Back in the infancy of online gambling sites if you wanted to play a casino's games your only option was to download them. While today you have other options available, downloaded dames continue to be the preferred method of gameplay for many players.
When you decide on a casino after researching their game selection, bonuses, banking practices, etc., you will go to that casino's site and download their software onto your computer. Once the download is complete you will create an account with the casino, make your deposit (or claim your no deposit bonus), and then you have full and instant access to every game in that casino's portfolio.
Despite its decline in popularity there are still several pros to downloading casino games. Once you have downloaded the software onto your computer, games are immediately available. You do not have to log into your account every time, you do not have to download individual games, and you do not have to connect to the Internet.
Not having to go through a browser means that you can play anytime and anywhere regardless of connectivity, and also has other distinct advantages. For one, you do not have to wait for games to load and the digital quality of the graphics is usually better. Gameplay is also faster and more consistent, and you do not have to worry about games glitching or crashing due to poor connectivity.
Especially before instant play games gained traction, the security of downloaded games is an attractive feature. They are inherently safer because they are only available on the device you use to download the software, as opposed to being accessible online.
With the rise of instant play online games, multiple disadvantages to downloaded casino games have become apparent. First, you are limited to only the device you download the software on. You also have to download the entire casino's portfolio just to try one game - and then you have to uninstall it if you do not like it.
The software also takes up a significant amount of hard drive space. This means that if you like playing blackjack from one casino and video poker from another, you have to have the space to download both portfolios in order to enjoy both games. If you do not have the space, you may have to purchase an external hard drive or pick only one casino.
While downloading used to get you the largest selection of games, today very few developers still offer download software. The big names that do are Playtech, RTG, Pragmatic Play, and Rival, but you are missing out on content from Microgaming, NetEnt, IGT, and most others. Finally, as long as you get the software from a reputable site you should not have any problems, but you could potentially infect your computer with malware any time you download software from the Internet.
Downloaded games have decreased in popularity, and have been largely replaced in the online gaming industry by instant play games. Despite this, they do still have much to offer and are a viable option for many players.