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Thick clients, also called heavy clients, are full-featured computers that are connected to a network. Unlike thin clients, which lack hard drives and other features, thick clients are functional whether they are connected to a network or not.
While a thick client is fully functional without a network connection, it is only a client when it is connected to a server. The server may provide the thick client with programs and files that are not stored on the local machines hard drive. It is not uncommon for workplaces to provide thick clients to their employees. This enables them to access files on a local server or use the computers offline. When a thick client is disconnected from the network, it is often referred to as a workstation.