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Windows 7: Freeware... is it safe and worth the add-ons?

05 Mar 2012   #1
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 
Freeware... is it safe and worth the add-ons?

Is there any such thing as truly free software? Do you all know if the following "free" programs come with spyware or add-ons which can slow down my computer:
  • CCleaner (for clearing Temp files and websurfing Cache)
  • ImgBurn (for burning DVDs and Image files)
  • BurnAwareFree

Any thoughts on these or suggestions for paid alternatives (Roxio, Nero)? Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Mar 2012   #2
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

Sure there is free software without adverts, spying, add-ons.

You can look thru here or here. Some of those might have adverts in the software or the installer that you need to opt out of. That sort of thing changes quite a bit from version to version and as installers change.

Edit:
I've not had any problems from CCleaner and I use CDBurnerXP to make CDs, DVDs, ISO files.
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05 Mar 2012   #3
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

CCleaner and Imgburn are clean. Always pay attention to untick anything offered during installation on any program. A Guy
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05 Mar 2012   #4
profdlp

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

I've used the first two and never had any problems. Can't say yea or nay about the third one. As for the add-ons, if you're careful during the installation process you can usually avoid stuff like the wonderful Yahoo! Toolbar by opting out. It pays to go slow and read the fine print.

Freeware generally falls into these categories:

1) Really, truly free. Being the skeptical type I always wondered about that. After all, the TANSTAAFL principle holds true so often. One thing I've found after going back to school in my declining years is that there are a lot of quite talented programmers in Universities. (Sadly, I am not one of them.) They often have a major project they need to complete for a class and to keep from going completely bonkers they pick something which is actually useful. (I've had problems like generating a list of 100,000 random six-digit numbers, then sorting and searching them. They are useful tools for a programmer to have in his arsenal, but there isn't much point to a standalone program like that in the real world.) A good programming student (years ahead of me) can whip up something quite professional. After they're done and get their "A", they often just throw the program out there, content with the satisfaction of seeing hundreds or thousands of people download it. (Some of them even say thanks.)

2) Adware. It works, but you get the ads. Hey, television was like this for forty years. How'd you like the price, though?

3) Virtually free, if you are careful. See the note above about the Yahoo! Toolbar.

4) Nagware. You'll get a popup, usually when you least expect it, reminding you that the Pro version is "so much better!". Sometimes it actually is.

5) Crippleware. It runs, does the basics, but the tantalizing feature you'd like to try is grayed-out. They're counting on you finally giving into temptation and coughing up for the full version. It's just like Nagware, but more subtle in its approach. I've seen video converters that will do the first ten minutes of your movie, then stop and tell you that only the pay version does the whole thing. Some of them end up being pretty close to the next category:

6) Out-and-out fraud. Yeah, the download was free. So was the installation. Then you run the sucker and it tells you that you can "see the results by going Pro!". They're banking on the fact that after going that far you will give in and pay for it. Kind of like the chatty girl you happen to run into at the club who you find out is also a "Pro" - but only after you're getting in the car together. Either one may give you a virus, too.

7) Theft. That chatty girl in #6? When you get out to the parking lot her boyfriend hits you over the head with a big stick and steals your wallet. Thought you'd downloaded an mp3 tagger? Welcome to the Blaster Worm, sucker.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2012   #5
A Guy

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 SP1
 
 

Oh, and Welcome to Seven Forums sfeg

A Guy
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2012   #6
sfeg

Win7 Pro x64
 
 

thanks all and + repped.

I've used CCleaner before, and I think I'll try out ImgBurn. But I was also wondering, does anyone know of software which can put multiple bootable Images on the same DVD? I can post this in a separate thread, if appropriate.

I googled and found this, but learning how to use it may be time-consuming:
Insert Multiple ISO Images Into Single Multiboot USB / ISO File With XBoot

http://multicd.tuxfamily.org/#SupportedDistros
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Mar 2012   #7
UsernameIssues

W7 Pro SP1 64bit
 
 

I've not tried to put multiple ISO files on one DVD - I tend to leave the ISO files on my hard drive and open them with Virtual CloneDrive (Freeware) - near the bottom of the page.
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05 Mar 2012   #8
chris1neji

Windows 8 64 bit PRO
 
 

profdlp
I think you made my day sir lol. Your descriptions for number 6 and 7 were good
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05 Mar 2012   #9
wanchoo

Windows 7 Pro with SP1 32bit
 
 

Incidentally Burnaware Free is also free of malware. I have used it without any problems.

ImgBurn is about the best burning software, free or shareware, but I find its GUI rather daunting. So I use Burnaware Free (now changed to purchased), which is the second best burning software.

If you too get daunted with ImgBurn's GUI then adopt Burnaware Free.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by sfeg View Post
Is there any such thing as truly free software? Do you all know if the following "free" programs come with spyware or add-ons which can slow down my computer:
  • CCleaner (for clearing Temp files and websurfing Cache)
  • ImgBurn (for burning DVDs and Image files)
  • BurnAwareFree

Any thoughts on these or suggestions for paid alternatives (Roxio, Nero)? Thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Mar 2012   #10
Rollerdog

Windows 7
 
 

I have found that "open source" freeware (especially that available through SourceForge) is quite good and safe. I am using many programs such as Audible and KeePass that I got through them and have never had any problem.
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 Freeware... is it safe and worth the add-ons?




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