Downloaded vs Cloud-Based Testing Software

By

Tessa McDaniel

,

Content Specialist

2022-02-10

There are two types of umbrella software you can get to test your website: downloaded (also called on-premise) and cloud-based software. “Ok, Captain Obvious.” Yeah, that’s pretty obvious, but what are the main differences between them, and which one is better?

Downloaded Software

We’ll start out with software that you download. The primary benefit is security: you know that the software is in your in-house servers and protected by your IT team (the software is also maintained by your IT). However, with all of the advances in cloud technology, downloaded software is not necessarily always more secure. 

Another main feature of on-premise software is that your team will have a lot more control over the software because (usually) in order to get the software, a company will buy a license. But with all of the benefits of control and security come higher costs through IT team, maintenance, license cost, integrations, and more. 

Cloud-Based Software

Captain Obvious basics

Cloud-based means that there’s no setup or installation required when you first get the software. You just get your login credentials and you’re good to go! Another great thing is that it makes Agile collaboration a lot easier when everything is in one place. Everyone can see what everyone else is doing, so there’s no need to ask someone to send over files or wait on testing resources. Yes, you can set all this up with downloaded software, but the cloud makes it much easier and you don’t have to worry about maintaining the system. Plus, with cloud software, updates are all automatic so you don’t have to fuss with it! 

Let’s get more specific 

Now we can move on to the fun part! Cloud-based software is great for the actual testing as well, starting with exciting features such as parallel executions, real-time reports, and regularly scheduled tests. Cloud-based testing will also make tests run much faster than installed software. The speed of installed software depends on the machine that it’s being run on, but for cloud-based software, the speed is going to be consistent and -------*nyoom*------ fast! All you need is solid Wifi, which is basically oxygen in this day and age (insert gotta go fast meme). 

Another perk of cloud testing is that the software has access to all the different browsers and devices so it’s even easier to test your website on every possible combination. You can also test your website changes before they go live by using test URLs or wireframes. 

TL;DR

Here are the main differences between downloaded and cloud-basing software for website testing put simply:

Deployment

  • Downloaded - Deployment includes each user downloading and setting up the software on their machine, plus the business is responsible for maintaining the software. 
  • Cloud - Just log in and your user is set! Access it anywhere, anytime. 

Cost

  • Downloaded - Costs are definitively higher, ranging from the license itself to maintenance. 
  • Cloud - Costs vary from business to business, but are generally lower as clients don’t have to pay for any of the maintenance, just a flat fee based on the number of users (or tests). 

Control

  • Downloaded - Businesses can keep all of their data as long as they want and have full control over what happens to it.
  • Cloud - Data is stored on third-party servers, so there’s a bit less control over how long it’s available and how it’s stored.

Security

  • Downloaded - This has traditionally been a leading concern for any business with sensitive data, so they tended to opt for something that will keep all their data in a more secure location. But with how often security updates are needed, it’s usually difficult for in-house teams to keep up.
  • Cloud - The perception that the cloud has security issues has vanished. Dedicated teams ensure that cloud infrastructure has the latest security updates. 


Cloud-based testing software can definitely save your business a lot of time and money! Every software company organizes its pay structure differently, but Virtuoso bases it on the number of tests run monthly so you can have as many users as you like. Cloud-based testing that uses AI also auto-maintains the tests, intelligently healing any tests that break. Lucky for you, Virtuoso does that too! And since our platform uses NLP, your team can save a lot of time writing tests without fussing with code. We can also promise the highest standard of security so you don’t have to worry about any of your data finding itself in places it shouldn’t be. Want to check us out? Well, we’re flattered, so book a free demo with us!

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