Skip to main content

Open Source Software & Freeware

A guide to free & open source software tools


Freeware is software that is available for use at no monetary cost or for an optional fee (Wikipedia, "Freeware").

Freeware is computer software that is made available free of charge, but which is copyrighted by its developer, who retains the rights to control its distribution, modify it and sell it in the future. It is typically distributed without its source code, thus preventing modification by its users (Linfo, "Freeware Definition").

Like shareware, freeware is software you can download, pass around, and distribute without any initial payment. However, the great part about freeware is that you never have to pay for it. No 30 day limit, no demo versions, no disabled features -- it's totally free (, "Freeware").

Open Source Software

Open source software allows access to the source code. Additionally, open-source software must adhere to the following criteria to be considered open source:

  1. Free redistribution
  2. Source code
  3. Derived works
  4. Integrity of the author's source code
  5. No discrimination against persons or groups
  6. No discrimination against fields of endeavor
  7. Distribution of license
  8. License must not be specific to a product
  9. License must not restrict other software
  10. License must be technology neutral

Learn More

The following articles tell more about freeware and open source and how they are used.