Open Source vs Closed Source Explained with examples in 2024

The main difference between open source and closed source is the level of accessibility to the software's underlying code.

In the age of technology and automation, software is being used more and more in day-to-day tasks. Basically, the Software in the market is divided into two parts: open source and closed source (No matter what type of uses the software has). Where Open source is one of the easiest software available freely in the market with some level of security at some extended level. While the close source (Proprietary Software) is a complete package that users will purchase with all the step-by-step documentation, manuals, high level of security and customer support as well.

Whether you’re in charge of IT (Information Technology) at your business in or you run your own business, you just need to know the difference between open source and closed source (Proprietary software). What advantages and disadvantages of open source vs proprietary software and which is better?

What is Open Source?

Open source software, also known as OSS  is software with source code available for anyone to inspect, modify, and enhance. That means open source allows easy access of source code to the general public that can be edited and re-released in a customized format.

Well, open source refers to any program/OS/Software whose source code is made available for use or modification as users or other developers see fit. Open-source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and used by the general public for free.

The open-source model is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. Wikipedia

Some of examples of open source are Apache Application Server, Linux Operating System, Firefox web browser, WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform, and more.

Example of open source software

Every Open source and closed Source Comes up with Pros and cons.

Advantages of Open Source System

  • Available freely on the internet is the biggest advantage.
  • Users can modify and edit changes as per their choice and requirements.
  • Anyone can fix the issues and bugs.
  • Get secure and stable code as huge free support groups are available.
  • The company does not need anti-piracy or serial numbers to access as they are not licensed.

The disadvantage of Open Source Systems

  • Constant updates are a headache sometimes as you have to keep update your system and code.
  • You have to learn the system to resolve its issue, sometimes you need a trainer.
  • Frequent modifications are a challenge for users to decide which open-source system is better.
  • Sometimes hardware does not compatible with open-source systems.

What is a Closed Source Operating System?

Closed source software is software that’s proprietary and its source code is closed to the public. It’s usually software that’s been designed for use within a particular company or organization. Big organizations such as Microsoft, apple, Adobe didn’t allow or give rights outside programmers to change and update their code as they keep their coding files private and licensed so that no one can change them. And It’s often designed this way in order to control a brand image or protect customers’ details.

Here are some of the closed source software running successfully like Microsoft Office, Windows 10, iOS, Adobe Acrobat, McAfee anti-virus software and more, here you require a license to use.

examples of closed source

Advantages of Closed Source System

  • Detailed documents and manuals are available if you are even non-technical.
  • Software providers are worth their salt to provide support to resolve the issues.
  • If you are not getting according to the product expectations then you can take action against the providers

The disadvantage of Closed Source System

  • The never-ending burden of upgrading the products costs a lot to the company which thereafter directly goes on users.
  • Purchasing can cost really high which small companies can afford.
  • Users can easily get support on the internet.
  • Sometimes the company should face piracy issues.
  • Supplying patches to resolve the issues are sometimes a bad idea for users as they are not aware of the software.

Difference between Open source and Closed source

Here is a brief comparison between open source and closed source that help to decide which is the best.

One of the main advantages of open source software is that it allows for greater transparency and flexibility, as anyone can modify and improve the code.

Quality and support

When it is about quality then Closed Source is a better option than Open Source. Closed source software will usually have a dedicated FAQ, manuals, and options to contact someone. If there is a problem with the software, you can submit a ‘support ticket’ and get a response in one business day in most cases. All of these things will be organized and well documented as well.

In open source you can easily and freely available support groups where you can find the solution of your bugs and issues however it is not always available and support groups members are not always available, you have to wait for long sometimes.

Security and Hacking

If we need to compare between which is the best option between open source and closed source regarding security then most of people suggest Closed source because of their licensed products and not available on the internet it is quite tough to hack them as most of the programmers are not able to practice it. The detailed documents are also not available for free as well.

While in open source the documents and details are available for free in most of cases and it is practiced by developers even after updates they are easy can get hacked also you have to purchase some related products to secure your software.

Coding Availability

We discuss in previous that in open source coding are available on the internet by free support groups to help other developers so you can work smoothly sometimes and also chances to get fast work because of its availability.

In the case of Closed Source, it is not possible that you will get the coding outside on the internet as their coding is private and licensed so you have to purchase them, even after that there are some file that you can not modify or update as they are secured by the company which good also at some extend.


Closed source software creators are the ones that generally handle the development and fixes, meaning it is under their discretion if they continue their ongoing development or not.

Open source development is handled through ‘mass collaboration’. As a result, development and fixes usually continue as long as the community is active.


The Best part about the closed source is the detailed guidance mentioned in the documentation of the purchased product so that a normal user can easily and manually work on that. Manuals are always go step by step so there no chances to get misguided.

While in the case of open source, the free support groups are available but it is not always trustworthy as sometimes they are not updated as by the time, so you cannot get the documentation of updated software. The chances of not getting support are minimum.

Cost and Services

With open source, you will get better support and services on communities. However when it comes to resolving high-level of issues then their support are failing somewhere and not able to resolve them. Maybe the frequent updates and modifications by many users.

But in the case of closed source, the company has to pay high to get better and fast services. Apart from documents and manuals company will get customer support easily and quickly. As it is completely their responsibility to resolve the issues you are facing. Expanded companies mostly have a higher level of issues to resolve, in those cases, the company can’t afford to lose data.

Which is better open source or closed source?

Open-source software tends to be free, so it’s usually the best choice for individual users. On the other hand, Closed sources are paid options as they are designed for the user’s needs with dedicated service teams that can help you when things go wrong.

Well, the support and dedicated service is very important that make Closed source software winner here.

Closing note:

Every software is different, coding patterns are different. It is all up to the company at what level of profit they want and what level of loss they can afford. Still, there is so many open source software free as well as secure available in the market, Symfony is one of them.

Here Closed Source is on top Notch compare to open source as they are specially designed for specific users with special requirements and the support groups are ready to help on time. Still, there is a big market of the open source system and so many users are there who love the open source products because it’s free.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More