A Sample Digital Download

Downloading generally transfers entire files for local storage and later use, as contrasted with streaming, where the data is used nearly immediately, while the transmission is still in progress, and which may not be stored long-term. Websites that offer streaming media or media displayed in-browser, such as YouTube, increasingly place restrictions on the ability of users to save these materials to their computers after they have been received.

Downloading is not the same as data transfer; moving or copying data between two storage devices would be data transfer, but receiving data from the Internet is downloading.

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