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Why is AnyDesk so lightweight?

1) We use our own stuff

When we started developing AnyDesk, we decided to build many things on our own. Modern software development to a large degree has turned into plugging together many bloated libraries and other components to form a bloated product. Have you ever wondered why so many software applications do so little, but need tons of disk space and RAM and take ages to load? They’re already builton top of frameworks that (theoretically) optimize development time instead of runtime efficiency. When we developed AnyDesk, we picked a small number of software libraries of which we knew that we couldn’t make them better. Like OpenSSL or Zlib. But on the other hand, we hand-crafted lightweight replacements for libraries like the STL and ATL/WTL/MFC. These libraries can only do what we need them to do, and we paid a lot of attention to a slick design.

But since we’re using some open source libraries in AnyDesk, we’re also committed to giving something back to the community: Some of our own libraries will eventually be released as open source, too . Stay tuned!

2) We stick to lean APIs

We’re oldschool here. We’re still using the old WINAPI, which has been around since Windows 3.1. It can be very annoying to use, but it pays off. The user gets a snappy user interface and a small program file. As mentioned earlier, we encapsulated most of the old C API in our own C++ library to make our lives easier.

3) We’re using compression

With the lean programming techniques and architecture described above, AnyDesk’s size would still be a few megabytes. But we thought we can do better. AnyDesk’s program file is also compressed, and when you start AnyDesk.exe, it decompresses in the memory before it is started. By doing this, we managed to decrease the file size even more. If you’re familiar with the demo scene, you’ve probably heard of 64k demos. It is amazing to see what is possible with a tiny file, and this fascination added to our motivation.

We hope you like our tiny, self-contained, ultra-portable screen sharing application. Lean and fast software is still possible. You can download our latest version here: http://anydesk.com/download


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