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  

The very best totally free IDM choice.


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Ads)
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...

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
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Average: 3.8 (226 votes)

Comments

You can't be serious about EagleGet. I tried it. It lasted about 15 minutes on my machine. For starters, the installer shuts down your browser. When's the last time you saw that? Then, unless you're very careful, it will install, not one, but two unwanted add-ons - something called ByteFence and it will also try to change your search engine to Yahoo. I thought that kind of sneakware was not permitted on Gizmo's site!

An invasive, difficult-to-understand, poorly translated user interface that you can't easily control with options--I just gave up, uninstalled and went back to FDM with a new appreciation for how good it is.

You can't be serious.

Obviously you did not read the installer warning included with the product details. We include a warning in all our reviews when we are aware of products using wrapped installers or using other potentially unwanted practices. This is such a common occurrence now it is not feasible for us to ban such software from our reviews unless the install process does not have an opt-out for the unwanted items. We also publish information pages to assist users with this process. MC - Site Manager.
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/installer_warning.htm
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/controversial-advertising-progra...

The older 32-bit Free Download Manager was more customizable and consistent, however the current 64-bit version, 5.1.20.5362, has lost the ability to show download progress, and there is no way to prevent accumulating download history, AFAIK (the setting is ignored). However, Firefox does show the newer version as compatible with Electrolysis (multi-process), though it seems much slower to respond to a new download request than the older version.

It's true, new version 5 of Free Download Manager isn't that good. Older was much better in terms of everything.

But, FDM 5 is still a work in progress, and they are slowly adding features to it. You can post a feature request on their forum, which they will consider and incorporate in the software.

I hope slowly it will be great like the old version.

What about GetRight?

Free Download Manager doesn't do batch URLs from clipboard :(

GetRight is a commercial software, and since this is a freeware site, it won't be reviewed here.

hi, i have downloaded free download manager, but when i want to download a zip file from google drive, i cant resume the download after pausing it.why do i have this problem? i thought that this app supports resuming.

I've not delved deeply into this subject but, going by downthemall's Options box, it has features galore, and its out-of-box convenience [as part of Firefox] is superior to that of separate download managers. [Digression: Mozilla are idiots not to build in such functionality instead of relying on third-party add-on.].
There's just one problem with DTA, that may affect other separate apps too: pop-ups. DTA conflicts with Pop-Up Stopper [freeware]- the latter blocks the former, thinks that DTA is a pop-up. I use a pop-up blocker because most [all?!] free anti-virus apps often bug one with Upgrade offers etc. [and i'm not talking self-closing ones either!].

Seems to be download ninja's website has changed. It redirects to https://vpnscout.org/ninja-download-manager . Maybe the links for download ninja can be updated.

Download Ninja is a mixed bag despite an attractive interface that I really want to keep using. So far I've had the following issues: - On video sites like YouTube the media downloader displays "audio" files so you have to manually select "video" files which should be the default. - For some tasks it defaulted to the program folder rather than the download folder. - When installed it took over an half completed Firefox download but then couldn't do anything with it so I had to start a new download as it wouldn't restart either. - If I didn't want to download with it then it cancelled the download. There is probably a way to do this but I couldn't find it.

You stated that "Ninja Download" doesn't support IE, but according to the download page, it supports IE out of the box.

In any case, I tried briefly but it was disappointing. It has several flaws, some of which you mentioned already, but there are two particular flaws that were a deal breaker for me.

1) The automatic categorization for downloads seems to be broken, more often than not it would give me the category of "None" regardless of the extension of the file I'm downloading.

2) The integration does not work unless "Ninja Download" is running in the background. If you close it, then the integration either doesn't work or gives you an error. I shouldn't have to keep it open 24/7 in the background, I certainly don't need to do that with FDM.

In any case, it looked promising, but FDM remains my favorite still.

The category is undergoing a major update, and since writing the review, Download Ninja has been updated to include IE and Opera support. It will be corrected during the major revision.
SD Download Manager: Features: - 32 connection - Download files at maximum possible speed. - Resumes broken/dead downloads caused by connection problem or power failure. - Supports HTTP,HTTPS,FTP protocols with Authentication,Proxy Servers, Cookies, Redirection etc. - Capture downloads from Mozilla Firefox - Clipboard monitoring - Drop target - Schedule for timing downloads - Can be configured to perform Hang up modem, Exit from application, System shutdown or Force shutdown on download completion - Batch download - Easy to use (IDM interface) - Customizable user interface - Multilanguage (English & Persian) - Compatible with all types of Internet: http://sourceforge.net/projects/sddl/

I must say I like EagleGet a lot. It's missing proper Batch Download though (or I did not find it), like FDM and FlashGet (adding links with (*) and tell it to replace it with numbers or letters, like 01 to 99). And it is missing a Linux version. But other than that it works as it should and is low on resources.

To Batch Download in EagleGet, simply right-click on the webpage and click on Download all links. A window will pop-up choosing which files you want to save.

Thank you for the answer. Did not see it (your answer). Will test it later when I am back to Windows. Or do you by any chance know if it works for galleries? Or will it only download the thumbnails instead of the whole pictures (that's the reason for me for using batch download.

I am never ever going to use Download Ninja.
First it's size was double that of FDM. 15 MB compared to 7 MB
Second it's a resource eating monster. It consumes 52 MB RAM while idle and 84 MB! while downloading.
I tried to create a new category but it saved the file in 'Programs' category on it's on.
Lousy software.

Yes, Download Ninja is a little heavy on the system. But if you are having enough RAM on your system then it shouldn't be a problem. The download size varies according to different software's. Did you check whether the extensions you defined in the new category weren't the same as the one defined in the Programs category? What's the new category you created, and what extensions did you define in it?

I am comparing DN to others. I have 4GB RAM which is more than enough.

I created a category Software and mentioned .exe files to download in a specified location.
Instead DN downloaded the file (CCleaner latest download) in 'Programs' category which is default.

I have tried EagleGet. It's much better. Low RAM uses, small setup size and ...pleasing to eyes.

Since the category 'Programs' has .exe defined inside that category, and you are trying to create a new category with the same file extension, it wouldn't work. You will have to delete the extension, '.exe' defined in Programs, so that only the new category 'Softwares' has that extension defined. Download Ninja is using graphical download indicators while downloading, which could be the reason of higher memory usage. EagleGet is good, but the 2.x series is still not stable, even though they've mentioned it stable. It still has a lot of bugs to be corrected, because of the numerous features they've implemented in the new version.

EagleGet v2.0.1.6 Stable was released on 13th september

Testing the latest 2.0.1.7, released yesterday, the download speed is constant and good, and many bugs are fixed....Still a few left....But good results :D

EagleGet v2.0.1.8 Stable released.

Thanks for the info :)
Waiting for fdm to release its new version.Then we can see how they compete with others.
:D :D :D

I like EagleGet. better than DownloadNinja

The test results didn't come great. This seems to be a release that's been rushed. There are still bugs to be resolved and the download speed is not that great. We'll wait :(

Thanks for testing it.There seems to be a problem in the resume algorithm too.

Thanks for the info. I'll review it.

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!

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