What is Shareware?

Shareware is a marketing method, not a type of software. The phrase "Try Before You Buy" is more descriptive. Unlike software marketed through normal retail channels, where you are forced to pay for the product before you've even seen it, the shareware marketing method lets you try program for a period of time before you buy it. Since you've tried a shareware program, you know whether it will meet your needs before you pay for it. Shareware programs are just like programs you find in major stores, catalogs, and other places where people purchase software -- except you get to use them, on your own computer, before paying for them.