Define a Stand-Alone Desktop Computer

Written by noel shankel
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Define a Stand-Alone Desktop Computer
Lack of Internet connection doesn't mean a computer is worthless. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The Internet has revolutionised the computing world, arguably making the stand-alone computer -- or a computer not connected to the Internet or any other computer -- obsolete. However, depending on the purposes you have, a stand-alone computer may be a worthwhile investment. Consumers should weigh both the pros and cons of a stand-alone desktop computer before connecting it to a network.

The Stand-Alone Desktop Computer

A stand-alone desktop computer is a computer designed to be used at home or at work which lacks either a Local Area Network or Wide Area Network connection. Like the name states, a stand-alone computer is not connected to any other computer and functions completely on its own. A stand-alone computer can have the ability to connect to the Internet, but once connected it will no longer be a stand-alone unit.


One main benefit of a stand-alone desktop computer is protection. Unlike computers that are connected to a network, stand-alone computers cannot be attacked by viruses. With this threat eliminated, consumers do not have to purchase costly antivirus programs or worry about online invaders gaining access to their identity. A stand-alone unit can still be used to watch movies -- if it has a DVD drive -- and listen to music -- if it has a CD drive. These devices can also have software programs installed. For example, a screenwriter can install Final Draft -- or another piece of screenwriting software -- onto the computer to complete her work. Users can also utilise document programs, such as Microsoft Word, and spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel.

The Disadvantage

The main disadvantage of a stand-alone desktop computer is that it's not linked to the Internet. Without this option, consumers cannot access their favourite websites or pages, send e-mails, or utilise social networking sites. Film and TV buffs would not be able to stream movies or television shows. Shoppers would not be able to make purchases online. However, these disadvantages would only have an impact if the consumer required an Internet connection to get through his daily life. If the computer is only being used for work related purposes -- such as creating documents, writing stories or crafting spreadsheets -- lack of Internet capabilities becomes obsolete.


If you wish to use a stand-alone computer, you should have a printer attached to it. This allows you to make a hard copy of your work in case the computer malfunctions or crashes. You should also have an external hard drive attached on which to save your work. This allows you to print her work from another computer at a later date if need be. Just because your computer is a stand-alone computer, that doesn't mean it can never connect to the Internet. If you decide to connect your stand-alone computer to a network of other computers, you may notice that your computer runs slower. Computers that share a network can have programs installed simultaneously. Stand-alone computers, on the other hand, require programs to be installed one at a time. If you work in an office with multiple stand-alone computers, you may find software installations and upgrades time consuming.

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