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What is Downloading and How do I do it?

By: Chris Brennan - Updated: 8 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Downloading Music downloading free

The Internet can be a scary place with viruses and malware ready to infect your computer at any moment. It’s not all bad news though as there’s plenty of content out there that’s perfectly safe for you to use. All you have to do is download it. Downloading is the process of moving a file from one place to another from a remote location. Say you want a copy of a file or form to fill in. You can often download these to your PC rather than having to wait for copies to be sent to you in the post. Catalogues images, music video almost anything can be downloaded from the Internet. If you’ve used the net to buy software and installed it onto your computer you’ve downloaded it. It’s a simple process really.

File Formats

There are many different file formats but this shouldn’t pose any problems, as computers are clever enough to know which application can open them. If you visit a website and see a download link all you have to do is click on it to start downloading. You should be careful when visiting sites that your not sure about as it’s easy to hide a virus in a download so make sure you have some internet security software which can help you identify these rogue elements.

File size

Something you should take into account when you begin downloading is the file size. If you have a broadband connection then large files shouldn’t be too much of a problem but if you still have dial-up Internet then a file can take a very long time to come through. Any file bigger than 10 megabytes is going to take a long time to make it over a slow connection. Broadband Internet should deliver a 10 megabyte file in around a minute.

Sometimes files are compressed to make them easier to download and you’ll need an application to un-compress them when they arrive on your PC. Compression basically takes the existing document and scrunches it up digitally to make the space it takes up on a disk smaller. If the file doesn’t automatically un-compress itself you’ll need a tool to do this for you though these are usually free.

The bottom line with downloading is that you take care and always be sure what it is you’re getting. In most instances the files you open and transfer from the web to your PC will be totally safe. However, if you simply download any file without much thought you’re asking for problems.


In nearly all cases downloading is a simple and wholly automated process that shouldn’t take too much getting to grips with. You’ll have a much better experience if you have broadband Internet as it will allow you to get things much more speedily. The speed increases in Internet connections means that soon downloading will be second nature and we’ll buy feature films and whole software packages over the net.

Just remember to stick to sites that you trust and to invest in some PC security software and everything should be fine.

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