Desktop App vs Web App: Comparative Guide

Difference between web and desktop apps


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As you know, application development can be carried out both for the desktop app vs web app versions. At the moment, the development of web applications prevails due to their flexibility and availability. However, like all technologies, there are pros and cons. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the difference between them. You can also read about it here

Difference between software developer and web developer

If you are just starting a career in IT or looking for promising directions for development, then understanding the difference between web and software development may not initially be obvious. The first includes a smaller stack of low-level technologies, so it is considered easier to understand and learn. Software development requires a fairly extensive and deep knowledge, which takes time and a lot of practice to learn. Of course, getting both qualifications is realistic, but there is a big difference between them and you should choose from your preferences and projects that interest you. For some people, building websites can be preferable. In this case, using modern technologies doesn’t even require coding skills, and all you need to check is website builders list to choose the tool to work with and master.

Software development vs web development

Before we move on to listing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the approaches, we will define the distinguishing qualities.

Desktop applications are an approach where you need to install a program directly on your local machine. A certain place in the computer memory is allocated for it, and it is serviced without an Internet connection.

Web applications are available via a link in a browser, so a stable Internet connection is required to work with them. There is no need to download such applications, most often a simple registration is enough. They do not require installation and manual updates and do not take up space in the computer’s memory.

Here are the basics you should know even if you work with custom software development companies, for instance, Kandasoft (

Desktop application pros and cons

Although web apps are more popular now, desktop ones still have their future.

Benefits of the desktop app:

  • Independence from Internet access

The first and foremost advantage is the independence from the Internet connection. You can use such programs without a network connection. That is, if you do not have access to the Internet, work will not stop. Once you install the application, it will be available for use without delays or interruptions.

  • Safety

As you know, web security is a dubious statement. Any information that gets on the Internet automatically becomes vulnerable. This is why desktop applications are more secure because all data and files are stored locally.

  • The cost

Almost all desktop applications (if they are paid) are paid for once. They are often not so cheap, but you only have to pay once and get access to all the functionality forever. Also, you don’t need to spend money on hosting, which can be expensive depending on the amount of data.


  • Not portable

The first and most important drawback is the impossibility of access from any device. The computer on which you installed the software is the only device where you have direct access to your work files.

  • Takes up a lot of memory

Since applications are stored directly in the computer’s memory, many of them, such as video editors and simulation programs, can take up a lot of space.

  • Need for manual update

Both installation and updating – you will have to do all this yourself manually. This is time-consuming and not always obvious. If you have a large company, this means deploying and updating each device individually.

Web application pros and cons

Strengths of web application

  • Mobility

The main advantage of web applications is their accessibility from any device with an Internet connection. You are not tied to a specific computer and can log into your account from both your phone and your friend’s tablet. You are also not tied to a specific operating system.

  • Ease of use

Since such applications run on remote servers, you don’t need to install anything and waste computer memory. All that is required to get started is registration. Updates happen automatically so you don’t waste time on them.


  • Vulnerability

To keep your data safe on the Internet, you need to make sure that sensitive data is not accessible. This is much more difficult with web applications than with a desktop.

  • Dependence on the Internet 

Of course, internet access is the most important factor, and if you have an unstable internet connection, work can be difficult.

The bottom line

In this article, we tried to identify the main differences between web and desktop development. These are fundamental differences that will help you choose the right type of development. The right choice is the one that best suits your requirements and business purpose.

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