Nero 9 Free Edition: It's Free, But It's Stripped Down and Annoying
Article by George Norman
On 03 Aug 2009
The German software developers behind the Nero multimedia suite bring out a new version of the software each autumn. When autumn does come in a little while, we can surely expect them to roll out Nero 10, just like they rolled out Nero 9 back in October – but until that happens there is one other offering from Nero that you should be made aware of: Nero 9 Free Edition.

“What’s better than free? Free forever! Nero offers you the chance to enjoy Nero’s world-renowned data disc burning and copying features for an unlimited time, absolutely FREE! Enjoy basic data burning and copying capabilities for your CDs and DVDs from the world’s most trusted digital media brand, Nero. This version of Nero 9 contains simply data burning and disc copying features for CDs and DVDs. Additional features and functionality are available with an upgrade to Nero 9 full version,” explained the software’s developers.


Yes, Nero 9 Free Edition, as the name so adequately points out, comes free of charge. But with the lack of cash, comes a lack of features. Normally you can do plenty of things with Nero 9: you can burn disks, you can watch TV (if you have a TV tuner), you can record TV shows, you can rip the audio from videos clips, and so on. But the free edition comes with just one feature – the first one, the option to burn data onto disks. If you though that wasn’t all that bad, since burning data is the feature that got Nero started in the software world, then you are mistaken.

Nero 9 Free Edition comes with a few other annoyances, which I will detail below:
- You can’t just click a link and download the software, you have to give out your email address first. Guess this is the time when that secondary email address will come in handy as you will surely not want to read all the Nero newsletters.
- The toolbar comes bundled with Nero 9 Free Edition, so pay attention during the setup. If you do not want the toolbar, make sure to uncheck the box during the installation process.
- You are asked to provide anonymous data. Yeah, just like the toolbar, you have the option to opt out of this one, but only if you pay attention and don’t just click next, next, next.
- When the software launches for the first time, you are once again asked to provide your contact info.
- The SmartStart, which I like to think of as a “main control console”, comes with all the bells and whistles for the paid version. But you are running a free version that only lets you burn disks. You get to see all the features that Nero 9 comes with, features that you don’t get (unless you upgrade to the full version).
- If you want to uninstall the software you will find that the uninstaller does not properly clean after itself.
- The download file weighs in at 55Mb and the installed file at 130MB, which is rather high for an app that simply burns data onto a disk.

If you would like to get Nero 9 Free edition, a download location is available here.

Tags: Nero, Nero 9 Free Edition
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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