This post is about WinRAR. We all know WinRAR for it’s never expiring trial period and the annoying pop-up that we have massively ignored for decades now. At least, in the personal space. I think there are not that many people that bought a WinRAR license for their personal computer, out of principles, guilt, or even accidentally. Including me. I have never owned a WinRAR license myself.

But that has changed. I actually bought my very own license last month. And the reason for that is threefold:

  1. I run a business now. And I’d like to keep things legal.
  2. I was curious about the process, and wanted to go through this experience to see what it took to buy a license.
  3. To me it is also a collectors item. Something you can proudly stall on the office shelf.

Now, let’s back up a little, and take a look at the license agreement of WinRAR. Statement 2 is pretty clear about it:

2. The software is distributed as try before you buy. This means that
     anyone may use the software during a test period of a maximum of 40 days
     at no charge. Following this test period, the user must purchase
     a license to continue using the software.

But we all know, it does not work that way. After the trial period expires, we are massively hitting this close button every time we use it.

Now, as I stated, there are a lot of jokes and memes about WinRAR. I added some of them to this post, and they really make me laugh.

Buying a license

And so it happened. On a bright sunny day, I headed over to the WinRAR webshop, and then I was happily surprised when I saw the order page. It had a checkbox to add a WinRAR Physical Delivery on CD.

And then I was like: nah, that’s a joke. Who orders that? So I added the CD to the basket to see if it would ever arrive. But not long after I placed the order, I got this wonderful email:

So I decided to write back and to come clean to the WinRAR sales team. I told them that I was surprised about the CD, and asked them how many licenses they sell each year. That’s the question right? How does WinRAR make money? Well, they sell a bunch of licenses to businesses on daily basis. I don’t have the actual numbers, but what surprised me the most is the number of physical CDs that they ship each year. Can you believe that?

It took 4 weeks for mine to arrive. Since I had no integrated CD/DVD player in any of my devices, I also bought a portable/external reader.

The disc is holding the installation source and the WinRAR key. It even got Autorun!

So, after running the installation, I could finally make this official and add my license. Look at that! How cool.

Upon the wall

Now, I’ve seen several examples of folks that framed their CD and/or license, and that seemed like the perfect idea to me. So I bought a frame on eBay, to show off this beautiful piece of art in my office. Now doesn’t that look pretty?

Wrap things up

What started as a joke basically, because I was curious about the CD, ended up being a fun experience to actually order WinRAR, receive the CD, get in touch with WinRAR sales, find a way to actually read the CD, and frame the whole thing to shine on my wall. If you also want this, here’s my shopping list:

I also stumbled upon this hilarious Ipad cover:

“WinRAR Trial” iPad Case & Skin by vapormoon | Redbubble

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to grab your own license!

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