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Ever hate downloading a file and watching the initial speed drop gradually making your download time longer and longer. Want to download faster with your same internet connection? Then use a download manager!

What is a Download Manager?

A download manager is a tool that downloads files for you. It works similarly to the way most default browser download managers work. The only difference is that it uses multiple connections to download a file from different locations. This effective ‘solves’ the decreasing download speed issue. For example, a user downloading files normally would use one connection to begin the download from beginning to end. This would be a slow process and the download speed would reduce as the download progressed. A user downloading a file using a download manager would use multiple connections to download the file thus downloading the complete file faster.

Let’s say a download is split into 3 segments. This means that the user is downloading one file but there will be 3 downloads taking place. Therefore three separate connections can be made. These segments are later combined into one file when all segments finish downloading.

Features of a Download Manager?

  • Pausing the downloading of large files.
  • Resuming broken or paused downloads (especially for very large files).
  • Downloading files on poor connections.
  • Downloading several files from a site automatically according to simple rules (file types, updated files, etc. – see also Offline Browser).
  • Automatic recursive downloads (mirroring).
  • Scheduled downloads (including, automatic hang-up and shutdown).
  • Searching for mirror sites, and the handling of different connections to download the same file more quickly (segmented downloading).
  • Variable bandwidth usage.
  • Automatic subfolder generation.

What Download Manager to use?

Windows

CryptLoad, Download Express, FlashGet, Freemake Video Downloader, Free Download Manager, Internet Download Accelerator, Load!, NetAnts, Orbit Downloader, Puxa Rápido, RealDownloader, Xunlei DownloadStudio, Download Accelerator Plus, GetRight, Go!Zilla, Internet Download Manager, LeechGet, Net Transport

Unix-like

KGet, GWget

Cross-platform

cURL, DownThemAll!, FlashGot, JDownloader, Wget, wxDownloadFast

When it comes to choosing a download manager there are different programs that offer different features. I personally had to go through several download managers until I found the one that matched my needs. Try and visit the developer websites of each program to get a feel of the user interface and to see what manager offers what features.

Below is a list of download managers I have personally tested and recommend:

Free Download Manager This is the download manager I currently use. Its free and I have found that it’s the faster than the rest of the download managers I have tried. It’s simple and efficient and it integrates nicely with browsers which makes it a great download manager.
Internet Download Manager Internet Download Manager is a great download manager that easily increases your speed while remaining simple and organise your downloads into neat folders. Its speed and interface makes it one of the nicer download managers.
Orbit Downloader This download manager is different from the rest. I believe it is nicely structured and has many nice features that makes grabbing downloads easy. It’s popular for its YouTube download feature and its download process is so simple requiring no technical skills what so ever.
FlashGet FlashGet is an amazing download manager that both looks and performs wonderfully.  It has an integrated torrent client, good browser integration and is really lightweight and unobtrusive. Its great at managing downloads and sorts out downloads in a very efficient manner.

Conclusion

The best way to choose a download manager would be to try all (or most) of the ones that appeal to you to see which you like best. Different download managers have different features and different people have different opinions. Some download managers are free and some are paid and if you really do enjoy a paid download manager than maybe purchasing a licence may be for you. Best of luck and remember, you’re the one who decides which download manager to use, not the other way around!

   

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Comments (4)

  • Ruben
    Ruben (October 5, 2011 at 10:45 am)

    Interesting… I have never used a download manager before, I believe that this article will lift my hopes and make me finally get a download manager. Thanks, Bro

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    SEO Company India (November 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm)

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  • Tim
    Tim (January 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm)

    Really great tips, thanks for this!

  • JemnereeSkymn
    JemnereeSkymn (January 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm)

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