Technical support is often free to the original purchaser of a piece of hardware or software for a limited time after purchase, but is rarely free to all users of a particular device or piece of software. Some companies specialize in providing technical support, but their services usually require fees.
Technical support for some government-sponsored programs or for certain classes of individuals may be available free from government agencies. In addition, semiofficial or unofficial technical support for open-source software is often available from the user community for a particular software package. User-written technical support guides, email lists and forums can help users find solutions to many common technical issues with open-source and free software packages.