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Downloading Your Software Donations

Learn about the process of downloading software donations from TechSoup

Downloading Your Software Donations 
Jim Lynch and Patrick Duggan - September 01, 2011
Most product donations from TechSoup are available in two ways: download or physical media. Downloads (sometimes listed as ESD or electronic delivery) are products downloaded from our donor partners through a link that you’re provided after your request is processed. Physical media are boxed installation discs sent through the mail. If downloading our products seems daunting, don't worry! We'll walk you through the process and answer all of your questions.

Most product donations from TechSoup are available in two ways: download or physical media. Downloads (sometimes listed as ESD or electronic delivery) are products downloaded from our donor partners through a link that you're provided after your request is processed. Physical media are boxed installation discs sent through the mail.

We encourage you to download our products if you can. You'll get your software more quickly and be a little greener in the process. Downloading is 90 percent more earth-friendly than shipping packaged products. If downloading our products seems daunting, don't worry! We'll provide the information and instructions to help you during the process.

Choosing to Download: What You Should Know

If you decide to download your donation, you'll need broadband Internet access. A full suite of software like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Suite can take several hours, even with high-speed broadband Internet (3+ Mbps). Check out this handy chart from Adobe:

File size Dial-up (56k) DSL (1.5 Mbps) Cable (3.0 Mbps) Corporate LAN
5MB 12 mins < 1 min < 1 min < 1 min
100MB 4 hrs 9 mins 5 mins 1 min
1GB 41.4 hrs 96 mins 51 mins 14 mins
5GB 207 hrs 8 hrs 4.2 hrs 72 mins
15GB 621.4 hrs 24 hrs 12.6 hrs 3.6 hrs

Note: For files over 100MB we recommend a DSL or faster connection.

You may also find a download manager especially useful. Download managers streamline the download process and provide a way to recover from download errors and timeouts without losing data. Some can even break up large files into smaller ones and reassemble them on your computer, speeding up the download process.

Tip: Start your download using a download manager when you're leaving the office in the evening, so you'll have it ready to install when you arrive the next morning. And, for future reference, make sure to save the product keys that TechSoup or our donor partner sends you.

The How-Tos: Put Your Mind at Ease

When most of us download software at home, it generally downloads quickly and comes as a self-installing file. We click "accept" once or twice, and away we go. Downloading product donations from TechSoup can be a little different. Depending on which donor partner you're downloading from, it could take much longer (anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours) and happen in different ways (you may be emailed a link or directed to a download site). The articles and resources below will help you decide if downloading your donation is the best option for you and your organization.

A Beginner's Guide to Electronic Software Downloads

If you're new to downloading software, you may have a few questions about the process. This article will answer your questions and better acquaint you with some of the basics of software downloading from TechSoup.

A Beginner's Guide to Electronic Software Downloads

In-Depth: Should I Download My Software or Not?

Are you debating whether to download your software donation from TechSoup or have the installation discs sent to you? Downloading is often the faster and greener way to go, but it may not be appropriate for every organization. Find out how long downloading takes, what to do if you have problems, and other things to keep in mind when deciding if downloading is right for you.

In-Depth: Should I Download My Software or Not?

Webinar: Going Green — Downloading Microsoft Software Donations

TechSoup Microsoft donations are now download-only. For more information, read this GreenTech post announcing the update. This informative webinar will help you to learn about the benefits of using electronic downloads, identify and complete basic requirements for using Microsoft's Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), and understand the overall process for receiving your software electronically.

Going Green — Downloading Microsoft Software Donations

The Green Reason

Shipping CDs and DVDs consumes large amounts of fossil fuels. Plus, those discs can't be recycled and don't break down in landfills. Replacing traditional distribution of CDs and DVDs with electronic software distribution reduces carbon emissions by 90 percent. If you'd like to reduce your carbon footprint by downloading your software, we've put together information to help you decide if it's the right choice for your organization.

The Environmental Case for Downloading

Most people have some sense that downloading software is greener than getting it fully packaged. But, the environmental impact of manufacturing and packaging discs, as well as the long supply chain required to get a physical product to you, takes more of a toll than you might think. Find out just how much greener downloading software actually is.

The Environmental Case for Downloading

Image: Download, Shutterstock