File download managers are a group of applications specialized in. improving the experience when downloading content from the Internet. and are especially useful when you are dealing with large files or intend to download multiple files at the same time.
These tools allow you to take full advantage of the capacity of the Internet connection you have contracted since they use mirror websites (mirrors) to obtain several connections to the same file to speed up the download or automatically choose between several servers that have the file available, opting for the one that offers the best stability and performance.
And is that the acceleration of transfers is the great strength of these applications, but they have other advantages, since they allow to automate transfers, schedule them, resume them and generally better manage and administer the content. Another great advantage is their ability to resume downloads voluntarily paused or interrupted by server or line error without losing the part of the files that had been downloaded up to that point. In addition, it prevents an unfinished download from being corrupted if there is an accidental disconnection.
They also allow automate and program downloads or uploads at the times that most interest us, usually outside the working day or at night when the networks are less saturated, in addition to downloading a large number of files at the same time prioritizing the performance on those that most interest us or limiting the download speed so as not to saturate the connection and allow us to use the equipment for functions such as web browsing or others.
Other added advantages of these tools is the management by file type and a more accurate information of the transfer speed and download times. Some of them offer extra features such as antivirus for malware checking or a viewer for video and audio preview.
File download managers for Windows
There are many, good and free. The web browsers from which they are downloaded have add-ons that can be used and that we will see later, but if you want something more complete there are specialized applications that can be used. We leave you a selection of the best free ones.
A classic download manager that has been with us for nearly 20 years and promises to speed up transfers “between 6 and 10 times”. It includes the general features 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 to a small window that acts as a minimal interface. Interface that could use an update although for many it is still the best in the industry. You can get it from their website. It also has a portable application and a ‘classic’ version that will take you back fifteen years.
One of the most used especially when working with direct download services and multiple files. An open-source platform written in Java with a lot of plugins to use, such as separation into packages to allow pausing and continuing downloads individually. 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 is a reference.
Internet Download Accelerator
Also known as IDA, it is a free manager 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 username and passwords for websites. Users can preview the contents of RAR files before downloading. Available for all Windows systems.
An open source download manager that supports HTTP, FTP, BitTorrent and Magnet links. It can handle up to 10 downloads at a time and 64 threads per task, making downloads faster. It can also “mimic” various user agents, so you can pass off the computer as an Android or iOS phone to download restricted files from the device. Its interface is simple and modern and like the previous ones it is totally free.
Ninja Download Manager
One of the few file download managers that allow sequential writing of files. With this, you can listen to or watch a video or audio file before the download is finished. It has an integrated video downloader that works with YouTube and Vimeo, as well as a video converter. In addition, it can manage the number of simultaneous connections for a single download. It is promoted as simple, fast and elegant, available for Windows and macOS.
Free Download Manager
Another good download manager (free alternative to the well-known Internet Download Manager) that can also be used in portable version on all your Windows devices without installation. Like the previous download managers, it increases the download speed by splitting the file into pieces and connecting from several mirror sites, allows resuming and scheduling downloads, a video and audio viewer before the download finishes and much more. It includes the HTML Spider function that allows you to download entire websites. It has versions for Windows, macOS, Android and Linux.
Download managers in browsers.
As mentioned above, you can also use web browsers to manage downloads. All browsers have their own utilities, but the truth is that they have very little potential, nothing to do with the functions of the installed ones we have selected above. Better are those that come with third-party add-ons that can be used. Personally I do not use them because I like to have the browsers as clean as possible, but if you prefer to use them here we leave you a sample:
Chrono Download Manager (Chrome). Exclusive for Google’s browser integrates very well with the interface and use of its download system. It includes the “Chrono Sniffer” feature that performs detection of all links, images, audio and video on a web page.
DownThemAll (Firefox). It is the manager that we like the most for Mozilla’s web browser and one of the absolute best integrated you can find. Its integration with Mozilla is perfect and it even integrates into the Firefox download menu. It is able to detect all the media links on a web page (with the corresponding filters), downloading automatically at high speed and allowing to summarize them.
Video Download Helper (Firefox and Chrome). Ideal if you are looking for a program for occasional video downloads on the web. It does not work with some Youtube videos as it usually happens with these managers.
Fruumo Download Manager. (Chrome) Without as much integration as the previous one, it does its job as a manager in Google’s browser with an intuitive interface. Very simple, but it downloads, pauses and resumes downloads like the rest.