What is Software: Functions, Types, and Examples

For computer users, of course, already familiar with the term software. Because software is an important part of a computer. Without software, the computer will not be able to work optimally. So, what is software?

A computer network is a device that can be used for various activities. Starting from doing office work, watching movies, making designs, and so on. In order to work optimally, computers need additional devices called software.

In this article, we will review what software is. This discussion includes definitions, types, and examples of software. You can read this article in its entirety to get a complete and detailed explanation of the intricacies of the software.

Table of Contents

What is Software?

what is software definition

Software is a part of a computer that consists of several commands where the operation is carried out through a computer machine. So software is a device that does not have a physical form.

In other words, software is software containing programmed or stored data with certain functions. For example, there is software that is specifically made to carry out the functions of image design, video playback, and so on.

In its manufacture, software is a device developed by a developer or programmer using a particular programming language and can be combined with code that can be recognized by the hardware.

Software is designed to facilitate human work. Examples such as calculating, creating documents, editing images, and so on. as the developers themselves continue to develop the software on a regular basis, of course there will be more features that make the software easier for users to use.

So software development is devoted to facilitate human work. Without the software, a lot of work can’t be done quickly and effectively.

Software Features

software features

After knowing what is software, you also need to understand about its characteristics. The goal is to understand the software more thoroughly and in detail. For information, here are some features of the software that you need to know.

As a Hardware Performance Support

The first characteristic possessed by software is its nature as a support for hardware performance. Software will be able to work optimally and optimally if it synergizes with hardware in completing certain jobs.

Software is responsible for managing hardware / hardware on the computer. That way the computer can work properly depending on what needs to be needed and done. Software will make hardware performance more organized.

Requires Installer to Install it

The next feature possessed by the software is that it requires an installer file to install it. Since it doesn’t have a physical form, you will need an installer file to install the software on the device.

Read: 8 Types of Network Devices You Should Know

The installer file has various extensions. But the most common is in the form of .exe as many Windows users encounter. Once installed, the new software can be operated as needed.

Can Be Affected by Computer Virus

Computers are relatively vulnerable to virus attacks. Likewise with software. Software is software that has the characteristics of being susceptible to viruses, either from the source site you downloaded or even from a virus that has been implanted.

There are many types of viruses that can attack computers. Starting from Worms, backdoors, trojans, Malware, and so on. To minimize the occurrence of virus attacks, you can use the best and credible anti-virus on your laptop.

Are Open Source, Freeware, Shareware, or Commercial

In general, software can be open sourced, freeware, shareware, or commercial. In general, the software can be used by anyone for free. However, the developer or programmer basically has certain conditions that are usually included when the user wants to download the software.

Types of Software and Examples

what is software types

Technological developments make software continues to progress. Currently, more and more software has emerged that can be used to help human productivity.

After knowing what software is, you also need to know the types and examples. For information, here are some types and examples of software that you often encounter.

Operating System (OS)

One type of software that is quite widely used is the Operating System (OS). This software functions to manage all the hardware connected to the computer’s CPU. So that the computer can work according to the program that has been instructed.

The operating system also helps translate activity by managing processes that are commanded by the user and then propagated to the CPU so that these commands can be executed correctly on the computer. Examples of operating system software are Microsoft Windows, UNIX, MacOS, Linux.

Programming Language

programming language software

The next type of software is Programming Language. In general, computers can work through commands written in the form of a programming language. The program language is then translated and executed according to the logic that has been executed.

Read: What is Network Security: Types and Functions

In short, a programming language is a language used to write programs. Examples of this software include HTML, JAVA, PHP, C, C++ and many others. Even if you create this programming language, you will still need special software to design programs based on the methods and structures in the programming language itself.

Application Program

The type of software that also needs to be known is the application program. You need to know that application programs are software that we generally encounter in daily activities. This software can function according to the purpose for which it was created.

Some examples of software application programs commonly found on computers include Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office Word, and MYOB. You can use the software according to its function and purpose.

Types of Software Based on Distribution

software ditsrubution

In addition to the several types and examples of software above, software can also be distinguished by its type based on the distribution process. The following is a discussion of the types of software based on the distribution process.

Opensource Software

The type of software based on its distribution, the first thing to know is that it is Open Source. In short, open source is a type of software whose source code can be opened. You can also modify, upgrade, and redistribute it without having to pay. This type of software is developed by programmers using a special programming language.

One example of software that is open source is Linux. The Linux operating system allows users to develop the software freely and without having to pay.


Adware is software designed with the aim of automatically distributing online advertisements onto the user’s computer screen. This type of software can also generate income through the pay per click (PPC) method.

As the name suggests, this software aims to display advertisements on the user’s device. Generally, the ads that are displayed have been preferred according to the interests or history of using user data on the internet.

For example, if you often search for gadgets, the ads that appear will generally not be far from that category. So that the ads that appear are more targeted and increase the potential for clicks or purchases.


It is a type of read-only software storage. This property is immutable, so if you experience functional issues, you don’t need to make any further changes or developments.

Read: What is Firewall: Definition, Types, and Functions

Because generally this software is factory-made so it is not arbitrary to make changes. Firmware can usually be found by default on computer devices to perform certain functions.


wht is freeware software

The next type of software is Freeware. In short, Freeware is software that can be used for free without any time limit. This means that you can use the device for free as long as it is still being developed by the developer.

Although you can use it for free, generally the features offered are quite limited. The software has certain limitations in its features and use.

If you want to be able to take full advantage of the software, there are usually premium or paid options available. After upgrading to the paid version, you can use more complete features and benefits.


Malware is a type of software that is considered dangerous if misused. The reason, malware is designed to infect computers and damage them. There are many types of malware, one of which is a computer virus.

Software such as Malware can generally have a negative impact on computer devices. Some of the impacts that can be caused include data theft, data deletion, and it can even damage the victim’s computer.

Generally Malware is distributed without the knowledge of the victim. This process can be done via the internet or offline, such as device exchange or something else. Therefore, to avoid malware infection, make sure not to download files carelessly on the internet.


The next type of software that can be used is Shareware. This type of software in general is almost similar to the type of Freeware because both can be used for free by users.

However, the Shareware software has a certain time limit for its use. Usually called the trial period. This trial time also varies according to the policies of each developer.

Read: What is Trojan and How to Keep Your Computer Save!

This type of software is usually used as a demonstration with limited functionality and usage time. After the trial period ends, you will need to upgrade to the paid version if you want to continue using the software.


The next type of software is Spyware. In short, Spyware is a type of software designed to spy on any user activity. This software is also often misused to steal computer data.

Many include spyware in the category of computer viruses. Because this software can be used for certain purposes that harm the victim. Spyware is usually installed hidden and disguised to resemble an application in general.


Software is a very important component in a computer. Without software, the computer will not be able to work optimally and optimally. Because the software can function like the brain for the hardware in the computer.

In short, software contains programmed or stored data with certain functions. There are many different types and examples of software to be found. For example, operating system software, adware, freeware, open source, and so on.

That’s an article about what is software that you should know. After reading the article, hopefully you can have a more complete knowledge related to software and also the types that can be used.

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