Downloading files from the Internet

There are numerous ways to download files from the internet. Before you do any downloading there are a couple of things you should do first. Number one, and most important, is know your site. There are viruses out there just waiting to wreak havoc with your system. Most commercial sites perform virus checking on a routine basis. If you are going to be downloading from more obscure sites, universities, bulletin boards etc., you should have a virus checker of your own on your computer. It is a good idea to have an antivirus software on your computer for email borne virii also. The second thing you might want to do is create a special directory to hold anything you download from the net before installing it on your computer. Name this directory downloads. If you don't know how to create a directory on your hard disk, check your manual, it's not very difficult.

Once you have a place to put files, how do you get them? Let's take web browsers first.

  1. Netscape Navigator: When you click on something you want to download, Netscape will pop up a window informing you that you have clicked on something for which it is not configured. That's fine. Click on the button that says Save to Disk. Another window will pop up asking you where you want to save the file. Click on the download directory you created. The file will be sent to you and the download will begin.
  2. Microsoft Internet Explorer: Click on the file you want to download. The Internet Explorer will pop up a window that offers you the option of opening the file or saving it. You want to save the file. After you click on save, a directory window will pop up. Choose your download directory, click on save and the download will start.
  3. The rest. All browsers perform in much the same manner. Just make sure you have save to disk clicked somewhere and you should be all right.

You can also download files using an ftp (File Transfer Protocol) program. Most of these programs include a number of sites to connect to using them. The tricky part of ftp downloads is figuring out what the file you want is named. The names can be pretty obscure. However, there is usually an index.txt file that will explain all the arcane names. If you know what you want, make sure your download directory is active in the left hand window and double-click on the file you want in the right hand window. If this sounds confusing, see the page on ftp downloading.

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