When choosing to install a piece of software on our devices, along with taking into account what we know about open source, we are often faced with whether we should use open source or closed source software. This is why we’ve decided to compare the two in terms of security, support, and other factors.
When it comes to security, our first impulse would be to go with open source. Why? Because it is the community that handles the bug fixing and updates, so you can count on everyone to pitch in to create better security on a piece of software.
However, that comes with a few disadvantages, the biggest of which is the fact that, since anyone can review and edit the code, there is nothing stopping hackers from seeing what security measures are being implemented and using that to their benefit. Does that mean that closed source is immune to these attacks? Not in the slightest.
Another issue is the fact that with closed source software, you must depend on the company that owns it to come up with security updates. This process is slow, you depend on someone else, and there are many features that are implemented which you may not like and can do nothing about. This round goes to open source.
Who provides better support for their community? Is it the public, or the vendor? The general public might be interested in helping you fix the part of the software you are having trouble with, but that is not the most reliable method of troubleshooting. Vendors provide you with an official service and you, as a consumer of products and services, are granted a certain level of protection and quality assurance. This is why proprietary software wins in this category.
You may think that choosing either of the two types of software is a matter of personal preference and you would not be far off. Open source software is aimed at everyone, allowing the general public to review the code and change it where it deems necessary. This often results in progress, but sometimes there are a few steps back the community takes.
Closed source software, on the other hand, is designed for a specific purpose and targets specific users. It is not as flexible as open source, but it does provide a better-specialized service. Think of open source as a jack of all trades and closed source as a master of one.
Which to Choose?
With all the information present on the web and here, we still have to say that it comes down to what you are comfortable with. Open source is more secure and gives you more control of the services, whereas closed source is quicker to respond when you stumble and focuses on certain features its community favors. Simply ask yourself whether you want to be driven to your destination or take control behind the wheel.