Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

The debate still continues.  Do you prefer using web based applications or software installed directly on your computer?  In past articles we’ve covered word processors The Word Processor: Online vs. Offline [Poll] The Word Processor: Online vs. Offline [Poll] Read More and Twitter clients Twitter Clients - Web Apps or Desktops Apps? Which is Better? Twitter Clients - Web Apps or Desktops Apps? Which is Better? Read More .  In this article I will be discussing the debate as it pertains to free feed readers.

If you like to keep up with online content via feeds, you’re probably familiar with what a feed reader is.  However, if you need more information about what feeds are all about, check out this article explaining a bit more about feeds and readers: What is a feed reader? What is a FeedReader ? What is a FeedReader ? Read More

There are two kinds of free feed readers out there.  There are feed readers you log on and access online (web application) and there are the feed readers that you download and install directly on your computer (desktop application).  Let’s take a look at the differences and discuss some of the pluses and minuses of each.

The Web-Based Feed Reader

Many people prefer the web-based variety of feed reader.  Most of the time it is because they can log on and access their feeds from any computer connected to the Internet.  These free reader programs (of which there are many The New RSS Feed Reader Wars! The New RSS Feed Reader Wars! Read More ) are hosted on remote servers so much of the resource load is carried by the remote servers.

Ads by Google

There are several popular web-based feed readers.  My personal favorite is Netvibes Netvibes Wasabi Review - A Blow Your Socks Off Feed Reader! Netvibes Wasabi Review - A Blow Your Socks Off Feed Reader! Read More mostly because I enjoy the interface.  However, one of the most popular web-based feed readers is Google Reader which is very versatile offering many features.

Minuses?  Feeds aren’t actually downloaded for offline viewing like a desktop reader.  You may also have to deal with a slower load time.  Also, you need a browser window open whenever you want to keep an eye on your feeds which uses memory.

Still, many still choose the web-based feed reader over the desktop feed reader.

The Desktop Feed Reader

Many people also prefer a desktop feed reader.  They make this choice for many reasons, including more features and not having to have a browser open.  These people also like having articles available to read offline when the Internet is not available.

There are a few favorites that people seem to like such as FeedDemon and BlogBridge.

Minuses?  While on other computers, your feeds won’t be accessible with the same interface.  Also, your own computer’s resources will be used to load your feeds, etc.  This may not be that big of a deal for everyone, but it may be for some.  Also, not everyone can or wants to have another program installed.

Conclusion?

My own personal conclusion, if you choose to acknowledge it, is that it depends on each persons preferences and situation.  For instance, if you jump computers a lot, a web based feed reader may be a good choice for you.  If you are always on one computer and you don’t mind installing another program, then a desktop reader may be a good choice.

You also need to look at how much access you have to the Internet.  If you are always on, a web based reader will work fine for you.  If access is spotty, or you travel a lot and there’s not always Internet available, a desktop reader may be more suitable. For me in my situation, I currently prefer a web based reader (Netvibes to be more specific).

What is your choice?  Do you use a free web based feed reader or a desktop feed reader?  Or perhaps no reader at all?

  1. timmyjohnboy
    April 5, 2010 at 2:31 am

    Thanks for the feedling tip. I'll check that out!

  2. Mark
    April 4, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Like Dacker said above, feeddemon on the desktop which syncs with google reader provides the best of both worlds.

    A new way to use feeds I just discovered is feedling (http://feedling.sourceforge.ne... which loads the most recent 10 items from a feed right onto the desktop with a transparent background. I have a delicious account with a tag for wife's name. When I tag something in delicious for my wife, a feedling for that tag places the link and description right on her desktop. Easier, quicker and less intrusive than email and very handy for my wife to look at when she gets the time.

  3. Mark
    April 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Like Dacker said above, feeddemon on the desktop which syncs with google reader provides the best of both worlds.

    A new way to use feeds I just discovered is feedling (http://feedling.sourceforge.net/) which loads the most recent 10 items from a feed right onto the desktop with a transparent background. I have a delicious account with a tag for wife's name. When I tag something in delicious for my wife, a feedling for that tag places the link and description right on her desktop. Easier, quicker and less intrusive than email and very handy for my wife to look at when she gets the time.

  4. Jim
    March 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I use http://www.yesrss.com quite alot. It seems to work well on my mobile phone aswell.

    • Fertility Pharmacy
      May 27, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Yeah, yesrss is great.

  5. Davey
    March 22, 2010 at 1:42 am

    I used Mozilla Prism to make Google Reader a standalone desktop app. It works perfectly.

    • Aibek
      March 24, 2010 at 3:10 am

      second that!

    • forex
      May 10, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Third that!

  6. friendinme
    March 19, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I am using Feedly which works in complete sync with Google Reader. I like Netvibes very much, but find that using Google Reader on my Blackberry is nicer.

  7. shawn mccollum
    March 19, 2010 at 8:57 am

    I prefer web based because I always have a browser open and for me it's just natural. As to which one I don't really care for any of them so I built my own. Primarily because everything is tightly organized by feeds, and it's such an old model.

  8. Alex
    March 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Been using Netvibes for a long time now. I prefer web based apps, don't tax on the CPU and memory as much.

  9. Robert M
    March 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    I personally use Netvibes as my homepage because it's interface is so well done. There were a few times the site messed up my feeds and rearranged them. Because of that I wish they included a feature to backup your feeds to your desktop just in case.

  10. Kenneth
    March 18, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    I use feedly(popular chrome and firefox extension) which syncs with google reader.Very simple and attractive interface.

  11. Ben Mordecai
    March 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    ReadAir is a good desktop client based on Adobe Air that syncs with google reader

  12. Dacker
    March 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I use both: a desktop app at home (FeedDemon), which syncs to Google Reader; I can read the same feeds when at work or away somewhere else.

  13. KS
    March 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I prefer to have feeds delivered as e-mail I used a couple of free services, but they eventually became overloaded and shut down. I now run Newspipe to accomplish the same thing using my own computer. I have it set to run every 60 munutes, so I don't really notice much affect on my system.

  14. rrtyd
    March 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    RssOwl for its filters capabilities.

  15. Pol
    March 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Web based? Google Reader!

    Desktop reader? FeedDemond ok but Greatnews should become open source! ;-)

    "GreatNews goes open source"
    http://www.curiostudio.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2976

  16. Pol
    March 18, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    Web based? Google Reader!

    Desktop reader? FeedDemond ok but Greatnews should become open source! ;-)

    "GreatNews goes open source"
    http://www.curiostudio.com/for...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *