On occasions, I leave home and I go to a small apartment I have near the sea to relax a little and hear the voice of the sea. Unfortunately, my Internet speed decreases considerably there, as I don’t rely anymore on optical fibre, so I’ve become more and more interested in download managers who really work.
I have some requirements regarding download managers: they have to be able to resume their download, if I lost connection, which is the most important thing. Another thing a good download manager do is splitting the files they’re downloading into smaller parts, downloading them in the same time from multiple resources and putting them back together. They also manage the downloaded files, not letting you download the same file again and again and putting them into categories. Which really helps, because I’m a mess when it comes to organizing my stuff.
These are the three download managers I’ve tested personally. I find all three of them capable to offer me a smooth, reliable download experience. I can’t really point out which of them is faster, because 2-3 minutes is not that important to me. What is really important is that I didn’t encounter any bugs with them and it didn’t slow down my machine, as I was afraid it would, because I don’t have a top notch laptop.
Let’s start in the order in which I tried them out. Flashget 3.7.0 optimizes the bandwidth use with a feature fancifully called Multi-server Hyper-Threading Transportation, basically fragmenting the file and downloading all the pieces in the same time, as I’ve mentioned before. If you want to download many files, just drag and drop the URLs of the sites that hostes the files you’re interested in. You can also schedule your downloads, if you want to perform the downloading operation in the night. You can also pause restartand and resume each download automatically. If you rely on Internet Explorer, FlashGet does provides download monitoring for this browser. I prefer Firefox and I found it to integrate quite nicely with Firefox's Flashgot extension. You’ll be pleased to hear that it supports Torrent and Emule files. and it also supports HTTP, FTP, BT, MMS, RTSP protocols. It has an embedded antivirus, too, which I didn’t use, but I liked this feature.
Orbit Downloader my second choice, with its so much praised multi-source downloading technology with more efficient mirrors selection algorithm that secures a faster download. In real life, I found it slightly faster than Flashget 3.7.0. What I really like about Orbit downloader was its Grab Pro technology, which is perfect for sites using anti-leeching technology. If you don’t have any clue about what this is, I would mention Youtube and Pandora. It’s easily integrated with Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera.
I’ve also experimented Free Download Manager, which supports even a wider range of browsers: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari. I noticed to be one of the most popular download managers and I just wanted to check out why. It served me well and I particulary like the neat interface of the browser. It has a scheduler for downloads, it can adjust trafffic usage, can prioritize the downloads, supports RapidShare and flash video download. On the whole, I was satisfied with it.
I would also like to say a few words about a Firefox addon: Downthemall. Which of course limits you to Firefox, which I didn’t mind, of course. It’s capable to download everything on a web page at one go, a superb feature, if you ask me. But you should keep in mind that when you attempt to download a single large file, this addon is slower than a standalone download manager.
So, each of the download managers I used served me beautifully and I don’t have any major complaints about any of them.