A freeware DVD player is a piece of software which plays DVDs on a computer. It is not a physical device. Because it is freeware, there will usually be no cost in installing the software. While potentially useful, the quality of freeware is variable so it is important to choose carefully.
Technically speaking, freeware means software which is completely free to use with no restrictions. It is commonly confused with shareware, which offers a trial of a product. This will either be in the form of a fully functioning program which will only work for a certain time before requiring payment, or as a program where some functions are limited until the payment is made. These will often be marketed with terms such as free download, which do not always refer to freeware.
In most cases, you should have received software which can play DVDs when you bought your computer or when you added on a DVD drive later. As well as this, most major media player software can play DVDs. However, freeware can offer some useful alternatives. For example, some freeware DVD programs are intentionally designed to use as little memory as possible, which can be helpful on older machines.
There’s no reason why you should stick with the first freeware DVD player you find. However, while there is no financial cost in doing so, it’s not necessarily a good idea to try dozens of different programs. Each time you install and then uninstall a program, you increase the likelihood of clogging up your computer or having it run slowly. This is because some freeware programs are not designed as well as they should be and do not completely remove themselves as they should upon being uninstalled.
To help you choose a freeware DVD player, it makes sense to look at a range of reviews. However, look wherever possible for those which are written by genuine users. Do not rely to heavily on reviews listed on download sites under titles such as “Editor’s Review.” These will often simply contain material from the publisher’s publicity material rather than being a genuine review of how the software works in reality.
Downloading a freeware DVD player, like any software, runs the risk of infecting your computer with a virus. As well as the usual principles of keeping your computer protected with up-to-date security software, you should take particular care about where you get freeware from. Rather than simply search online for the type of software you are looking for, it is safer to track down established and reliable download sites which provide freeware and then examine these for DVD player programs.