Let’s face it the economic crunch has truly eroded our purchasing power.  Our aggregate household income has contracted while our expenses have remained constant or actually increased.  So either we bite the bullet and accept the fact that our standard of living has deteriorated, or be creative in stretching our budget.  One of the items hardly hit by this financial tightening is our budget for entertainment.  Unlike in normal times when we had some funds left to purchase music, movies, video games, TV shows, and software online, more often than not we have no money left for these items nowadays.  Such being the case, the option of free downloads is quite appealing.

Yes, free downloads abound in the net.  All it takes is a little patience in locating the proper site to download from.  If for instance you are searching for a particular song or movie title, Google it and you will be greeted with several sites where these files could be accessed.  True, some will require that you become a member and pay a membership fee, but others are totally free.  And you can do the same for video games, TV shows, and computer software.

However, you should be resigned to the fact that the quality of these free downloads is not the best.  In fact, oftentimes it is a far cry from the best.  Free music file downloads are highly compressed with low bit rate.  Although this requires less file space and the download time is faster, the sound quality suffers.  To the discerning ear the lack of detail is obvious.  And do not expect 720p near HD quality videos from free movie downloads.  More often than not, what are available are poorly reproduced cinema copies of your preferred titles.  Let’s just accept the economic reality that if you want something of better quality, you have to pay for it.

Although you may be able to get free downloads with no actual cash out, you have to understand and accept that this line of action is not without its risks.  Opting to get free downloads will expose you to adware, spyware, malware, viruses, Trojans, hackers, and online Identity thieves.  And if by chance you get to inadvertently download a copyrighted music file and get caught, you can be subjected to litigation.

Considering the above risks, free downloads are not free after all.  What you save in not paying for the actual download you spend in terms of time, money, and effort in warding off the spyware, malware, viruses, and Trojans.  You also have to contend with the hackers and identity thieves.  And don’t forget the legal fees should the unfortunate situation arise.

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