Difference Between Edge Computing and Distributed Computing

Out of context, the terms edge computing, and distributed computing might seem to be technical jargon. However, both these terms are in relation to computing.

The term computing refers to calculations of any type that contains arithmetical and non-arithmetical procedures or steps. This set of steps must follow a well-defined model.

Edge Computing vs Distributed Computing

The main difference between edge computing and distributed computing is that while edge computing refers to the new computing method that helps enterprises distribute the power of computing, distributed computing, on the other hand, refers to a much older form of computing used in accomplishing a single goal by using multiple systems, that work as one.

Edge Computing vs Distributed Computing

Used in lieu of bringing closer computation and data storage, edge computing can be referred to as a distributed computing paradigm.

Edge computing is a much recent introduction to the computing family. Used in helping serve content for web and video in a much closer way, the web and video content is taken from edge servers.

A science of computers, distributed computing, is used in studying the distribution of systems.

This system has its components on networked computers in different locations that perform the action of communicating and coordinating by sending messages from any given system.

The end goal of all the varying components is set to be the same, and the totality of the systems working towards it.

Comparison Table Between Edge Computing and Distributed Computing

Parameters of ComparisonEdge ComputingDistributed Computing
DefinitionIt is the act of deploying storage and computing resources near or at the data procession location.Multiple components of the software distributed over different computers, work as one in distributed computing.
SecurityDue to the closeness, this form of computing is highly secure and reliable.The use of multiple servers can compromise the safety of this method.
CostEdge computing has lesser maintenance and operational cost.By comparison, distributed computing is higher in cost.
ExistenceThis is a newer concept than its counterpart.This method has been around for a respectable amount of time.
ExamplesSmart homes, autonomous cars, streaming services.Internet, cellular networks, intranet, etc.

What is Edge Computing?

Edge computing can be denoted as a type of computing method that is generally performed in such a way that it remains to be close to a site or a data service. This proximity, as a result, helps in reducing the act of data processing in a remote data center.

Considered to be a newly adapted computation method, this model is a highly resourceful model that allows the distribution of computing powers to enterprises following the nearest path.

The topology is worked by spreading it among a lieu of devices that in turn allow data processing and delivery of services required next to the computation device or data source.

The resultant nearness achieved to the end-user, who could vary between a customer or an employee who is in use of their cell phone or a point of sale system used by the retailer, helps in making the model highly effective and efficient.

It is highly time-conservative and provides elevated levels of security, making it a popular choice among many.

Edge computing also offers an excellent speed of completion due to the proximity criteria and lack of intervention. An added advantage offered to the users is their low operating and maintenance costs.

What is Distributed Computing?

A well-preferred model of computation, distributed computing can be categorized under the field of computer sciences. Specifically, one to do with studying the distribution of systems.

The base outline of working that is followed in a distributed computing system is pretty much summarized in its title.

Consisting of a system of distributed components that are situated in networked computers located at different spots, they are programmed to coordinate their actions via communicating with each other.

This sum total of all components is used to achieve a single goal, whose success is attained by the varied works done by the different components towards a single goal.

These components send messages to interact with each other for their target achievement. This can happen from any system.

The major features of this model are their absence of a global clock, the component’s concurrency, and the imminent failure of a component, which can be considered as an individual setback.

This individual failure of a component prevents time lag as the problem can be singled out without affecting or compromising the entirety of the system.

However, this leads to the system’s limitation; the increased number of components may be the cause of a certain amount of compromise in the safety of the whole operation.

Main Differences Between Edge Computing and Distributed Computing

  1. Edge computing happens at a close distance to the location of the data processing. Distributed computing occurs a plethora of servers located in different locations, all serving the same purpose.
  2. While edge computation is a fairly recent adaptation of computing models, distributed computation had a much earlier presence.
  3. The usage of edge computing can prove to be economical due to its reduced expenses. Comparatively, distributed computing is pricey.
  4. Edge computing also offers a safer and more reliable platform owing to its singularity and proximity. Distributed computing is not as safe in terms of security features.
  5. Edge computing offers lesser speed than its counterpart. By dividing the work and possessing common goals, distributed computing has a high rate of work completion.


Used in managing everyday situations right from controlling traffic lights to ensuring a smooth flow of vehicles right up to the daily internet searches we hit up, edge computing and distributed computing play a major role in managing their roles.

Differing significantly from one another, edge computing talks about the data processing that is done at closer proximity. This helps in the operation being secure and makes sure it is not deterred by exterior elements.

Distributed computing makes use of a sub-system of servers, working towards a common goal. This is a fast way of completing the task, with the systems interacting with one other.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7469991/
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/3-540-62852-5_6.pdf
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