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Download Services

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Download service

The definition of download is: -

 On the Internet, to transfer a file from another computer to your computer by means of a modem and telephone line (or cable) or network connection. File Transfer Protocol assures the transmission is free from errors.


In the modern computerised world it is possible to download almost everything from music and games to entire movies. However this is not always done legally. In this section I will be looking at the download of software and of updates.

With modern download services it is possible to search for a program to do the job you want, then download the initial version. This version may be the latest major revision however there may be later revision in the minor revision number.  It is then possible from most download centres to download the updates to take you version up to the current up to date version. This is normally done by installing this original program then selecting update from one of the menu lists. When you select update from the menu the program will use your Internet connection to connect to the internet and contact the developers server were it knows where to find the downloads from. It is also possible to obtain updates on CD-ROM this is in the case of operating systems service packs, for example Microsoft Windows XP Service pack 2 can be downloaded and installed from the Internet or it can be ordered online and sent you thought the post. This version that they send you are identical to the ones you can download but it is on a CD-ROM. These updates can be set to download on a regular basis, so you may set the program up so that every time you turn the computer on it will connect to the internet and try and download updates it there are any available. Some of theses updates also include security updates and patches for bugs that have been found.

Another example of a download system which is set-up in an excellent way is Microsoft Windows XP update tool, this tool can be set-up so that every time you computer turns on it will search for new updates, if there are any available it will download them in the background and install them then inform you when you need to restart you computer. This service also allows you to select additional tools you would like to download and also additional Hardware support packs (HSP). When windows XP update tool is enabled it will download updates to the operating system and it will also download patches and hot fixes.

Along with operating system there are other programs that need to be updated on a regular basis, programs like anti-virus software and anti- spy ware software need to also be updated. This is because new computer virusís and new pieces of spy ware are constantly being release so it is necessary to keep downloading updates so that you computer is constantly up-to-date and has all the protection it needs from the latest computer virus and pieces spy ware.

There are many sites across the Internet that will allow you to download software; some of these are primarily for downloading software and example being a site like that is a download site with sponsored links. Some download sites donít actually keep any of the files which are to be downloaded by visitors, all that sites like tucows does it direct you to a mirror ( a copy) on another web server. The downloads from these websites come in many different formats this is in terms of the licenses they come with. 



Freeware: - this means that the author/programmer releases the program free of charge but still holds the copyright for it. The program may not be altered of sold however third parties may freely distribute it.


Shareware: - this is software designed for the public domain, it is free to download and copy without infringing copyright on it. However the programmer requests that a small fee is paid if you find the program useful.

General public licenses (GPL): - This is software that has been designed for the use by the public however it is freely distributable and the source code is freely available for anyone to alter. On the condition that the original license agreement is kept i.e. that it stay in GPL form.

 Demo: - A demonstration version of the software, like a try before you buy system. With this type of software it can work in two different ways you can either have unlimited time on the program but have some of the features disabled, or you can have all the features enabled but there is a time/usage limit on it.

 So most of the time when you download a piece of software from a site which is primarily for download it is most likely not held on that websites server. An example on the website tucows there is a piece of software available for download that is not actually linked to their server it is linked to a server which is held in a different geographical location.

Many people today use the download service because it a way of obtaining software without having to go anywhere, also because you are on the internet you have a wider choose of software you want and also almost unlimited technical support.

There are a wide range of software that you can download off the internet so many different types of people are going to use it.

 There are many people today who still prefer to purchase there software from high street shops, this may be due to people lack of trust in online shopping. Many people will not purchase items on the internet because they do not trust the security of the payments systems.