Software Licensing Comparison

Freeware:: This closed-source software is a complete and fully functional software that is available for use for an unlimited time at no cost or other compensation (e.g. nags or advertising). Freeware may be a proprietary license (copyrighted) with no access to the source code. This software license may impose restrictions on the type of use including personal use, individual use, non-profit use, non-commercial use or any combination of these.

Open-source (GPL):: This open-source software is a complete, fully functional software that is available for use for an unlimited time at no cost or other compensation (e.g. nags or advertising). Open-source software is often developed in a public, collaborative manner for which the source code is provided under a software license that is in the public domain. This permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified forms.

Shareware:: This closed-source and proprietary (copyrighted) software is distributed without payment on a trial basis but is limited in any combination of functionality, availability or convenience. This software allows its use for a limited time period (e.g. 15-day or 30-day trial), after which its use is limited or features disabled or the program may stop running until a license is purchased. You do not at any time receive a demand for payment. You can download it freely, try and pass it around to people you know.

Nagware is a type of shareware where you are expected to register it by paying a fee or uninstall or delete it from your system after using the program for a certain trial period. Nagware displays a nag screen by popping up a message, reminding you to register, when you start the program, or intermittently while you are using the application. The intent is generally that a user will become annoyed with the messages that he or she will register it to get rid of them.

Demoware:: This closed-source and commercial software released for free in a version, which is limited in one or more ways. Some of the most common limitations are:
  • restrict or block access to important functions
  • add identifying marks or signatures to output files (common with image and video editing software)
BumperSoft policy is to exclude demoware that has no real functionality, but instead slide shows of software or self-running demos.

Ad-supported:: This software includes advertisements, which are displayed while the software is running. Developers use adware as a source of income and to keep the costs of the software free. Users may be given the option to pay for a registered or licensed copy to do away with the advertisements.

A software is considered an ad-supported if it:
  • displays banner advertisements at startup, shutdown or while the software is running;
  • changes the homepage of your web browser;
  • changes the default search engine of your web browser; or
  • creates desktop or start menu shortcuts for items unrelated to the software's functionality.
BumperSoft policy is to include only adware that notifies the user about the ad-serving components during the installation process and provides the option of skipping the installation. Where the ad-serving components are hidden completely or not optional, such software will not be listed or will be removed from our listings.

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