You may have heard the term “open-source software” before, but have you ever wondered what it is or given any thought to if and how it affects you and your online experience? If you have, or even if you haven’t until now, we’re here to offer a simplified explanation for you.
Open-source software (OSS) uses source code (code that directs how software programs or applications work) that can be viewed, modified and redistributed by many users. This means, though the software may be copyrighted, the creator produced the code with the expectation for others to use and share it. It’s usually licensed to grant permissions to be used or modified, so programmers can use, change, study or improve it to adapt to their functionality needs.
Pros and Cons of Open-source Source Software
For companies and websites that elect to use OSS, there are some positive and negatives. Often the software is free or fairly inexpensive. OSS is considered to be reliable and secure. It’s also regularly improved upon as more users and developers fix bugs and make enhancements from the original code.
On the downside of OSS, some users find it not to be as user-friendly as proprietary (closed-source) software. Only the original authors of this type of software can alter and repair it, so this means proprietary software may have more extensive technical support not available with OSS.
What’s Open-source Software Got to Do With Me?
You may not realize it, but you utilize OSS more often than you think—maybe even daily. OSS has become pretty standard in mainstream organizations. As an internet consumer, your online encounters are often conditioned by OSS, from the software you use to the websites you visit.
Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox; servers like Google and Microsoft; popular retail sites and social media or blog platforms—these are all examples of OSS in action. The benefits to you are a better cyber experience when you log on and use these products.
Your Internet Connection Matters Also
Now that you know a little more about open-source software, it’s important to remember your overall internet experience will only be a good as your connection. GVEC offers extreme-speed Fiber internet in the Guadalupe Valley—the fastest internet technology there is. We also provide reliable Wireless service in some areas Fiber isn’t yet available. To find out what GVEC services are provided where you live, check out our Internet Availability Map, or give us a call at 800.699.4832.