# Channels and why are they needed?

All Conda packages we've seen so far were published on the main or default channel of Anaconda Cloud. A Conda channel is an identifier of a path (e.g., as in a web address) from which Conda packages can be obtained. Using the public cloud, installing without specifying a channel points to the main channel at https://repo.anaconda.com/pkgs/main; where hundreds of packages are available. Although covering a wide swath, the main channel contains only packages that are (moderately) curated by Anaconda Inc. Given finite resources and a particular area focus, not all genuinely worthwhile packages are vetted by Anaconda Inc.

If you happen to be working in a firewalled or airgapped environment with a private installation of Anaconda Repository, your default channel may point to a different (internal) URL, but the same concepts will apply.

Anyone may register for an account with Anaconda Cloud, thereby creating their own personal Conda channel. This is covered in the companion course Conda for Building & Distributing Packages (along with creating and uploading your own packages). For this course, just understand that many users have accounts and corresponding channels.

Which description best characterizes Conda channels?