Local Monitor vs. Cloud Monitor

You can have two types of monitor based on the device set to them, Local Monitor and Cloud Monitor.

Cloud Monitor

When your monitor (monitored web page) is set to the cloud device, it is called a cloud monitor. If you add monitors from the web app, device is set to the cloud (Distill server) by default. In this case, monitors are checked for changes on Distill’s server. You will see a “cloud” icon as the device for cloud monitor.

Local Monitor

If you add monitors from Distill’s browser extension, device is set to your local device (browser) and called a local monitor. In this case, monitors are checked for changes from your browser. This requires the browser to be open. The checks for local monitors are performed in your browser either in the background or in a tab (default) or in a sticky window. The background check option works for static web pages only. Local monitors’ device show as a desktop icon if Watchlist is opened from the browser extension toolbar. If you open the web app, you will see a browser (chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera) icon for the local monitor.

You can have more than one local device for checks. For example, you can have Distill’s browser extension installed in more than one laptop or different browsers (Chrome/Firefox/Opera/Edge) in the same laptop. Each browser is considered as a separate device.

Difference between Local and Cloud Monitor

Cloud Monitor Local Monitor
Monitor checks in cloud on Distill server Monitor checks in your browser
It will work if your PC is off or browser is not open This needs your computer’s browser to be open
PDF and XML monitors are supported PDF and XML monitors are not supported
Minimum check interval of 2 mins for Flexi plan Minimum check interval is 5 seconds
Support for Macros1 and Proxies2 for cloud monitors Macros and Proxies are not supported
Checks are counted and limited by the subscription plan Unlimited checks


Check 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 device?

To change the 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 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. Alternatively, you can open https://monitor.distill.io/#/settings/devices/ to view and manage your device list. 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 to run monitor checks in any local browser that is open, then “Any Local Device” is the best fit for you. You will also receive pop-up and sound alerts on the local device which checks the monitor 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.

Here’s a quick video on managing and switching between local and cloud monitors.

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