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NoCatharsis's avatar

How can I repay some of the software companies that offer freeware programs (without donating money)?

Asked by NoCatharsis (207points) September 3rd, 2009

Almost every computer utility I use, online or offline, is freeware that I’ve found through Lifehacker, or through some other reputable source. Many times these programs are really great for cleaning up my computer (Spybot, Revo Uninstaller, CCleaner, etc.), or my life (Toodledo,, DropBox, or even Fluther). I very rarely drop a dime for any of these software companies, but I do want to support them and keep them in their freeware endeavors. What’s the best way to do that without shelling out cash (which would essentially negate the entire idea of open source or freeware)?

Oh yeah, and I’m not a programmer, so I don’t feel like I could contribute directly to open source software very handily.

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10 Answers

MrItty's avatar

If they have websites, see if their websites contain ads. Click on a few of their ads.

dynamicduo's avatar

I would say then that recommending their use to other friends is the best way you can contribute to the company’s well being. The company wants more people to use its software, hands down, and your personal testimony to a friend (and possibly help in installing it) is much more valuable and successful than them seeing a random banner ad seen on a site.

Clicking on their website ads is also not a bad thing to do, but don’t sit there clicking all day cause the ad systems catches such spamming very quickly.

richardhenry's avatar

Be an evangelist. Recommend the software to as many people as you can.

Often times, the people behind open source software or freeware also have pay-for software or are available for development or consulting work.

By getting the name out there, hopefully somewhere down the line you’re helping connect them with someone who wants to pay for software or who needs to hire a developer or dev studio.

At the very least, you’re helping get their baby in more hands and that’s also great.

richardhenry's avatar

Moreover, as a developer myself – thank you for thinking about us! :)

suzyq2463's avatar

Write reviews for their software on sites like VersionTracker, iusethis, etc. I always read reviews (especially for freeware) and they make a difference in whether or not I download a program.

OreetCocker's avatar

Are you mad??????????

OreetCocker's avatar

@NoCatharsis. Sorry, it was clearly a case of drunken bum at the controls the night I wrote that response as I managed to chop the remaining text off!!! :) My answer was very similar to that of richardhenry just echoing the fact that these guys do have pay for software out there and if they don’t, bigging them up will help their talents to be recognised and rewarded :)

OreetCocker's avatar

Ps I don’t know how I managed to cross all that out?!?!

VoodooLogic's avatar

submit bug reports.

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