Till as late as 2004, purchased software were shipped to the customer instead of the online download and installation norm.
Today, you can purchase and download a legit Windows 10 from Microsoft for $139.
But on Kinguin, you can run your own licensed Windows 10 Home, Pro or even Workstation for around $30.
But Is Kinguin legit for a Windows 10 purchase?
Generally, purchasing software should mean that you are paying the price to the software company or developer.
When you purchase a Windows 10 or Games on Kinguin, you are only purchasing the software key.
But, in Kinguin, you purchase the product key from a seller and not from Microsoft. Hence, the issues can persist.
The product key may be incorrect, or it may be deemed so later. This can happen with any software.
So, Kinguin can not be considered as legit as you are not purchasing the software from the developer or via verified third parties.
Software Keys and Copyright Infringement: A Cheap but Risky Market
The hard truth is that software privacy has become a commonly accepted norm, but the pitfalls are not deliberated upon.
Pirated software is rarely innocent and can be harmful to a user. Illegal torrents continue to be a major driving force to software piracy.
Microsoft’s bold decision to not thwart but stem the tide was lauded with the free release of Windows 10 upgradable from the 7 or 8 versions for the launch year.
You can still get a free Windows 10 in 2020 as an upgrade over your existing Windows 7 or 8.
Microsoft allegedly checked PCs for sale in 9 Asian countries, the hotbed for software piracy, and discovered startling results.
More than 90% of PCs sold in local stores came installed with pirated software. This survey was performed late 2018 and it stands as a proof of complacency to risks of software piracy.
Beyond just Kinguin, which sells only software keys, there are numerous online sources to download gaming and other software illegally.
For a user to identify whether the software is not packed in with malware is impossible, especially in cases where even the anti-virus is sourced illegally.
Malware can leak digital information online at worst. Some are also programmed to use the host PC for bitcoin mining without the user’s knowledge.
In both cases, the harm caused is multi-fold and deceiving.
With the digital era comprehensively shifted towards online availability of software and the cloud, Kinguin treads on a treacherous territory with transparency.
To explain, even if you purchase a software key from Kinguin from a reputed seller, and even if the key is legit, where did you source the software from?
Unless it is offered on a free trial, it is likely that the software is accessed illegally.
But Kinguin does not go into this debate. It simply offers a feasible solution to an amply available demand.
How Does Kinguin Work?
Kinguin is one of the largest online marketplaces for buyers and sellers to trade software keys at alarmingly affordable prices.
You can buy the latest games, Windows 10, Office, anti-virus and other software at a fraction of the original prices at Kinguin. But how?
Is Kinguin legit? Probably, no. It can be rated as a grey market.
But is Kinguin smart? Yes.
With the online software and gaming explosion, most individuals will take to cheaper purchasing options.
These software giants often give out slashed prices on their software or bulk purchase offers.
One can easily buy these and sell them with a margin to others. Kinguin offers a perfect marketplace opportunity for this.
There are a lot of gaming and other software options available on a smartly intuitive website.
Click on what you need, and you will be redirected to the marketplace of that software with multiple sellers and/or purchase options.
So, Kinguin simply provides for both ends.
Firstly, there are individuals well-versed in the software market with multiple keys and etcetera available to them and on offer.
Secondly, there are those who need these keys, a gamer, or someone who wants to update their Windows or other software but on a low budget.
Kinguin offers a feasible but often not so reliable (coming to this later) solution to both these groups.
Is Kinguin Illegal?
No, Kinguin is not illegal, evident from a strong worldwide consumer base and considering that OEM keys can be purchased for a lower price than the original software.
The point to consider is where the software is sourced from.
Commonly, pirated games are made available as cracked software. That is, you can directly access the software without activating a key.
A common feature with these games is that they are not compatible with multi-player online gaming.
As for other software, you can download Windows 10 and use it without product activation accepting the fact that you will miss out on some additional advanced features.
On Kinguin, you can purchase a key for product activation.
Let’s consider an individual who has purchased a Microsoft 365 Family, accessible for up to 6 people.
If he/she has 2 other people to share, Kinguin provides the marketplace to do so.
For a buyer, a paid Office 365 with Premium app features is welcome at only a fraction of the $79 pricing. Thus, it is not illegal.
But if you download say FIFA 19 somehow from an illegal source and then refer to Kinguin to activate the game for online play, it can illegal, but not Kinguin.
