What are the Different Types of Freeware Files?

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  • Written By: Mitch Morgan
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Freeware files consist of a variety of programs and applications that have many uses. Unlike shareware or trial software, freeware files generally require no fee or charges to download and operate. Freeware file types might include internet browsers, e-mail service, desktop games and applications, anti-virus and security, education and tutorials, and and many others.

Licensed freeware files are supported by most computer operating systems or platforms, and also by some cell phones with downloading or internet capability. Mobile phone freeware may include internet browsers, utility programs, games, and various other phone-based applications. Computer freeware includes similar software, but the range and types of files is much greater.

Most freeware files are copyrighted by their owner even though they are available free of charge. These files usually contain some terms of use, and may not be altered or updated by the user. In contrast to purchased software, freeware may not be maintained or updated by its creator as frequently since it is offered for free.

Internet browsers are downloaded freeware files that enable a person to “surf” the Internet from his or her computer or mobile phone. Browser software is generally licensed or copyrighted although it may be freely distributed. Certain browsers are not compatible with all operating systems, or even with all online applications.


Anti-virus and disk cleanup programs are common freeware downloads. This software helps prevent and rid of computer viruses and malware that may damage a system or render it unusable. Some freeware anti-virus programs and tools may be less effective than similar purchased applications since they may not receive regular updates. Moreover, some are illegitimate, and may actually install malware on the user's computer.

A popular trend in cell phones includes freeware files such as games and phone-related applications. The range of these types of files available for a mobile phone depends on the service provider, the make and model of phone, and the type of software or applications it can support. Depending on the file, mobile freeware might be operable on many different phones or may function only on a particular model.

Freeware files are different than shareware in a number of ways. Freeware files are truly free of charge. Features of an entire freeware file or application can be accessed as often as needed without any usage restraints, and there are generally no features that cause the program to stop working after so many days or uses. Shareware programs or applications, however, usually require an additional fee to access all of the program’s features, or to continue using the software after its trial period has ended.


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