Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder, Who’s Better? [4 Aspects to Compare]

Since there are quite a lot of online and desktop screen recorders with top ranks in Google, Google Play, App Store and similar search results, if you are a newbie, you are probably have no idea on online vs. desktop screen recorder, what’s the difference between them and how to choose a proper one…

online vs. desktop screen recorder

There are many researches showing that the increased screen time during COVID-19 pandemic leads to the rise of related digital services. Screencasting should be among the services list. No matter you require a screen recorder for your work, study, entertainment, and many more, once you put yourself into the massive internet search results and want to form your standard for tool selection by following massive fragments of information, then this post on “online screen recorder vs. desktop screen recorder” will save you much time and help you make a wise decision faster.

Most of software programs have online and desktop options for users to choose, and screen recorder is not an exception here. By searching “screen recorder” via Google search engine, we can see screen recorder plugin, screen recorder app for Android and iOS, online screen recording service and desktop screen recorder program. For PC users, the plugin, online and desktop tools are 3 possible choices, hence I will mainly put focus on the difference between them, especially between the online and desktop screen recorder.

Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder Difference #1: Workflow & Convenience

Winner: Online screen recorder

Briefly speaking, online screen recorder is more a no-brain tool than desktop recorder to conduct an recording task. Usually, you don’t need to download anything, but direct get your screen capture thing started on the online service provider’s webpage, with no restriction of access.

However, not all online recorders are the same. Some still require you to download and install a launcher every time you access the webpage and need to use its free service, just like Screencast-O-Matic. Yes, unlike desktop apps, it will ask you for another download and setup if you quite and visit the page nest time. Also, many free online tools offer their free service by forcing you do a registration and log-in, and most probably limiting the maximum time to record, embedding a watermark into your captured video to encurage you to pay for the pro versions. Sign-in means Internet connection is a must-have.

You must be quite familiar with desktop software. You only need to download the .exe or .dmg package (larger in file size compared to the web-based launcher) and install it on your machine, you can enjoy it as you like, even without internet connection. When there’s any upgrade, you will be informed and free to choose whether to move forward or not.

Generally, all desktop screen recorders have a minimum system requirement for normal operation. While for online tools, besides browser and internet, nothing else is necessary, including hardware and system. So web screen recorders do have wider compatibility and also accept niche desktop (e.g. Chromebook) or even mobile devices.

Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder Difference #2: Features & Performance

Winner: Desktop screen recorder

Online screen recorders are surely easier to access and use, then the features and performance? What I can tell is, it’s the average capability of desktop screen recorders who wins the game. On one side, they commonly provide more file settings and advanced functions such as annotating, scheduled recording, and internal editor for quick tailoring. On the other side, since they are standalone app, they are able to conduct video processing in a faster and more stable way, whereas the online services, even some can process and edit video, mainly rely on the bandwidth speed, not as efficient as desktop app.

In a word, if online screen recorder enhances the pleasure of quick screen capture and online communication, desktop screen recorder achieves the ultimate of high-quality or customized capture on personal or work PC.

Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder Difference #3. File Management

Winner: Online screen recorder, to a large degree

Online screen recorders often put the final recordings in the online media library, some of which even offer cloud service for people to store, access and share the files to coworker, partner and student with only a link on the move. If you’d want to save it offline on your hard drive or burn onto disk, just download them in a click. Desktop screen recorders, in most cases, just keep recordings into pre-defined path of local hard drive.

The video processing server and saving position may lead to security issue. Online screen recorders seem to pose a risk on privacy and data leakage, because you can’t physically see or access the remote server where your file is saved and don’t know exactly the safety level. Even Apple iCloud and Google Dropbox are not 100% safe and had infamous cloud security beaches before, how can other services ensure you the data safety.

On the contrast, desktop screen recorders usually store the filmed video to local space by default. Some still provide the free cloud storage like Snagit, which means you have the 100% control on where and how to keep your data safely.

Security issue should be considered carefully by screen recording important or sensative information for business purpose.

Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder Difference #4. Upgrade and Price

Winner: Desktop screen recorder maybe

Online screen recorder always ensures users the newest version to use while desktop screen recorder will ask for users to do software upgrade manually.

Price is a big topic that’s affected greatly by brand, feature combination, and possibly cloud storage. From zero-cost freebie to dozens-of-dollar advanced screen recorders, you can always find the one at your budget. Keep an eye on the feature distinction such as available formats, encoding methods, hardware accelerated video processing, as well as effects library.

Online vs. Desktop Screen Recorder, Who’s Better?

After finishing this simple yet quite helpful compariton post, you must have a general idea on the differences between online and desktop screen recorders, who’s easier to use, who’s more portable, who’s more powerful to handle long and big recording, who’s more secure for crucial content capture etc.

It seems web-based online screen recording apps surpass traditional desktop apps for its easy-of-use and convenience, and desktop utilities reign supreme for its full-fledged features and more efficient video processing ability. If it’s possible, you are free to get them together to meet various capture demands according to the real situation.

All in all, online vs desktop screen recorder, it’s hard to make a fixed conclusion on which one is better. And my advice is: pick the one whose advantages are just what you want. If it’s really hard to you to select one type of tool, make a combination of them and switch between them as you like. I believe, practice will make perfect.

Desktop screen recorder recommended here: Bandicam



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