Top 5 best internet download managersStreaming (rather than downloading) content has become more popular in recent years, but many people aren't prepared to ditch their larger capacity smartphones, computers and storage devices just yet.
Started in the mid 90s, people's love affair with downloading files - from movies and MP3s to torrents and applications - is as strong as it ever was, and with increasingly fast broadband and mobile connectivity, more data is being downloaded to hard drives than at any point in history.
Internet download managers have existed for almost as long as the Internet has been around, and have similarly evolved over time. Their primary goal is still to help you with downloading large or multiple files, but many now come with extra functionality that supercharges the process - from splitting files into separate partitions to help land them onto your hard drive quicker to converting them to other file formats to be played on other devices.
internet download managers, Top 5 best internet download managers, Top 10 best internet download managersA common misconception is that downloading is all about illegal activity. It isn't - there are many legitimate reasons to fire up an internet download manager - such as wanting to grab a file that you've uploaded yourself after you've lost the original copy. Or you might be downloading creative works, or open source material that has been made available by the author.
Here are five of the best internet download managers. If you have any suggestions for this list, let us know in the comments below.
1. Download Accelerator Plus - Top 5 best internet download managersDownload Accelerator Plus is a tool that helps you speed up your internet downloads by searching servers on the internet to find the file, or files that you're download. By locating and requesting it from multiple sources at the same time, it can find the quickest route from its location to your computer's hard drive, landing it much quicker than if it was downloaded from a single server.
This works best when used to look for files that may be commonly available in multiple locations - such as anti-virus programs, operating system utilities and other executable files that have been made available by their creators. In addition to speeding up your downloads, Download Accelerator Plus comes with a built-in FTP program that allows you to access, download and upload files stored on a web server, and a Private Disk function allows you keep your downloads away from prying eyes.
2. JDownloader 2 BETA - Top 5 best internet download managersJDownloader2 is the sequel to the popular file downloader JDownloader. Like others on our list, the program can download files from regular websites, but JDownloader2 stands out for its ability to easily download files from one-click hosts - such as Rapidshare, MediaFire, Uploaded and NetLoad.
Some download managers don't allow this due to incompatibility with the file formats that one-click hosts use, but JDownloader2 runs into no such problems as it supports the Rapidshare Downloader Format (RSDF), Cryptload Container Format (CCF) and Download Link Container (DLC) formats.
3. Free Download Manager - Top 5 best internet download managersTorrents have something of a reputation when it comes to illegal content, with owners of website such as The Pirate Bay appearing in headlines for being commanded to the dock for allowing its users to share copyrighted content. But there are numerous legitimate reasons to use torrents too, and if you're looking to get involved, Free Download Manger combines the best bits of regular download managers with torrent downloading programs.
Free Download Manager allows you to start downloads directly from the BitTorrent network or by clicking on torrents hosted on other sites, in addition to being able to download files over the regular HTTP, HTTPS and FTP protocols. The program's makers claim they have managed to increase the tool's speed by up to 600% in the most recent version, which now has the ability to continue previously cancelled downloads. With a slew of other features including the ability to convert audio and video into different file formats, Free Download Manager aims to be a one-stop shop for downloading a multitude of files from a wide range of online locations.