When looking for cheap software online you will run across a lot of websites that are selling software that is illegal or illegitimately manufactured. There are some websites where you can get authentic new software for cheap prices, but you can also find good deals from retail outlets that have older versions if you are willing to go that route.
You can also find a lot of OEM software which is the real authentic program, but it is not supposed to be sold by itself. It is only intended to be given as a bonus with other software that you purchased or it could come bundled with a computer or other components you buy such as a hard drive. Most OEM software will say something on the package like, “Not For Resale” or “For Distribution Only With A New PC.” Nevertheless, many websites sell it anyway and if you buy OEM software you will probably not get the free updates and tech support that you get with the full retail version.
If you look offline for cheap software, the best places are used hardware dealers who might have some software products and computer supply stores.
And of course one of the best places to find good deals offline are large retail chains. If you remain alert you might be surprised at the software bargains that occasionally pop up.
Many people would rather find software that they can simply download because they can get it instantly rather than having to wait for it to arrive in the mail, but when downloading software you must be careful. Most software manufacturers do not allow other resellers to offer the download. So if you find a website that offers download versions of software and it is not the official website of the software developer then it is probably not legal software.
One example is Intuit.
I found a version of Quicken several years ago that I needed for my business and it was a very good price, so I paid for it then downloaded and installed it but the download did not come from Intuit’s website.
Everything was fine until I needed tech support one day and when I called Intuit they asked for my activation key. When I gave it to them they said it was not one of theirs and that is was most likely generated by a key code generator. They said it was an illegal download and they wanted to know where I baught it. They didn’t tell me I had to uninstall it from my computer, but they said in order to get tech support I would have to buy an authentic key code from them at full price.
Needless to say I began to be a lot more careful about where I got my software from then on.