Uploading and Downloading

Posted By BrokenClaw on January 4, 2008

Upload is the general term to describe the process of sending a computer file from your computer to somewhere else on the Internet. For the casual user the term is encountered mostly when sending photos or video clips, either to a friend via web email or to a photo-sharing site like Flickr.

When computer files, including photos, are uploaded with email, they are called attachments. Attachments are a very useful feature of email, not only for photos, but also for sending documents, primarily in a business setting.

Download is the general term to describe the process of receiving a computer file from the Internet onto your computer. It is the functional opposite of upload. Once again, most users encounter the term when receiving photos or other email attachments.

The danger is that attachments can also be computer programs that install viruses or other malicious software on your computer. Therefore, it is a prime rule of safe computing to Never Open (click on) Attachments, unless you know the sender and already know what they are sending you.

Other common tasks which involve downloading:

  • Your computer has to download all the content of the webpage before it will properly display on your monitor.
  • Updates to your operating system or other software come to your computer as downloads.
  • If you purchase software from a website you have to download it before you can install it.
  • If you want to listen to an audio podcast, you can download it and listen to it later.
  • If you purchase online movies and videos to put on a portable device or to play on your TV, you have to download them to your computer or other dedicated video device.


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