Portable software: what is the features?

If you need software programs that you can carry around in any removable disk drive, portable software is the right choice. This software will not clutter up your desktop operating system because it does not need any installation. The biggest benefit associated with this type of software is the ability to run from simple USB devices. Apart from the system prospering from the use of the portable software, you will also manage to turn any USB stick or USB enabled devices like Zune or iPod into the Portable App suite.

A quick example, Portable.com Suite offers many portable apps like anti-virus, website browsers and many others, which you can launch through any integrated menus configured for portability. After the program is finished with the hosting computer system, there should be no traces of its existence or usage left behind if it is properly made portable. Speccy Portable allows people to obtain detailed statistics of their computers. In addition to the basics, it covers the RAM, processors, graphics cards, hard drives, optical drives, motherboard and the operating system. It does that without leaving traces of existence behind.

Portable software vs. installer software
Any software that demands installation to your local computer consists of a program that installs the software and which computer programmers make with installer creators. With installer software, you will not be able to run it directly because you have to complete some steps like registration with the Windows registry, registry reload and the linking to the dynamic link libraries (DLL) files. Mostly, the installer software uses some existing DLL files. Each time a programmer creates a custom library or a similar program, the installer copies the file to the right location when installing the software.

One problem with the installer software programs is that they leave fingerprints on your computer, where you install them – including after you have uninstalled them. Therefore, when working on anything private, other people will realize that you installed and later uninstalled particular software. The other problem is that they require installation on every computer you use. Any installation process will take time and might require reloading your Windows Registry after the installation is over. Each time you use the installer software to complete the installation, any of the following might happen.

  • The software will make another folder under the Users or Program Files depending on the configuration
  • It will write new values to your Windows Registry and modify the old entries
  • Files might be copied from the installer program to the local machine
  • Creation of taskbar or desktop icons
  • Creation of a new folder on the start menu
  • Copying of the DLL files into your Windows or the C:\Windows\System32 and similar folders

After uninstalling the software, one or even all the elements created during the installation will remain on the computer and might tell the other users any of the software you used.

Portable software
When using portable software, you will not need to install anything. That makes the software portable because you carry it on your USB sticks or hard drives. When using it, you will just need to plug in the pen drive to your computer and start it. The internet offers many helpful resources that help users convert their installer software into portable versions. Portable software functions in two different ways:

  • The portable software program comes with DLLs embedded on the app
  • The software might create a VM and starts running in it, particularly if it has to use the registry. The VM will disappear immediately you close the portable software.

Because you do not have to install anything, portable software saves you more time and allows you to use your computer without leaving any footprints in the registry or folders. For example, Speccy Portable software programs are easier to carry on removable drives, launch and use without changing any settings on your system. Therefore, there are no chances of someone discovering that you ran any software on your computer. They help you work straight away and protect you from prying eyes.

Even though most portable software programs will not leave any traces, you will have to check the folders where you compared the software to be sure that no XML or INF files were created. Some portable apps are likely to create the files in the folder you installed them – to save the software configuration. If you find any such file, just delete it if you are worried about your privacy. The small-sized portable software programs are a better choice.


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