Which is Better When It Comes to Software: Web-Based or Desktop Applications?

Which version of the app or browser is the best? Both have advantages and disadvantages; here’s how to decide which is best for your situation.

Web-based Applications Vs. Desktop Applications

Desktop computer applications and web browser applications have different names, but they perform the same functions. In general, you can use either depending on your preference for browser or app gaming and your need for workplace efficiency. You could also use either one or both, depending on your preferences.

When it comes to software, there is a heated debate over whether it is better to use a browser or download an app. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Some people believe that apps provide access to more features than browsers. On the other hand, some argue that the browser is superior because it is simple to use and provides easy access to various web pages in a centralized location.

However, it is important to note that there are some instances where browser-based software outperforms its desktop counterpart. However, before we get into which one is best for you, let’s start with the basics and define what web apps and desktop apps are.

Web-based Applications

A web app’s user interface is similar to that of a website; however, a web app has additional features that can be accessed with the help of an application. Web apps are accessed via a web browser, which means they can run on any device that has internet access. If you use the corresponding web application instead of the desktop version, it means that your computer does not require desktop applications.

Furthermore, because websites are designed to be viewed on smaller screens than the one in front of you, the majority of web apps use scrolling functions rather than buttons or menus that must be clicked on. A list of some of the most popular web applications includes Google Sheets and Docs (Google Drive), Dropbox Paper, Slack, Trello, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, other music streaming services, and Facebook Messenger.

Desktop Software Applications

A desktop application’s user interface is similar to that of a web application, and both types of applications require people to have internet access before they can be used. In contrast to web apps, however, they must be downloaded and installed on your local computer (usually as a .exe file or other executable files). Furthermore, desktop applications typically have more features than their web-based counterparts; as a result, you may be required to download additional software to take advantage of these additional benefits. Popular desktop applications include:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook
  • OneNote
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Steam for purchasing and playing online multiplayer games.
  • Apple’s iMovie and GarageBand
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Apple’s After Effects are another popular desktop application.

Now that we’ve defined web applications and desktop applications, let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using each type of application.

Benefits of Using Web Applications

Web apps allow you to access your files no matter where you are unless your device has limited storage space or a slow connection. This means that accessing your files from any internet-connected device is simple because it only requires uploading the necessary data to your account rather than downloading it each time you need it on multiple devices. This eliminates the need to download it on multiple devices at the same time.

After you’ve uploaded work to your Google Docs account, for example, you’ll be able to log in to other devices with the email address and password you’ve set up for your account. You will be able to continue working on a document without having to stop because the app will save any changes you make to the cloud, which you will be able to access from anywhere.

Web applications are typically safe as well because they are hosted by the company. Because it is not saved on the device you are using, the security ensures that any data you upload is less likely to be compromised. For instance, if you use Dropbox as a storage service, there have been no reports of hackers breaking into Dropbox accounts and stealing files from other people’s Dropbox accounts.

Disadvantages of Web Applications

Because of browser compatibility constraints, each web application has fewer features than its desktop counterpart. When the applications are used, the user experience suffers as a result. For example, Google Sheets only supports standard spreadsheet operations such as sorting, filtering, summarising, and averaging. Excel, on the other hand, has more features than Sheets and thus represents a more significant opportunity.

To use certain features of web apps, you must first create an account with the service. If you want to increase your storage space or gain access to more features, you’ll have to pay more money for this account. Spotify, for example, is completely free on mobile devices; however, to listen to music on desktop computers or laptops, a monthly premium membership is required.

Benefits of Desktop Applications

Because the majority of data is stored locally on your device, desktop applications offer the majority of the benefits listed for web applications, except for limited internet connection issues and fewer security concerns. Desktop applications are more practical.

Desktop applications provide a wide range of features to accommodate a wide range of users working in a wide range of industries. Microsoft Word, for example, provides editing and co-authoring tools, whereas PowerPoint provides visual presentation components such as animation and transitions to make your presentations look more professional. Microsoft provides both of these programs.

Disadvantages of Desktop Applications

If you want to install desktop applications on your personal computer or laptop, you will need an administrator account, which you must have. Some devices include additional security features that prevent users from installing new software on their systems.

These measures can be implemented in the form of hardware by the device’s manufacturer or by antivirus companies in the form of software updates. Because device owners restrict what can be installed on their devices, conditions lead to fewer desktop app installations. These restrictions should be removed if the owners want to make things easier to use. Because the majority of your data is likely to be stored on your desktop or laptop computer, there is a good chance that it will be compromised if you do not have reputable antivirus software installed.

Consider the following scenario: you are using Microsoft Word without an antivirus program, and a hacker attaches a malicious file to an email sent to you. Because your files are stored locally on your device until you choose to upload them to the cloud, they have access to all of them.


In general, web applications and desktop applications have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the features provided by each type of application to perform specific tasks.