Online software comes in many shapes and sizes, there is something for everyone. Many software companies are responding to this so that many software packages eventually show similarities. Individuals and companies considering purchasing new software are faced with a task with many options. One of those choices that have to be made concerns the way in which the software can be accessed: only from your own PC (offline), or via any PC with an internet connection (online). Although more and more online software is appearing on the market, there are also good arguments for offline software.
Offline Software Features
Offline software is characterized by the fact that it is installed directly on your own PC. No internet connection is required to start the software. For a successful installation, the PC must meet minimum requirements. All data stored in the program is therefore on your own physical computer.
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Features online software
Online software always requires an internet connection. All data of the program is stored on the server of the software supplier. If your own PC breaks, you can continue working via another computer. The security of the data and the implementation of updates are done by the software supplier.
Cost of software
Offline software is often bought off once. The software can then be used indefinitely, even if the supplier goes bankrupt. Online software is often purchased for a fixed period, for example, one year. Payment must be made again for the next period. In the long run, offline software is often cheaper. If the software is ultimately not to your liking, it can be discontinued after one year in case of online use.
When collaborating with colleagues within the same company in the same program, it does not matter whether you work offline or online. When collaborating with other companies, a communication channel (internet) is required, and online is preferred.
Privacy and security
When using software online, data is stored on the internet. Often the physical devices on which data is written do not belong to you. In the case of offline work, files are stored in their own physical location. If you store sensitive data of your customer, your customer may require that the data be stored at a physical location in the Netherlands. This can create restrictions when choosing an online provider. The security of data, both when working online and when working offline, depends on security programs and on the physical security of the building where the server with data is located.
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Once the software is installed, users can get started. However, software management is often also required, such as installing updates and cleaning data in the program. For the latter, it makes no difference whether this is done online or offline. Placing an update by the supplier is easier online because the supplier often manages the server itself.
Tablets and smartphones
Mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are becoming more and more powerful, yet it still does not match the capacity of a full-fledged computer. As a result, the range of complete offline apps on mobile devices is relatively limited, because most programs and apps connect via the internet every now and then. However, there is a lot of mobile software that only sporadically needs the internet.
Conclusion and choosing
The advantages and disadvantages cannot always be stated, because this depends on the wishes and the specific situation. The trend is to work more and more online. The convenience and possibilities increase with this. Online software is preferred for many businesses as the startup process and management are simple. Offline software can be a solution for individuals and companies in rural areas where the internet connection is not stable. Sometimes there is no choice between online or offline because suppliers only offer one form.