Local Monitor vs. Cloud Monitor

Distill supports multiple devices to run the monitor (webpages) to check for changes. If the running device is set to the cloud, that monitor is called Cloud Monitor. If the running device is set to a browser (Chrome, Firefox or Opera), that monitor is called a Local Monitor.

By default, when you add a monitor using web app (https://monitor.distill.io), that monitor’s device is set to cloud. Similarly, when you add a monitor using any browser extension, that browser is the default run device for the monitor.

Difference between Local and Cloud Monitor

Local Monitors run in your browser and so, it requires the browser to be open to perform checks and detect changes. Cloud monitors run on Distill servers. So, for Cloud Monitors there is no dependency on your local computer. All checks happen remotely on Distill servers and you get alerts on change.

Cloud Monitors support PDF and XML monitoring. You can not add PDF and XML as Local Monitors.

You can receive local notifications - browser’s pop-up notification, and sound alert for local monitors. Cloud Monitor can not send browser notifications.

Local Monitors support lower check interval. You can set as little as 5 seconds as the check interval. For Cloud Monitors minimum supported check interval is 2 minutes (Flexi Plan).

Checks for Local Monitors are not counted while it is counted for Cloud Monitors.

Local Monitors support different types of check interval - Live, Random, Slots (Paid only) and Interval (default). Cloud Monitors support Interval and Slots (Enterprise only).

You can check out the above key difference and find out what works for you. If you are still unsure, do email us at support@distill.io.

Run device

The above image shows 3 Cloud Monitors. From 6 Local Monitors, 1 is running in Firefox and rest 5 is running in Chrome. The image is the Watchlist from the web app. If you open your Watchlist from your browser, some of your monitors’ device may show a “Computer icon”. That indicates the current browser as the run device.

How to change the run device?

When you sign in to your Distill account from a new browser extension, a new device is created. For example, you signed into Distill using Chrome extension and then Firefox add-on, you will have a total of 2 local devices. By default, there is one cloud device making up to a total of 3 devices in your device list. Supported device number is limited by the subscribed plan.

To change the run device, you need to click on the device icon and select the device on which you want to run that monitor. You can also change run device in bulk by selecting multiple monitors, click on Batch Edit -> Device -> Select the Device.

icon to change run device

How to manage device list?

You can click on the device icon and click “Edit” to manage devices. It will open the device list and show all the local devices. There is an Edit button for each device that you can use to rename the device name. If you do not intend to use any device, you can delete that by clicking on the “delete” icon for that device. Following is an image for the device list.

device list showing four devices

What is “Any Local Device” under select device to run on?

If you have more than one local device (Distill’s browser extension) and you want the checks to run in your local browser then “Any Local Device” is best fit for you. Setting run device to “Any Local Device” will run monitor on that device which is open. You will also receive pop-up and sound alerts on the local device if actions are set. Check-log in this case is device specific and is not synced. For example, if you home browser checked for changes for Monitor A, then check-log for Monitor A will show up in your home browser’s log only and not on any other device.