Is it legal to use the cheap Windows 10 Keys available on the Internet? Do they work?

There are some websites on the internet that claim to sell original Windows 10 keys for a nominal price. How do they get such Windows 10 keys for less? Are such grey market keys legal and safe? Do they work? In this post, we will discuss these aspects of cheap Windows 10 keys.

cheap Windows 10 key

The cost of Windows 10 in the Microsoft Store is around $199 for Windows 10 Pro and $139 for Windows 10 Home.

But some websites, identify the countries where cheap Windows 10 key are available. They then purchase some keys at a low price like $10 or $20!

These Windows 10 keys may look legal, but they are not. Microsoft has priced Windows 10 OS at different rates in different countries. There are reasons why Microsoft has different pricing for different countries. These reasons are based on the currency strength of the countries and some other factors. Besides, the law is different for digital purchases in different countries.

Are cheap Windows 10 keys legit?

It is not legit to buy a cheap Windows 10 key from such websites. Microsoft does not endorse it and will file a lawsuit against the people behind such websites if it finds out the websites that sell such keys and bulk deactivate all such leaked keys.

How do they sell Windows key at such low prices?

Cheap Windows 10 keys could be:

  1. Keys bought from a country where prices are lower
  2. MAK or KMS keys
  3. OEM keys
  4. Used keys
  5. Keys for Student & other groups
  6. Pirated versions.

One method is buying from a country whose currency is weaker and selling them to other countries where the currency is stronger. That looks legit but is not.

Do not fall into a trap where you get Windows keys by paying as low as $5 to $10. Those are usually MAK or KMS keys. MAK keys are used to activate a specific number of devices. The count is pre-configured as a deal between Microsoft and Enterprise. Also, Enterprises use a KMS key using which they need to configure an in-house server using Microsoft’s Software Licensing Service. Such keys are bought it the bulk and then sold cheaply online.

Leaked OEM keys too are purchased by some websites who then sell dozens of copies to unsuspecting people.

Used or 2nd-hand keys can also find their way to this grey market. These in all, likelihood could work.

Microsoft offers keys to students, teachers, and other groups free or at discounts. Such keys can also find their way into this grey market.

Then there are cracks and patches available too, but they are illegal. You should know that already and stay away from them. This might even compromise your computer.

Read: How long can you use Windows 10 without Activation?

Do cheap Windows 10 keys work?

If you have purchased a cheap Windows 10 key from any website other than Microsoft and partner websites, you have to make sure that the keys are being sold legally. Microsoft makes it very clear which websites are their partner websites and legal. You should always buy a valid or legit Windows 10 license key. Buy it only from Microsoft or their official partner sites.

The keys will work as long as they are not caught. Once Microsoft finds out that the key is not legal, they’ll show you a message that you may have purchased an illegal key. You can continue using it even after you get the message, but most elements of original software are blocked. And there will be a watermark everywhere saying”, “This copy of Windows is not genuine.” Besides, you may also receive a legal notice from Microsoft.

Read: How to check if the Windows Key is Genuine or Legit?

Amazon and eBay too sell low priced keys, but they may or may not be illegal. There may be people or entities selling original Windows 10 keys on suche eCommerce sites. You have to make sure you are not being tricked into purchasing illegal Windows 10 key. If the price looks too less compared to the key cost in your country, it may be a con seller. If you are buying on these sites, make sure that you are buying from an official Microsoft or their partner account.

Summary

Cheap Windows 10 key may not work right from the beginning, or it may work for a while and then stop, or if you are lucky, it may end up working for long! But know that the key you are using may not be legit. And for those reasons, we recommend that you always buy genuine Windows 10 product keys from the Microsoft Store or one of their official Partners.

Don’t fall for such tricks. The cheap Windows 10 key you purchased on a third-party website is likely not legal. These grey market keys carry the risk of getting caught, and once it is caught, it is over. If luck favors you, you may get some time to use it. You may go undetected for a week, month, or year, or maybe also for a lifetime – and that a choice you will have to make.

Your views, thoughts, comments, observations?

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN