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Open Source Software vs. Freeware: Battle of the Ages

by Aji Abraham

All businesses operate on a budget.  To stay within a tight budget, many turn to freeware for their internet business needs instead of purchasing open source software.  However, this decision, which at first seems like nothing more than a quick money saving maneuver, can have potentially detrimental results.

Freeware is often an experiment conducted by inexperienced individuals with spare time on their hands.  Open source software is developed by a professional who spends hours placing full attention on the job.  While software is produced in each scenario, there is a large variance in quality.  You get what you pay for, and in terms of freeware, that may be close to nothing.

Since this freeware is produced by amateurs in basements, home offices, and personal computers everywhere, customer support is limited or nonexistent.  Phone and online support are rarely part of a freeware “purchase,” and if support is provided it often comes from a third party, not the creator.  Open source software has a technical support team available to fix and prevent problems as they arise.

The lack of support from freeware may not be worrisome if problems never arose, but this would be too easy.  Updates for freeware are infrequent, and new features are seldom added.  This may not seem concerning, but the lack of updates puts the customer at risk for security problems.  And once these problems arise, there is not a technical support team to rebuild security.

Not only does freeware place a business on shaky ground due to security issues, but the lack of dependable programming makes for unreliable products.  Freeware often has third party add-ons in place of first party programming, putting the software, company, and security at risk.

Open source software may not come to you without a cost, but freeware can cost much more in the long run.  For a variety of quality, affordable open source software programs check out iScripts.com.

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