Download refers to the transfer of data, programs, audio, video or documents from a remote server to one's own local client; upload refers to the transfer from the client to the server. With a download, the entire file is stored on the user's own hard disk before it is accessed and played back.
In contrast to streaming media, with download the playback is time-delayed offline, only when it is completely stored. The disadvantages are the time lag between download and playback, which can be several minutes depending on the file size, and the additional storage space required. On the other hand, a download has the advantage that the downloaded file can be called up again and again, processed offline, played back and printed out.
There is also the progressive download, a hybrid method of streaming and download. With progressive download, the files can be viewed while downloading, they are simultaneously stored on the hard disk as a download. Progressive downloads are often used for video streaming. In addition, there is also automatic download, which is called drive-by download or pop-up download.
Drive-by downloads often involve already installed programs or toolbars that are automatically updated without the user's consent. However, it can also be malware that is triggered when an e-mail is called up and installs itself. The situation is different for pop-up downloads, which are downloaded or installed only with the user's consent.