Many software tools on the web are available as packs or group install such as the Google Pack, JAVA or the Windows Live essentials. These packs contain various software / tools and are downloaded or installed whenever you require them. But there is a downside to this process which is addressed by so – called offline installers.
Basic Difference Between an Online Installer & Offline / Standalone Installer
In an online Installer, a small size setup file (ranging between 500 KB to 2MB generally) is downloaded and when the setup starts, the actual files required for installation are downloaded during installation. So every time you install or even re-install software, files will be downloaded from internet.
Whereas in an offline installer (or a standalone ), all the software packages are downloaded at once (file sizes are generally huge) and then you can install these software tools without even connecting to the internet.
Pros & Cons of Online Installers
Online Installers are good in terms of the fact that they are fast as they download only those software tools from a package which you select. This reduces the download size and time considerably as the file size are small if you do not choose to download & install all the tools in the package.
However when you plan to re-install these tools say after you do a fresh install of your OS, you have to download these tools again. Also when you plan to install these tools on multiple computers you have to go over downloading and installing these tools again and again.
Pros & Cons of Offline / Standalone Installers
Offline installers are good if you have internet connectivity issues for eg. if you stay in a region where continuous – always on internet connection is not available. These installers are good for organisations where bulk installs on multiple computers is a common thing.
However the download sizes for Offline / standalone installers are generally huge and may have issues with users who have a limited data usage internet plan.