Why are files downloading so slowly?

Download speed

The term "download" is abbreviated to DL and refers to the process of copying or saving data from one device to another.[1] Through this process, it enables entire files to be transferred for local storage so that they can be used later. In contrast to the process of data transfer, in which only data is moved or copied between two different storage media, the download receives data from the Internet. Download speed refers to the availability of data that can be transferred from the World Wide Web to connected devices such as computers, tablets or smartphones. This relates in particular to the availability of how quickly or slowly data can be transferred from one device to another device, or also how quickly or slowly a certain data file can be saved in the local storage system of a device.


Files can be downloaded using the file transfer protocol (FTP). This is a system that relates to the movement and exchange of files over the Internet between different devices and networks.[2] Downloading files can be a tedious task that involves a process of compression, decompression, and, alternatively, custom installations. Everything a person does online involves downloading:

  • When the web page loads, the browser also downloads the page.
  • The images on a page are downloaded.
  • Videos across different sites can also be downloaded for future use.

The internet software and the computer take care of everything during the download. Most of the files that a person downloads are easily accessible to the applications or programs that are already on the computer. These are some files that a person must be careful of before opening a file for download:

Applications and executables

These are files with the extension.exe for Windows while.app for Mac users that are self-executable. Files with these extensions run automatically and are started automatically when you click them. However, these files can contain a virus or malware that attacks your device. It is better to only open applications and executable files from trusted and known sources.

Self-extracting archives

These are files with .dmg that will open a small pop-up window asking you to move the application to your software directory when you open it. Also, if you try to start a program from an unknown source, the device will automatically warn you. For files with .zip, it will extract itself when clicked. Extracting files decompresses a file and releases the contents in a specific folder.

At some point, a person may want to download large files. There are some websites that host these types of downloadable files and compress them into an archived format. The most popular archive file format is zip.

Files are compressed to speed up hard drive space and use it efficiently. By compressing files, it reduces the size of a file and speeds up the download time. The data is replaced by smaller codes that take up less space.[3]

Below are examples of common downloads:

  • Applications or programs - this is the most popular type of download that can only be installed on computers.
  • Hardware drivers - these are usually contained in a compressed file or in a self-extracting executable file.
  • Compressed files - reduces the size of a file. The files must be decompressed after downloading and before they can be executed.
  • Audio files - Downloading an audio file is similar to any other base file from the Internet.
  • Movie files - downloading the movie file is similar to any other base file from the Internet. There are streaming movie services that do not have a link to download so it requires and requires software to save the video.
  • Pictures or Images - Almost any picture or picture seen on the Internet can be easily downloaded to computing devices.
  • PDF files - almost all browsers open the contents of the file rather than downloading it directly.
  • Word processing documents - this refers to documents that are in Microsoft Word.
  • Spreadsheet or CSV files - this can be easily downloaded by clicking any link that points to the spreadsheet file.
  • Text files - any link that points to a text file opens in the browser.
  • YouTube videos

The speed required to download files depends on the following factors:

  • The speed that is offered in the region.
  • Number of users and devices currently using the internet connection
  • The activities that each device will perform.

Below is a summary of the speed recommendation for common internet activities:

  • Online Gaming - Download Speed ​​(5Mbps)
  • Streaming Video - Download Speed ​​(10Mbps)
  • Streaming Music - Download Speed ​​(1Mbps)
  • Large File Download - Slow (5Mbps), Fast (50Mbps)

The following recommendations only apply to a single activity at a time and are only the lowest recommended speed.[4] Today's generation, the process of downloading files and data from one device to another device or to its local storage, has helped and contributed a lot to people's daily lives. This makes people's lives easier and faster in storing and retaining information to help them along the way.

General problems

Often times, the common concern of people is how to increase the download speed. With this, if the download of the file is slow then users can try to check if the file can be downloaded on another webpage. It can also be checked whether the visited page contains links to several places where the file is accessible. So try a different download location. In addition, the use of a download manager is an alternative solution. This is software that speeds up the download of a single file by opening multiple network connections. However, this method is limited and depends on the available bandwidth of the ISP.[5]

  1. https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/d/download.htm↩︎

  2. https://www.lifewire.com/uploading-and-downloading-online-3985950↩︎

  3. https://websitebuilders.com/how-to/learn-to-download/download-files/↩︎

  4. https://www.highspeedinternet.com/how-much-internet-speed-do-i-need↩︎

  5. https://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch001139.htm↩︎