trialware, which means that you can use it for a specified period before you are required to purchase a license key. Trialware typically has all of the features of the full version, but it may be disabled after the trial period expires.

How is it Used?

Shareware is often used by developers to generate interest in their software. For example, a developer may release a shareware version of their software to get people to try it out and see if they like it before purchasing the full version.

This type of software can also be used to generate revenue for a company. For example, a company may release an adware version of their software with limited features. This strategy allows the business to make money from the ads.

How to Protect Yourself When Using Shareware

There are some security concerns that you should be aware of when using shareware. One issue is that some downloads may contain malware, which is malicious software that can harm your computer or steal your personal information.

Another concern is that some software may be released as a virus. A virus is a type of malware that can replicate itself and spread to other computers. Viruses can damage your computer or delete your files.

To protect yourself when using shareware, you should only download it from trusted sources, such as the developer’s website or a reputable software site. You should also scan any shareware that you download with an anti-malware program before you install it.

Should You Seek out Shareware?

There are many reasons why you might want to seek out shareware. One motivation is that you can use it to try out new software before you decide to purchase the full version. This strategy can help you avoid wasting your money on software that you don’t end up using.

Another reason to seek out shareware is that it can be a way to support the developers of the software. By purchasing shareware, you are assisting the development of new software and ensuring that future updates will be available.

Finally, you may save money by finding shareware that is released as freemium or adware, which you can use without having to pay for it.

Enjoy All Types of Software Safely

Maybe you’ve used shareware in the past and didn’t realize it! Perhaps you’re eyeing some shareware now. Whatever the case, it’s important to know what shareware is, how it works and the potential risks involved with using it. With that said, enjoy shareware and proceed with caution!