Adware is all over the Internet. From websites, to downloads, it seems there is no escaping its presence. While this may be the case, this article will discuss the primary areas where adware lurks, thus giving you a better chance of preventing it from being installed on your computer.
It can be argued that the most common area that adware can be found in is freeware. The reason being is because freeware is free to use and is usually supported by adware and pop up software. In short, freeware is software which can be downloaded and used for free by anyone. All the author usually wants is credit for their work. This is not to be confused with open-source software, even though they are very similar. The main difference between freeware and open-source software is that users can download and modify the code in open-source software, unlike in freeware.
Since freeware is supposed to be free to use, the author will not ask users for money. Instead, they can pay for any expenses using their own money, asking for donations, or bundling adware with their freeware. Most likely, freeware developers go with the adware option because they don’t want to spend their own money and getting donations can be difficult.
Shareware is probably the second most-common place adware can be found. Shareware has many similar characteristics as freeware, including the adware aspect. Both are free to download and use, but when it comes to shareware, the author usually requests that you give them a donation for using the software. While this is not mandatory, it helps keep the shareware project alive and updated. Metaphorically speaking, shareware can be categorized as using an “honor system”.
This “honor system” is primarily the reason why adware shows up in shareware. A lot of times, people will not donate for using the software and continue to just use it for free. To help prevent shareware from being discontinued, advertisers are willing to pay money to allow their adware to be bundled with the software. While adware does not show up as much in shareware as it does in freeware, you will still find adware in a lot of shareware programs today. When you think about it, adware is responsible for a lot of shareware’s survival.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Applications:
While adware is not bundled with P2P software as much as it used to, it can still be found in these applications. A prime example where adware was bundled with P2P software is Kazaa. In the past, there was a lot of controversy in terms of bundling adware with Kazaa but, just like shareware, the adware was necessary so the Kazaa project could continue to be funded.
Now that you know about the primary areas where adware can be found, you can take more caution in downloading these free programs. It is important to know that just because adware is bundled with these various forms of software that you should not be afraid to download them. After all, there are some very good programs that you can download for free that rival similar commercial solutions. Plus, if the adware bothers you that much, you can always pick up an adware removal tool or other security solution.
Josh George has been helping others protect themselves against adware and annoying pop-ups since 1998. His website contains free adware information, adware tools, and useful guides proven to help prevent annoying pop-ups from appearing on computers. If you want to learn how to help protect your own system from annoying adware, have a look at his site: Adware Spyware .