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What is Downloading and How Do I Do it?

John from UK, Liverpool writes  “I am not PC literate so please excuse my ignorance.  I have asked several people but have not received a sensible answer.  What does downloading mean and how do I do it?”

Hi, John.  Thanks for the great question.  DOWNLOAD is a term that we tend to take for granted in this day and age, and sling it around a lot without being aware that there might be people out there with no clear idea what we’re talking about.

In the simplest possible terms, “download” means to move something from the internet to your computer’s hard drive.  This could be anything from illegal movie or music downloads to saving a picture that your girlfriend has e-mailed to you.  When it goes in the other direction, such as moving something from your hard drive to an online storage database, it is, of course, called “uploading”. 

As far as how you do it goes, it all depends on what it is that you’re downloading.  For instance, there are two ways to save that picture that your girlfriend sent to you.  They are to DOWNLOAD or VIEW. 

If you choose VIEW, then the picture will open in a new window.  When it does, simply right-click and then click SAVE IMAGE AS.

Choose your destination, and voila!  You’ve downloaded like a pro.  Now, if you’re downloading something from a website, like a free program from CNET, you’ll see a link that says DOWNLOAD NOW or something similar.

And there you go!  I hope that answers your questions.