The article focuses on the role of informality in the life of post-communist societies in Central Europe. Its goal is to question the current negative connotation of informal networks in the context of post-communist society. For this purpose it analyses the criteria used in the relevant literature to distinguish between 'good' and 'bad' informal networks. Two main factors (the situational factor and the factor of relationship quality) are analysed from the perspective of their impact on the orientation of informal networks and their ability to predict which networks will have a positive or a negative influence on societal development. The author argues that neither of these two factors alone can fully explain the positive or negative orientation of a particular informal network in a given society. Instead he proposes a solution that combines several dimensions of both factors. In conclusion he identifies five types of informal networks in post-communist society: predatory, redistributory, helping, operating, and participative networks.