Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2
To deliver content to users by using the downloading method, you typically save the content to a Web server and provide users with a link to the content by adding the link to the content on a Web page. The user then clicks the link, downloads the file to his or her local hard disk, and then plays back the content using a player.
Downloading requires that users copy entire files to their computers before they can play the content, which consumes both time and disk space. In addition, because the entire file must be downloaded to a computer before it can play, downloading cannot be used with live content.
Downloading does not make efficient use of available bandwidth. When a client begins to download a digital media file, all available network bandwidth is used to transfer the data as quickly as possible. As a result, other network functions may slow down or be disrupted.