Best Free Download Manager

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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 10, 64 bit system with 8GB RAM running the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge, Vivaldi & Opera browsers. The ratings are comparative, so when a new download manager is reviewed, the corresponding rating of others might change. After testing around 12 download managers, these are my top 5 recommendations from the list. 

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


Rated Products

Xtreme Download Manager  

The best open-source download manager that works across multiple platforms.

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Open source)
Good media capture ability, Private download videos, Refresh link feature to resume download from expired links, Frequent updates with good support, Perfect browser integration, Supports multiple download queues, Extremely good download speeds, Open source & works on all platforms.
UI can be improved, Heavy download size.
Read full review...


The fastest download manager that even beats its commercial alternatives.

Our Rating: 
License: Free (Ads)
Fastest in the tests, Charming drag'n'drop UI, Skins and Themes, Supports BitTorrents, 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...

Ninja Download Manager  

Download manager with a dark theme that has the best & most compact UI

Our Rating: 
License: Free, $3.00 for Secure VPN
Intuitive interface, Multiple queues management, Refresh links support, Sites manager, Colorful Log viewer, Sequential downloading media to preview audio & video downloads, File shredder, Attractive float window, Clipboard monitoring
No export/import downloads, Parsing media downloads is slow & needs to support more sites
Read full review...

Free Download Manager  

This download manager gives you a bonus to download torrent files too

Our Rating: 
License: Free
Stable, BitTorrent support, Download tags management, Snail mode & pre-set Speed limiter with different traffic modes, GUI view of download progress, Download scheduler
Cannot refresh expired links, no multi-queue management, No Site Explorer, HTML Spider, Multi-mirror support in v5.x (FDM v.3.9.x is still better)
Read full review...

Internet Download Accelerator  

This commercial-turned-free download manager has the best customization capabilities

Our Rating: 
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, No multi-queue management, No refresh links support
Read full review...


Other Download Managers

I've tested these download managers and they fell short of top 5 for various reasons mentioned here but you can still try them out as an alternative.


Wont Be Reviewed

  1.  Orbit Downloader won't be reviewed, and 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.
  2.  Download Accelerator Plus Free & FlashGet since they haven't been updated for a long time (2014)


Browser Addons

  • FlashGot allows you to set your own preferred download manager and integrate it with the Firefox browser for auto download.
  • DownThemAll is another browser extension to add advanced download capabilities to Firefox. 
  • Video Download Professional can help you download videos from various streaming media sites on Chrome. 


Features of Download Managers

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

  • Resume broken downloads: Downloads can be paused or 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.
  • Queueing: 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 simultaneously
  • 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.



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
Average: 3.9 (245 votes)


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.

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.

[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. :(

Requesting you to please check the updated version 4.5.2 build 474.

Thank you for contacting us Subhra. It seems that after uninstallation, it automatically reverts the network settings back to normal. I'll add the product in the To Be Reviewed section. Good to see this change.

It stopped my internet connection too. I too didn't like that it changes network connection.

Thanks, looks interesting. I'll add it to the list.

You didn't added it to the "to be reviewed" list.

I used different download managers in the past, then switched to Free Download Manager since some years, and I fully agree with this article, its one of the best download manager.

It splits the file that is being downloaded in such a way that it makes the download faster than other download managers.

George.J, good job. I like the new introduction as it points out useful features which provide good reasons for using a download manager.
Thank you for your kind words :)

Re DownThemAll, I'm baffled by this statement: "However, when you need to download a single large file it's much slower than a standalone download manager."

DTA supports threading like the others, and it's extremely good at maxing out your bandwidth limitations, as long as the server is capable of it. I use it all the time, even for large files, when I find that a regular single-thread download without DTA is slow.

Given this, unless a standalone download manager can EXCEED the amount of bandwidth that you have (which is impossible), I don't see how the statement can be true.

I've used DTA for about 3 or 4 years.

Since am the new editor here, I need some time to test it, but only after completing the review of external download managers.