Best Free Download Manager

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Introduction

Everyone downloads a lot of stuff from the Internet. Be it software, videos, music, documents or images, you fill your hard drive with all of this. To track and manage all these downloads is a daunting task, and having a clean workspace to organize all these downloadable contents is the need of the hour. This is where a download manager comes to the rescue, also accelerating your downloads all the way.

Let's take a look at some download managers rated in this article. All tests were done on Windows 8.1, 64 bit system with 4GB RAM running the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera and Maxthon browsers. The ratings are comparitive, so when a new download manager is reviewed, the corresponding rating of others might change.

Read also the Features of Download Managers at the end of this article.

 

Rated Products

EagleGet  

Faster than the fastest!


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Ads)
Fastest in the tests, Charming drag'n'drop UI, Skins and Themes, Batch download, Refresh download address, Integration with browsers, 3-way Streaming media download, Multiple queue schedules, Website login manager, Continuous updates.
Stability issues, Bundled offer during installation.
Read full review...

Free Download Manager  

A good choice for stability, nice user interface, offering simultaneous multi-part downloads from several mirrors.


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free
Stable; support for IE, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari; simultaneous multi-part downloads; flash video download; restart and recover; powerful scheduler; management of downloaded files.
Nil.
Read full review...

Ninja Download Manager  

A free and stable download manager and accelerator supporting download queues with a scheduler.


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Intuitive interface, Download queues, Refresh links support, Sites manager, Colorful Log viewer, Media downloads.
Doesn't support IE and extra extension needs to be added for Opera support, No categorized downloading out of the box, No export/import downloads, Media downloader parsing slow.
Read full review...

Internet Download Accelerator  

The Swiss Army Knife of download managers


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Ads)
Advanced download scheduler, Extensive feature set, FTP explorer, Customizable interface, Multiple mirror download, History & Recycle bin, Video detection, Integrates with most popular browsers, Priority download
Dated looks, Ads on interface, Limited multi-threading
Read full review...

GetGo Download Manager  

Download your favorite videos from YouTube besides various types of files.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Download FLV flash videos with one-click; integrate with IE and Firefox; batch download using template; auto rename; download scheduler; managing downloaded files.
Install toolbar into browsers; integrate optional Search toolbar into user interface.
Read full review...

uGet  

An open-source download manager designed to be simple and easy to use for Windows, Linux and Android users.


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Open source and cross platforms, designed to be simple, lightweight and easy to use. Supports pause and resume, queue and classification of download files, monitors clipboard and Firefox with FlashGot Plugin.
Requires GTK+ run environment to download and install separately for Windows users.
Read full review...

FlashGet  

Supports a wide variety of protocols, BitTorrent and eMule downloads.


Our Rating: 
3
License: Free
Increases speed with hyper-thread technology, support numerous protocols, various skins, advanced task logging with graphs, automatic authentication to websites, supports Bittorrent & eMule downloads.
Resources detector crashes on use, downloading videos stalls the program, not updated for a long time, no support for Google Chrome.
Read full review...

Browser Addons

FlashGot is a Firefox's addon which allows you to set your own preferred download manager and integrate it with the Firefox browser for auto download. The addon by itself also helps you to download many files on a web page at one go.

oGet, also known as DM Bridge, is a Chrome's extension to integrate the Chrome browser with an external download manager of your choice, with optional settings for the integration mode and context menu.

DownThemAll is another browser extension to add advanced download capabilities to Firefox. This add-on is useful if you are using Firefox and need to download many files on a web page at one go. However, when you need to download a single large file it's much slower than a standalone download manager.

 

To Be Reviewed

I'll be reviewing these download managers for the next major update.

Note: Orbit Downloader won't be reviewed, and the users are advised to stay away from it, because not only is the product bundled with all sorts of 3rd party software, it's also classified as malware, as it turns the application into a DDOS tool. More report here at Softpedia.

 

Features of Download Managers

The major features that makes an external download manager extremely useful are:

  • Resume broken downloads: Downloads can be paused at resumed at will even after computer shutdowns or unexpected power outages, and it'll resume any unfinished download from the place it left off.
  • Categories: Helps to organize your downloads automatically according to their type (videos, music, documents) in different folders and also define extensions to be included in the type. 
  • Download Acceleration: A single file is split into multiple sections/segments and then using several simultaneous connections to download each segment from a single server.
  • Queue'ing: Start the downloads instantly or save it for later, setting up the download in a queue, and define the maximum number of concurrent downloads. Certain download manager allows you to define multiple queues.
  • Scheduler: Start and stop downloads in the queue at a predefined time on a particular day, or synchronize your downloads to run on different days of the week. Additionally you may choose to shut down/hibernate computer after downloading.
  • Browser integration: Integrate your download manager with various browsers and it'll take over the downloads automatically. Additionally clipboard monitoring, will let you capture copy-pasted direct links.Popular browsers like Firefox, IE, Chrome, Opera support is essential.
  • Media grabber: Download streaming video and audio from various sites and even preview or convert them to different types.
  • Batch downloads: Easy way to download whole ranges of files/links from a particular webpage . Also by adding a group of sequential file names of a particular type you can download multiple files from a website.

