Download managers are a great way to manage the transfer of Internet content. In the current era of increased traffic caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, through teleworking, telestudy and recreational use, their use is always very useful to improve transfers.
Using it allows you to get the most out of your Internet connection, regardless of whether you have a faster fiber optic or ADSL connection. Although the speed of transfers is their strength, download managers have other advantages, as they can automate transfers, schedule them, resume them, and generally manage and administer content better. We have reviewed how they work and updated the existing free software offering.
How download managers work
These types of applications use mirror sites (mirrors) that use multiple connections to the same file to speed up the download, or automatically choose among several servers that have the file available and select the one that offers the best stability and performance.
Another important point is their ability to voluntarily resume interrupted or suspended downloads due to a server or line failure without losing the part of the file that has been downloaded previously. It also prevents an ambiguous download from being corrupted in the event of accidental connection interruption.
They also allow us to automate and schedule downloads or uploads when we are most interested, usually outside working hours or at night when networks are less saturated, while downloading a large number of files, giving preference to performance over those we are most interested in, or limiting the download speed so as not to saturate the connection and use the computer for functions such as navigation.
Additional benefits for download managers include management of file types and more accurate information on transfer speed and download times. Some applications integrate an antivirus for malware analysis or a viewer for video and audio display.
Download the browser managers
This type of software has enough advantages in terms of performance, management and control to keep a dedicated application installed. But if you plan to use it only in these busy times due to traffic jams, you can start without installing individual applications, for example by activating one of the plugins available for the major web browsers:
- DownThemAll (Firefox). This is the manager we prefer to use for the Mozilla web browser, and one of the best absolute integrators you can find. The integration with Mozilla is perfect and it’s even integrated in the download menu of Firefox. It is able to detect all the multimedia links of a web page (with the appropriate filters), download them automatically at high speed and allow the summary.
- Video download wizard (Firefox and Chrome) Ideal if you are looking for a program for occasional video downloads on the Internet. It does not work with some YouTube videos, as it usually happens with these managers.
- Crono Download Manager (Chrome). Exclusive to Google’s browser, it integrates very well with the interface and use of their download system. It includes the “Chrono Sniffer” function, which recognizes all the links, images, audio and video files of a website.
- The Fruumo download manager. (Chrome) Without the same integration as the previous version, it does its job as a manager in the Google browser with an intuitive interface. Very simple, but downloading, pausing and resuming the downloads like the rest.
EagleGet. Without the power of the installable version, it can be integrated with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera.
Separate download manager
- For those who want to keep their browsers as clean as possible and the most comprehensive options in download managers, standalone applications work best. Here are some of the most interesting ones:
- JDownloader. One of the most used, especially when working with direct download services and multiple files. An open source platform written in Java, with many plugins to use with the options of the previous ones, such as packet separation to allow pausing and resuming individual downloads.
It has captcha recognition, allowing batches of downloads without user intervention. In addition to Windows, it has versions for Linux and Mac. If you use many direct download servers, it’s a reference.
FlashGet. A classic download manager that has been with us for nearly 20 years and that promises to speed up transfers “between 6 and 10 times”. It includes the general characteristics of a download manager including virus checking. You can download from websites, from FTP and even .torrent files although in this case it is always better to use a dedicated P2P client.
To start a download, simply drag the download link into a small window that acts as a minimal interface. An interface that could use an update, although for many it is still the best in the industry. It also has a portable application.
Free Download Manager. Another good download manager (free alternative to the well-known Internet Download Manager) that can also be used in a portable version on all your Windows devices without the need for installation.
Like the previous download managers, it increases the download speed by dividing the file into pieces and connecting from various mirror sites, it allows you to resume and schedule downloads, a video and audio viewer before the download is finished, and a long etc. It includes the HTML Spider function that allows you to download entire websites.
EagleGet. Simple and efficient, it promises to increase the download speed by up to six times what it would take for simple direct download from a web browser.
It is multilanguage, has pause and resume capabilities, day and time programming, integrity checker, malware checker and even video format converter.
BitComet. You probably know it more as a client for BitTorrent, but it also includes support for HTTP and FTP protocols, which allows it to act as download managers.
It has all the essential functions of this type of tool. It offers seamless integration with web browsers, remote file download, virus scan download, download schedule, and has the ability to resume downloads even if you restart your PC or use a different internet connection.
Internet Download Accelerator. Also known as IDA, it is a free administrator developed by a Ukrainian company called WestByte. It includes support for HTTP, HTTPS and FTP protocols and provides integration for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera and Safari web browsers.
It has a built-in site manager to store the username and passwords of the websites. Users can preview the content of RAR archives before downloading it. Very well updated, the latest version allows you to download content from popular video services and the ability to play a video while downloading.