The proliferation of the term open source and freeware has laymen confused between the two. This is not surprising since many opensource software are distributed as freeware. However, there is a vast difference between open source and freeware although both kinds of software are used for all kinds of applications, from gaming to debt consolidation.
Freeware refers to any kind of software that is distributed for free. The platform used for these software nor the licenses used for them do not matter. It is an all-encompassing term for any software you can get without having to pay a single cent. Of course, many freeware are distributed as such only on a trial basis with use beyond the said period to be paid for and extra or premium features needed to be bought.
Open source, on the other hand, refers to the kind of license a software has. There are different kinds of open source licenses although they all primarily share the same ideal, which is to “open” the software’s source code so that others are free to use the software and even modify them.
Image via Bilal Kamoon