Difference Between Online and Offline Installer in Computer Software

When you try to download any software from a website, you may have noticed that most of the time, there are two types of download links present on the screen to download the same software. One is the offline installer (Standalone Installer) download link and another is the online installer (web installer) download link. You may have also seen that there are huge differences between the size of both Online and Offline installers. The offline or standalone installer is quite bigger than the online or web installer. You may wonder why there are two types of links to get the same software application and why their sizes are so different and which one you need to download.

In this guide, you will be able to find the differences between an Offline Installer and Online Installer

Difference between Online installer and Offline Installer
Online and Offline Installer Differences

Do you want to know what is an online installer or an offline installer or what is the difference between these two types of installers and which one to choose for download? Read this tutorial to get clear your doubts about the Offline and the Online Installer.

What is Online Installer?

If you have ever downloaded an online installer (or web installer), you may have noticed that it is a very tiny setup file. Actually, this is not the real software you wanted to download. An “online installer” acts like a downloader app that is used to download the components of the software ( such as data, scripts, folders, different types of files, etc.) associated with the installer.  which can be much bigger than this online installer. The online installer is used to download the codes, scripts, and files from its server through the internet required to install the software application on your computer. An Online Installer always depends on the internet to install the software on your computer.

What is Offline Installer?

An offline installer is also known as a standalone installer. An offline installer holds the complete code, scripts, and files needed to install particular software applications on the computer. When we download an offline setup, it completely downloads the entire program once and puts all the data in one package and it does not need to rely on the internet while installing the software on the PC. Hence it is called a standalone installer. It is much larger than the online installer because it contains all the necessary components to install the software on the computer.

Difference between Online and Offline Installers:

The main differences between these online and offline versions of any software are:

  • The Online Installer requires an active internet connection to install the particular program on your computer. But, the Offline Installer doesn’t require an internet connection during installing the program.
  • An Online Installer is a very small application and the offline version is much larger in size than the online installer.
  • An online installer takes more time to install the software, whereas an offline setup installer requires less time.

[Also read:14 Very Important Software for Windows PC]

The pros and cons of online and offline installers:

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of both types of installers:

Online Installer over the Offline Installer:

1. The main advantage of the Online Installer is that it is a more secure way to install any program because it installs the program on your computer directly from the developer or the distributor’s server. Therefore, no one can alter any codes of the software.

While an offline installer package can be infected with a virus or its code can be changed by a hacker.

2. The Online Installer inspects your computer system for hardware capabilities or system requirements and downloads the appropriate version according to your computer’s requirements.

But, in the case of an  Offline Installer, you have to decide what version of the program your PC needs, and you cannot ensure whether your PC will support it after downloading or not.

Offline Installer over the Online Installer:

1. An Offline Installer doesn’t require an active internet connection to install the program. Also, you can use the Installer again and again to install the software or the program on any computer that supports the program. It saves bandwidth and time too.

But, each time you run the Online Installer, it requires an internet connection to download the program from the server. An Offline Installer is useless without an active internet connection.

2. You can use the Offline Installer multiple times to install the program without downloading it again and again.

But, the Online Installer offers only a single installation. That means the installer needs to download the program every time you want to install it on a PC.

3.  An offline installer requires less time to install the software as it contains all the data required to install the program.

But an online installer takes more time to install the software, whereas an online installer needs to download the required data and information from its server through the Internet and this is a lengthy process. If you lost the internet connection during installation, then you have to do it again from the beginning.

Example of Online and Offline Installers:

Here is an example of an online installer and an offline installer: If you want to download the Google Chrome browser for Windows PC, you can directly download and test both installers of the Chrome browser on this page.

Online and Offline Installers are two different ways to download or install the same software. Hope you are able to understand the difference between both installers through this post.

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