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What is the benefit of your portable packages over apps that are natively offered portable by their developers?

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Leoram
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What is the benefit of your portable packages over apps that are natively offered portable by their developers?

Dear PortableApps team:

Just wondering if there is any benefit other than benefiting from your portable platform, which a user may decide not to install it at all and rather unpack your apps to a USB drive and use them from there directly. Why don't just go to a developer's website and download the app from there considering many of your applications are offered as portable out of the box, for instance: https://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-editor/download?fil... . Trying to figure out if there is any advantage in using your *.paf.exe options in terms of performance, speed, security, etc.. If any, how can you explain that?

Thanks.

Leoram

Ken Herbert
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Consistent portability is the major benefit

There are additional benefits when used with the Platform such as automatic updates, but as you say users don't have to use our Platform, so I won't go into those.

The primary benefit of apps in proper paf.exe format is a consistent definition of what portable means.

When you download a portable version of an application from a developer's website, their definition of portable could mean many things:

  • It may not retain its settings when you move it to a different PC
  • It may leave files and/or folders and/or registry entries behind on each PC
  • It might not correctly run from different drive letters or paths on the same PC

A PortableApp however (at least our official ones - we can't vouch for every beta test release on our site, nor can we speak for any paf.exe releases on other sites) is designed to always retain its settings, never leave files/folders/registry entries behind (except those which we have no control over such as generated by Windows, firewalls, antivirus etc. in reaction to the PortableApp being run), and should always work as expected when the drive letter or path changes (or it will warn you of the fact if it can't).

Sometimes there are cases where the original app's portable version may have all of these things covered. In that case we are just providing the app in our format to make it available to our users in a consistent format, but it is fairly rare to find an app for which we do nothing to improve the portability.

the developer formerly known as winterblood

Leoram
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Thank you. A fast and clear explanation.

Thank you. A fast and clear explanation. Not sure if your answer addresses my other inquires: performance, speed, security.

Leoram

John T. Haller
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More Details

In addition to what Ken posted, some additional details are in the Why PAF? section of What Is a Portable App page: https://portableapps.com/about/what_is_a_portable_app#whypaf

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

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