Question Of The Week
Question: "Computer terms confuse me. What is the difference between 'upload,' 'download,' and 'transfer?"
Answer: It's true. In the computer world, we have a language of our own. Besides terminology that is already confusing, we love acronyms as well. Examples include: HTML, URL, CSS, IP, FTP and lots more. It's enough to make your head spin!
For this week, our customer is asking about terms that are often misunderstood and misused. Let's see if we can clear up their meanings.
Take a look at the picture above. (It's a doll house, actually, but let's ignore that for now.) Let's say you were on the first floor in the green room with a computing device. If you sent a document or a picture (or some other data) via your house network to someone who was on the second floor in the blue room on their computer device, that would be "uploading."
If, on the other hand, you got a file from the computer on the second floor and copied or moved it to your computer on the first floor, that would be "downloading."
As for "transferring," that would happen if you copied or moved a file from your computer on the first floor to another computing device also on the first floor - say, a computing device in the lobby by the front door.
Here are examples using a computing device and not a doll house:
1) If you get a file from the Internet (email attachment, picture on a webpage, program from a webpage) and put it onto your computing device, that is called "downloading."
2) If you take a file from your computer and put it on a server on the Internet (e.g., you put your picture on your Facebook profile.), that is called "uploading."
3) If you copy or move a picture from your digital camera (or a CD/DVD, flash drive) to your computer, that is called "transferring."
Hopefully, I've cleared up these three terms. If not, let me know!