Upload vs Download – Difference and Comparison

What is Upload?

Upload refers to the processing of putting data onto a web server. Uploading is a broader term that relates to all kinds of data that you select from your device, most likely laptop or mobile, and use on the internet. People think of uploading in the narrowest sense that only when we put images and videos on the internet can it be called uploading. However, it means sending every data from your computer to some specific location on the internet.

The facility of uploading is so far available on every website. A usual uploading process involves opening a dialogue box that asks you to select the file to upload. Clicking the browse button takes you to your device’s directory, where you see all files and folders. Once you select the file, you click the upload button on the screen.

Uploading is involved everywhere on the internet. Whether you are using Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or sending an official email to your boss, uploading is there to take data in any form (images, files, folders, programs) and send it to a specific location on the internet. It is observed that when the uploading process is being done, the website displays an indicator showing how much upload is done – usually, upload percentage or a progress bar.

What is Download?

Downloading refers to making something from the internet available on your device. A downloaded file can be an image, document, or web page. When something is downloaded, it is stored on your device’s storage. It can be used without the availability of the internet. It is a feasible option to access data on your device that is otherwise available on the internet. Downloading entails a downloading speed, which refers to the speed at which a file is downloaded.

Downloading speed varies with your internet connection speed. Faster internet service allows you to download files of larger sizes in a matter of minutes. Downloading can be made convenient by using third-party downloaders like IDM. In this respect, internet users have reported that these downloaders have made downloading easier and speedier for them. The most used downloader is IDM which does not bear any charges.

Suppose something is available to be downloaded from the internet. You can start downloading by clicking the download button on the displayed interface. The browser or downloader then asks you the location in your storage to save the file. After selecting the location by browsing, the downloading process starts. The transfer rate during the downloading refers to the data speed at which the download is actually happening.

Difference Between Upload and Download

  1. Uploading is putting a file from your device on the internet, whereas downloading is getting a file from the web available on your device.
  2. Uploading takes relatively more time to complete, whereas downloading is observably faster in practice.
  3. Uploading makes a file dependent on the internet for usage, whereas downloading makes a file available for use without the internet.
  4. Uploading is more frequent on social media sites, whereas downloading is prevalent on websites selling software.
  5. Uploading is not ideally resumed if the internet connection breaks, whereas downloading can be resumed in case of a technical breakdown.

 Comparison Between Upload and Download

Parameters of ComparisonUploadDownload
ProcessReceiving files from the internet on your devicePutting files on the internet from your device
SpeedRelatively Slower Relatively Faster
Internet UsageThe file needs the internet to be accessed later onThe file can be accessed on the device without internet


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/8345759/
  2. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/6200279/