It is important to understand that the onus is on you. Kinguin provides a portal for individuals to trade game and other software keys, packs, extensions, mods, etc.
It does not offer the software which squarely puts the authenticity on your shoulder.
But still, is Kinguin legit? You will find out right here.
What is Kinguin Buyer’s Protection?
The marketplace offers multiple keys for the same software from different sellers. Now, Kinguin does not, or rather cannot, authenticate the product on sale. Why?
Checking whether a software key or pack is usable will only use it up. So, seller authentication is not a guarantee.
But Kinguin does maintain transparency in product and seller reviews to help buyers make the correct choice and for their reputation as a marketplace.
If you want to purchase a Windows 10 activation key on Kinguin, make sure to check out the reviews related to the product and the seller history the same as you would do when purchasing something on Amazon.
But, that said, there can be cases (read there are) where the product or key sold does not work.
Fakes and scams are not uncommon on Kinguin and you would do well to manage 5 purchases without a glitch.
What Kinguin does offer is a Buyer’s Protection insurance scheme. With this, you can go ahead with a purchase and if the product does not work, get back to the customer support (Kinguin does offer above-par customer support) for a replacement which will be provided.
So, if you are considering if it is safe to buy Windows 10 from Kinguin then the answer is yes, provided you purchase it from a reputed seller, go for a well-reviewed product, and purchase with the Buyer’s Protection.
For instance, you can go ahead and purchase Mortal Kombat Steam Key at a fraction of the original price, or any other game supported on a distribution portal.
Just make sure to add the insurance.
Insurance charges are normally around $7 for OS or similar related software and lower for games. The sum payout is still a bargain compared to the original purchase.
Should I Buy from Kinguin?
You should understand that there are keys and packs provided by the company and other provided OEM. Original Equipment Manufacturer keys are cheaper to purchase as they do not come with software backup and customer support.
To put it simply, most PC manufacturers purchase OEM keys in bulk from Microsoft to install Windows OSs.
With an OEM activated Windows, the buyer will get technical support from the PC manufacturer and not from Microsoft.
OEM keys are cheap, and you can find affordable OEM keys even on Kinguin. You can make a purchase but do not expect your Windows 10 edition to be non-OEM.
For gamers, you can purchase a PUBG steam CD key for under $15 and expect it to work. Make sure to add the Buyer’s Protection to your cart as well and get a replacement, in case if the key is invalid.
You may come across some flak against Kinguin for being a fake or a scam. But the number of positive reviews is overwhelming and genuine.
They did not get to 10 million+ users worldwide as a scam.
To add some advice, avoid going for a cheaper Windows 10 activation key on Kinguin or any other digital market.
Use it for free unless you need the add-on features and customizations. Considering the slashed prices, even if you do get a Windows 10 product key from Kinguin, buy it with the insurance.
Also, after downloading the product, make sure you are not required to install a software. It should just be a simple text file and not a .exe or .dll.
For gaming, Kinguin can provide an affordable gaming experience. It is also advised to avoid accessing the game from illegal and non-legit sources.
So, Is Kinguin Legit?
Considering that Kinguin does not check the seller identity or the product source, it can not be rated legit.
But software keys available on Kinguin work out, the marketplace offers genuine reviews and ratings, and they have added a Buyer’s Protection insurance add-on which has a strong market rating as well.
But if you purchase a key without the insurance and it does not work, you have essentially wasted money.
Also, your product key may work for now and may not later since there is no guarantee or authentication of the source.
So, Kinguin cannot be rated as a legit marketplace, it is a grey market. At best, you should stick to gaming-related purchases or only to PC software.
With Windows 7 already obsolete and 10 replacing 8/8.1 across all devices, use the free version. For an upgrade, purchase from Microsoft (You would do well to avoid Amazon too!)
Kinguin and similar other digital marketplaces like G2A, SCDKey, etc. offer gaming and other software keys at well under the retail prices.
With piracy and the related risks being a continuing issue, some do question how software developers are in profitable business despite the number of illegal copies in use.
Digital distribution platforms like Steam have somewhat closed the gap but sites like Kinguin are putting forth the question of whether gaming should be cheaper.
Either way, your loyalties may lie elsewhere but you will sympathize towards Kinguin simply because of affordability.
Kinguin will not be considered legit until it provides a Buyer’s Protection clause in general.
Whether the keys are sourced in legit routes is too far-fetched for a single buyer to consider.
So, Kinguin is not legit. But it is not illegal either.