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Thick client

Thick client

(also fat client, rich client)

Thick client definition

A thick client is a type of software that runs on a user’s computer or device. It has a rich interface, meaning it has a lot of features and functionalities, such as high-quality graphics, multimedia support, and real-time updates that improve the user experience. Therefore, thick client software requires a substantial amount of resources to run, including memory and processing power, because they run locally on the user’s device, contrary to a thin client, which mainly relies on server processing and storage. A thick client can run online and offline and deliver high degrees of functionality and performance.

See also: allowlist, anti-malware

Thick client examples

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Video games
  • Media players
  • Web browsers

Benefits of using thick clients

  • High levels of performance and responsiveness. Thick clients can run complex tasks locally without the need for communication between networks or servers. This enables better performance and quicker response times, especially when working with complex applications and large datasets.
  • Rich user interface. Unlike thin clients, thick clients come with an interface with more features and are more intuitive for the user.
  • Can work offline. Thick clients can work with either low network connectivity or offline, allowing users to work even when there is an unstable or even no network connection.
  • Better security. Thick clients can store data internally, reducing reliance on external servers and giving extra protection.
  • Help reduce network traffic. Sincethick clients work locally and with low connection, they can help minimize network traffic and bandwidth usage, thus unburdening the servers.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security