Computer Security & Viruses/Download free antivirus etc software


28 May 2013
Hello Lenny,

I am often unsure if certain software on the Internet is free, especially when they ask for registration and provide you with a licence number? In the past, this was not often required.

Yesterday, I used the and selected: Free Download for the AVG antivirus.  During the download, I was provided with a licence number on screen. I stopped at this stage and chose not to continue with the installation. Please can advise be given, if this will still be a free AVG antivirus download and a licence number or registration does not mean that you will be charged for using the software?

Similarly, I liked the "free" SparkTrust software and installed it on my computer. Then after it ran automatically on my computer and found a large number of errors to correct I selected: Fix all.
Then the next stage was to register. At that point, again, I was unsure if I would be charged? Please can advise be given if there is no problem with registration and using a provided licence number on screen for the SparkTrust software. It does not mean you will be charged and the software is still free?

I am just used to seeing free software mentioned on the screen, at different stages during the downloading of free software and not introducing licence numbers or registration.

Kind regards,

Hello Brent,

I guess your worry lies on the state of knowing what is really free. Or start getting charged for the product(stated as FREE) due to the fact that registration is involved.

There are 2 kinds of software offered out there on the NET.
1-Freeware(One that is completely free and readily available to anybody without any time(expiry date) and feature restrictions whatsoever. Trading does not exist)

2-Shareware(Time and feature restrictions apply on these sorts of programs. Most of these are based on trial periods.Trading or rather payment exists)

In response to your question, AVG is not a Freeware but rather a Shareware. As time and feature restrictions apply. Meaning the expiry period is basically a month and the full features found in the FULL AVG version do not apply on the FREE AVG version.

Reason for registration is to facilitate software protection and client support through the author's website. FREE remains free in Shareware programs but on a limited amount of time whereby expiry kicks in. And 'NO' this does not mean that you will start getting charged for REGISTERING not unless trial period expires and no contract remains for some sharewares.

Regarding registering, some shareware programs offer the client the option to register or not. So this is based on the architecture of the programs themselves.


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