I’m not a fan of shareware, as there are tons of freeware apps which act as an alternative. I see many of my friends spending money on Anti-viruses, Firewalls etc. because they think that these shareware apps are better than the free ones.
Shareware is not bad, for example, Gimp can’t replace Photoshop. But unless and until it’s worth it, you should keep avoiding shareware. Here are a few types of softwares you never really need to buy.
If you’re spending money on buying, renewing Anti-virus licenses, note that Microsoft itself provides an Anti-virus, completely free. MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) is just more than enough, to run it, all you need is genuine Windows. Best of all, it’s light with very less memory foot print.
Finally, sometimes common sense is all you need to remove viruses from your Windows.
#2. Registry Cleaners
The web is full of these crappy registry cleaners advertisements which literally do nothing, they rarely effect the performance of Windows.
#3. Maintenance Softwares
If you’re thinking that softwares like Tune Up Utilities will increase your system’s speed, then you’re completely wrong. I myself have tried many maintenance softwares and I have never experienced a performance boost. All they do is, clean temporary files (which you can do with CCleaner), fix registry errors (not necessary), defragment drives (only needed for XP, it hardly has effect on Vista and 7).
As Windows is evolving, system maintenance is getting automated and you don’t need a special software for that, though, it’s good to have CCleaner.
#4. Backup and Sync
Paying for File-backup services like Dropbox is not a bad deal, but take a look at other services, especially the space they give, before paying for any such service. If you’re using Dropbox and 2GB is not sufficient for you, then I would suggest you to check out Wuala (detailed review here) or Livemesh.
#5. Download Accelerators
Download accelerators like DAP (Download Accelerator Pro), IDM (Internet Download Manager) etc. offer premium version of their apps, if you end up buying such softwares, here are a few freeware apps which do the same thing, for free.
Down Them All
If you use Firefox, you must have already knew about this, it’s the best download manager built into a browser. Unfortunately, it’s not available for other browsers, nor as a standalone app.
Microsoft Download Manager
Developed my Microsoft itself, has a clean UI and does what it suppose to do. Although, I would recommend Down Them All over Microsoft Download Manager.
These are just the top 5, CD/DVD burning softwares like Nero are also really not worth buying (when is the last time you used a CD burner?). In this web, a percentage of paid apps are just bloatware. They are stuffed with unnecessary features which increase the size of it and certainly the price of it will also be high.