Bundleware is a type of software that is packaged together with other applications or services as a single installation package. It is often offered to the computer user for free, but may contain additional features that require payment. Bundleware typically comes with computer hardware or operating systems, but can also be included in software such as Adobe Creative Suite or media players like iTunes.
Bundleware comes in two forms. Pre-installed software is already loaded onto the computer before the computer is purchased. This type of bundleware is often not removable and can be confusing to delete because it is usually not listed under the “Start > Programs > Uninstall” list. The second type of bundleware is offered during the installation process of a separate application. It may be included in the Terms and Conditions or may have its own separate installation page.
Bundleware is controversial because of the potential security risks associated with it. Since it is bundled in with other software, there is an increased chance of containing malicious code or malware. Additionally, bundleware is typically presented as an opt-out feature, which means that it is pre-selected and the user must manually deselect it in order to not install it. Furthermore, many bundleware come with an online toolbar that can track the user’s browsing history for marketing or other practices.
To avoid installing bundleware, users should take the time to manually deselect the features they do not want during the installation process. Additionally, they can look for software that specifically allows users to customize their installation packages. Lastly, users should be sure to only download software from trusted sources and always read the Terms and Conditions before installation.