Other interesting features that I am looking in a download manager are:

  • Protocol support: Mainly HTTP, HTTPS and FTP support, also support for RTSP, MMS, Metalink, Bittorrent and RTMP would be a bonus.
  • Export/Import: At times when you want to uninstall/reinstall the program, it's useful to export/import the downloads in the list, so that it'll save you time and extra-work.
  • Inclusion/Exclusion list: Include/exclude various File Types and Websites you want to monitor.
  • Speed limiter: Set maximum download speed for a file and adjust the traffic usage for browsing and other stuff.
  • Proxy/Socks support: Work behind HTTP and FTP proxy-servers.
  • Refresh expired links: Sometimes a download link remains valid for only few hours and if not completed within that time boundary, download fails. Refreshing the link let's you resume these downloads.
  • Multiple mirrors: Search for and download files from multiple mirrors simulataneously
  • Sites manager: Certain sites require authentication for download request from internet and proxy servers
  • Virus checking: Check downloaded files with a scanner you've set up to protect users from harmful virus/spyware.
  • Float windows: Indicator to show the current downloads and its status.

 

Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor George.J. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

I've used TechSupportAlert and the older Support Alert Newsletter for almost a decade so I have saved hundreds of hours of work and many more dollars by following Gizmo's Freeware recommendations. Thanks for the opportunity to give something back.

If you have had a similar experience then you should consider becoming a reviewer too.

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Please rate this article: 

Your rating: None
3.80702
Average: 3.8 (228 votes)

Comments

Today I tried Download Ninja and it seems it does not support ftp Downloads. It always added http:// before the ftp:// protocol. EagleGet works fine with ftp links.

Pray and you shall receive... :D The latest version includes FTP support and a lot of other features. One thing I noticed and given in the Changelog, the download speed is faster. Way faster!
It doesn't support FTP downloads as of now, the download manager was released to the public only 2 months back, but the rapid strides it's made is astounding.

I can't setup download ninja cuz it needs visual c++ ,everytime I'm trying to setup visual c++ I have an error "error 1935", what should I do?

Restart your PC and try installing Visual C++ again.

I did that so much times ,the same problem still found

Which Windows O.S are you using? Try re-downloading Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 from here [x86] and here [x64]. Install both of them. If that doesn't work try the solution suggested here and here.

problem solved, thanks alot.

Thank you for the reviews. I am waiting for a test for FlareGet as I want to have a replacement for Free Download Manager which is cross platform also, as I do not like the new version (version 5) of FDM.

FDM 5.0 is still in alpha stage, so there's nothing to be worried about. New features are just being added... I'll test FlareGet soon..

I did a small test of FlareGet under linux and the free version is atleast download wise limited. I only was allowed to download 10 files per day. I do not remember, if that limit is general or for batch job as I did add a batch job yesterday.

That's strange, because that's not mentioned in the limitations (for free version) on their website. I'll check that when am reviewing FlareGet

Thank you. I know that it is alpha. The main reason here for me is, that it is available on both Windows and Linux. So if I want to switch to Linux that I have more or less the same programs (if they are sufficient for my needs of course).

Please review eagleget download manager. Thanks.

Sure I will, once 2.0 stable is out, and which is in beta stage now. This is because I'd have to review EagleGet again when 2.0 is out. There's a lot of new features in the next major version.

Ok Thanks

@Reviewer: Thanks for Testing XDM.

All issues related to Xtreme Download Manager has been moved to this thread at our forum. Please subscribe to the thread.
Sure i'll put up a review in the near future. And please don't stop working on your project cauz I've read somewhere that you were going to. If you want to get a wider user base, you could promote your project, at Wilders, MalwareTips and other websites that allows you to, as naren mentioned. I'll post a hot find on the same here, as very few know about XDM even though it's been there so long. And with more than 10,000 strong user base here, XDM might get the popularity it needs.

Plzz test Download Ninja next.
It has become feature rich now & one of the best free/paid download managers.
Clean software too with no craps, etc...

Currently supports Chrome & Firefox.
IE support will be coming.

Excellent suggestion, test results are coming great... Now there's a real competitor to EagleGet and FDM. Surprisingly it's still in early development phase, continously updated and still it's great. Am not sure how long the developer has been working on it.

As per developer, technically its still beta.
But I must say, I have tested all the versions & no major probs, quite stable software.
Build 17 released yesterday.

Sure, will do that as per your request.

Where is the review of Download Accelerator Plus Free?
It was labelled as "Testing" & now neither the label nor the review is there?

In phase 1, I'll be doing a basic test on all download managers listed for reviewing, check their sources, if the installer is clean and so on, and how they basically perform against each other. Only in phase 2, detailed review follows. Since Ninja is a new recommendation, I had to do a basic review on it before going into detailed. I found Ninja more interesting, so I stopped reviewing DAP midway, but the review will be put up later on.

OK.
Got it.
Thanxx for the info.

Just a note on FDM. I often find that it's using a lot of system resources even when it's not actively downloading anything. I'm not sure why this is but when I see my hard drive thrashing I know that FDM is at the top of the list for page faults.

Hey Reviewer
When you test Xtreme Download Manager, it changes network connection, is this good? Why it changes network connection? Can you plzz tell me what are those changes?
XDM is detected as malware at VT.
Previously 6-7 scanners detected it as malware.
Latest report 1 scanner detects it as malware.
https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/e6f223b502de73331c8920cd4f283d5dc92d4...

http://xdman.sourceforge.net/

[Moderator's note: Link to software page added. Please include a link when suggesting software.]

I did install XDM before, and it changed my proxy config upon uninstallation, and I had to reset it to get back internet connection. I might not review this product after all, but it held great promise. :(

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