Online Casino Software- Download, No Download- The Low-down
Ok so you’re new to online casino’s- you may be new to gambling or you may be a regular fixture on the real life casino floor but not quite up to speed on the internet itself- this article aims to clarify the technology behind the online casino and help you make the right choice for where you want to play.
The choice is yours
You’ve probably noticed by now online casinos are not exactly a) uncommon or b) hard to find these days. Google is currently listing some 71 million + pages of them and growing everyday but essentially most of the main casinos are offering the same service and its up to the casino player to decide what’s right for them and a good place to start is by looking at the software which online casino is offering. Casino software generally comes in 2 forms- ‘downloadable’ and ‘no download’ or ‘instant play’…
Downloadable online casino software
Downloadable software is for lack of a better explanation software which you download from the casino website onto your computer before you can play the games. Typically you would download the software as an executable file (these types of file have the filename suffix .exe so something like onlinecasino.exe). The file will go to a location on your computer- either a download folder or onto your desktop.
Once the casino software has been downloaded you will need to install it in the same way you would a new computer program i.e. Microsoft word or a computer game. This will unpack all of the files needed to play the casino games onto your computer so next time you want to play you will not need to go through this process- opening the casino will then be like opening any other program on your PC so you will see the software listed in the Windows start menu. The installation process will usually offer you the option of adding a shortcut to your desktop like the one you have for your recycle bin and probably a few other applications.
Unlike most software you run on your computer in order to play at an online casino the software needs to be connected to the internet at all times while you are playing. This is because the casino software on your computer is transferring information with the casino website- although all the games themselves are held on your machine your account information is held with the website so when you win or lose a game the website knows instantly and updates your account accordingly. Think of it like this- with downloadable casino software the table and the dealer is in your living room but the casino vault is still inside the casino building.
Possible problems with downloadable casino games
Having software connected to the internet from your computer is not in itself a security risk- in fact most modern software tries to make an internet connection upon loading up- for example Microsoft Word connects to the internet upon loading to check for security updates. However any software you download is likely to be treated suspiciously by virus checking or anti-spy ware software you have running i.e. AVG or Norton. This is because of the risk of malware (malicious software) which can infiltrate users computers, usually for the purpose of serving unwanted advertising or disrupting the users computer similar to a computer virus. Downloading from a reputable online casino should ensure there is no risk of this as it’s not in the casino’s interest to irritate or damage the users’ computer. You will most probably need to grant permission for the software to access the internet before a connection will be established- pop-up boxes will advise you of what you need to do.
If you are on a shared network or do not have administrative rights to your computer i.e. you’re on a work computer, you may have problems installing downloadable casino software. You can always try but if you don’t have permission you’ll get an error to tell you so.
Web-based, no download or instant play online casino games
Web-based casino games do not require the user to download or install any software before playing (hence they are often referred to as ‘instant play’). Instead they generally use pieces of software which are already installed within your web browser (i.e. internet explorer) known as ‘plugins’. Plugins used by online casino games include flash player, shockwave player and java- these are all freely available and you will most likely already have them installed on your web browser in which case you will be able to play the online casino games straight away- if not you will be prompted to download them from the relevant websites- you may then need to restart your browser before using the plugin and the casino.
Security issues with web-based games
As nothing is installed on your computer the risk of viruses or adware being installed is far lower than with downloadable games. There is a minimal risk of web based applications being ‘hacked’ by malicious users with the intent of extracting personal information or disrupting gameplay in the case of multiplayer scenario’s i.e. an online poker room. As with downloadable casino software the risk is extremely low and security on both types of casino games are getting ever more sophisticated.
The golden rules remain- go with a respectable online casino, make sure they are contactable before committing any money to your account and make sure you’re in control of your account balances. Remember millions of people play online casino games everyday; it is only the tiniest of percentages that experience any problems. Online casinos are still far more secure than any other online purchases.
Which types of online casino games are best for me?
Instant play casino games are great for trying out an online casino you have just found because they will usually let you try out the games by giving a limited amount of information so you can get onto the tables quickly and try out the software. Typically downloadable casino games will have richer, smoother graphics and sound which can make for a more immersive gameplay experience although graphics on modern instant play games are also improving. The main factor is the download time- downloading online casino software can take around 20 minutes on a slow internet connection so you may need to be patient- but if you’re not in a rush and want the improved graphics and don’t want to have to navigate to the casino website in your browser each time you play then downloadable software may be better for you.
Downloadable casino software is good for;
– Graphics and sound
– Smooth gameplay with short load times once downloaded
– Players who are loyal to a casino
– May be better for users on a slow internet connection as once downloaded all games are stored on your computer
Things to consider though;
– Have to wait for download to complete
– May have problems installing on shared/ networked computers and can be blocked by anti virus software.
– Download software is usually only designed for computers running Microsoft Windows.
Web-based online casino games however;
– Let you play straight away with no downloads
– Increasingly good graphics
– Good for first time, practice play and trying out a new online casino.
– Work on any computer with a modern web browser and internet connection
– Can cause a big load on your internet connection so might run slowly if you’ve got other stuff going on.
– You will need to navigate to the website each time you want to play