August 24, 2010

Download Manager

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A Download Manager is a computer program dedicated to the task of downloading
(and sometimes uploading) possibly unrelated stand-alone files from (and
sometimes to) the Internet for storage. This is unlike a World Wide Web browser,
which is mainly intended to browse web pages, composed of a multitude of smaller
files, where error-free moving of files for permanent storage is of secondary
importance. (A failed or incomplete web page file rarely ruins the page.) The
typical download manager at a minimum provides means to recover from errors
without losing the work already completed, and can optionally split the file to
be downloaded (or uploaded) into 2 or more segments, which are then moved in
parallel, potentially making the process faster within the limits of the
available bandwidth. (A few servers are known to block moving files in parallel
segments, on the principle that server capacity should be shared equally by all
users.) Multi-source is the name given to files that are downloaded in parallel.

Download managers commonly include one or more of the following features:

  • 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.
Download managers are useful for very active Internet users. For dial-up users,
they can automatically dial the Internet Service Provider at night, when rates
or tariffs are usually much lower, download the specified files, and hang-up.
They can record which links the user clicks on during the day, and queue these
files for later download. For broadband users, download managers can help
download very large files by resuming broken downloads, by limiting the
bandwidth used, so that other internet activities are not affected (slowed) and
the server is not overloaded, or by automatically navigating a site and
downloading pre-specified content (photo galleries, MP3 collections, etc.) this
can also include automatically downloading whole sites and regularly updating
them (see Mirroring).

Many download managers support Metalink, an XML file listing mirrors, checksums,
and other information useful for downloading.


Related to download managers are two other breeds of Internet programs,
file-sharing peer-to-peer applications (Kazaa, eMule, BitTorrent, Gnutella) and
stream recorders (such as StreamBox VCR).

While download managers are designed to give users greater control over
downloads, some downloaders are created to give that control to content
distributors instead. Some software companies, for example Adobe , provide such downloaders for downloading software on their own site. Presumably this
increases reliability and reduces tech support costs to them. A possible reason
is increasing the control over redistribution of their software (even when the
software is freeware).


  • Download Accelerator Plus

  • Download Express

  • Download Master

  • Downloader for X (Open Source)

  • DownloadStudio

  • DownThemAll! (Mozilla Firefox extension)

  • Eon Netminder

  • FlashGet

  • FlashGot (Mozilla Firefox extension)

  • FLV Video Downloader

  • Free Download Manager (open source)

  • GetRight

  • Gigaget

  • Go!Zilla

  • Gwget

  • Interarchy

  • Internet Download Accelerator

  • Internet Download Manager

  • KGet

  • jDownloader (Open Source)

  • LeechGet

  • MiniDM (included with IE7Pro)

  • MLDonkey

  • Orbit Downloader

  • Outwit - OutWit Hub (Mozilla Firefox extension)

  • Net Transport

  • NetAnts

  • ReGet

  • Shareaza

  • SKDownloader (Freeware)

  • TrueDownloader (Open Source)

  • wxDownload Fast (Open Source)

  • VideoGet

  • Xunlei (Thunder)

  • WideStream Download Manager (Open Source)

  • axel

  • SKDownloader

  • cURL

  • Lftp

  • MLDonkey

  • wget

  • mulk

  • YourTube (J2ME) (Open Source)

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