A few years ago I've developed a program that has a steady group of users. It became quite popular and now we have close to two million downloads on Download.com.
At first I provided the application as freeware to reach as many users as I could, but there is server costs and of course it would be nice to receive a bit of money in return for your effort.
I'm looking for a way to gain reasonable revenue from my freeware application, but still make a bit of money. Here's my experience so far (current in bold):
Xacti.com : Low revenue and it took me a lot of emails to eventually get my money.
OpenCandy.com : Friendly, revenue is ok, good online overview of your downloads.
InstallMonitizer.com : We're testing with them right now, revenue seems higher and a referral program.
Another option would be to switch to shareware (let's say 30-day trial based), but I think that would cost me a lot of users. The offer screens are harmless in my opinion.
What do you use for your software (opensource, freeware, shareware)?
What are your experiences so far?
What would you accept as a user?
Number of installs is still increasing with InstallMonetizer: http://www.installmonetizer.com. The bundle automatically checks for the best match in geographic location and revenue.
For some applications we see $1.00 per US download! Many other countries are supported as well. It will take a bit more time to update all of our mirrors.
I'll keep you guys posted.