The internet has come up with a lot of exciting things over the years, and one of these is free and pirated versions of things that you would otherwise pay for. This includes everything from music and movies, to books, applications, and software; all of which is available online. For most people who cannot afford to buy these things, or for those who choose not to invest in them, the option of getting these things for free online looks great.
Even though it is, in most cases, illegal to share these things online or access them without paying for the full subscription, that is not the only reason why they must be avoided. The security risks and other concerns that come along with these options are just not worth the money saved. This article looks at the reasons you should avoid free Microsoft Product Keys in 2019, and why you should invest in the real thing.
What are Microsoft Product Keys?
A product key is, in simple words, a code that has letters and numbers which is used to install some software programs. This key can be any length and can have any combination of letters and numbers.
Generally, if a product is paid for, it requires a product key to complete the installation process, and that product key allows for manufacturers to ensure that each copy of the software that is active is one that has been bought legally. If your product key does not work, your product will not install, and you will not be able to access any of the software features.
Free Microsoft Product Keys and why to avoid them
Microsoft products such as the Windows and Office suites are some of the most easy-to-find pirated and cracked software products on the internet. In particular, for Windows, it is straightforward to find a multitude of links in each search query which claim to give you Windows 10 product key and all of the features of the original fully paid program, without having to pay a penny. However, this only sounds good in theory. Many issues arise with these free Microsoft product keys for windows and office suites, and here are the three main ones:
1. Scams and viruses
No one can resist a good bargain; especially when that bargain comes in the form of a free and easy-to-use online software program. If this seems like something that is too good to be true, the chances are that it is too good to be true. The vast majority of links that show up in search engine results for free Microsoft product keys are just links that redirect you to pop-up ads and other web pages, which helps them make much money and gain SEO traction too. Most of these links end up wasting your time.
If, however, these links show something that is available for download, chances are that it is riddled with viruses or is just another way to download bugs and malware to your computer.
2. Limited access and safety
Sometimes, you can find free Microsoft product keys online, and they seem to work. These product keys can often just be limited to a few software programs or minimal features within the few programs that they provide access to.
For someone who requires access to the whole Office suite and all of its features, this can be a temporary fix for an urgent issue, but will not be able to serve the requirements you might have in the long run.
Another one of the main concerns with these free product keys is that they can often hamper the safety and privacy of the data on the device. If the software program is one that has access to cloud services or online storage, any such software programs that have free product codes might end up hampering the security and privacy of your online data.
Lastly, in a situation where the product code actually works and gives full access to all the software program features, there is a substantial risk of quick and random expirations in case some software update recognizes an incorrect product key or requires the old key to be put in but recognizes it as an illegal free product key.
The expiration issue can come off at random times with or without updates, and can significantly hamper the productivity of your work.
Products like Microsoft software programs can tend to get a bit pricey, but there are always benefits to investing in the program as opposed to risking your privacy and the safety of your device at the hands of malware and viruses that free products online might bring. In most cases, schools and workplaces can offer access to these products for free or can purchase licensed products for you if you ask them to. For those that do not have this option, it is recommended to stay away from cracked and free versions of software products on the internet. Investing in software that you can use for years on end, without the hassle of worrying about expiration dates and data privacy, is a far better option.