One of the available features of Brown's managed computers is "Software Center" app for Windows and "Self-Service" app for macOS. Both of these allow you to install software with just a double-click, rather than needing to go to https://software.brown.edu to get and run the software installers yourself.
Eligibility for Software Center and Self-Service is based on your department's management settings, so available applications may differ depending on the computer you're using. Generally, the core applications that are available from the software download site are also visible in the self-service applications. Most applications will install whether you are on- or off-campus, but the applications that require VPN to function normally will also need an active VPN for installation.
Using Software Center for Windows
Software Center is available from the search bar, or from Start->Microsoft System Center ->Software Center. Once you've opened the app, it will show as the "Brown Application Catalog. In the left menu, you'll see a list of applications that are available for your computer. If you sort by Application Name: A to Z, you'll see your computer's available list of titles.
Once you click on a title, you'll come to the application's page and will have an "Install" link.
When you click on "Install", the application will download itself over the network, start its installation process, and should complete silently in the background. If you are installing statistical applications, it's best to have an active VPN connection; standard applications do not otherwise require any additional connection to the Brown network - they can be run from your laptop while away from Brown.
Using Self Service for macOS
In the same way as Software Center, the Self Service app for macOS allows you to install applications without the need to download them from software.brown.edu. On your managed Mac, you may see a Self Service app in your dock, or you can Spotlight search for it. Available apps will vary depending on your department's settings, but apps that are common to most people at Brown should be available to you.
Once you find the app you're looking for and click "install", follow the prompt and install the software. This will stream the installer down over the internet and install automatically for you.