Streaming content instead of downloading it has become more popular recently, but most people are not ready to ditch their larger capacity computers, storage devices, or smartphones yet.
It began in the 90s, the love affair of downloading files, from MP3s to movies to applications to torrents, it is just as strong as it has ever been, and with mobile connectivity and fast broadband, more data is being downloaded to a hard drive than at any other point in history.
Download managers have been around for just about as long as the internet has, and they both have evolved over time. The main goal of such software is to help you download multiple files or large files, but many have extra functionality that will supercharge the whole process, from splitting files into partitions to helping them go on your hard drive faster, or converting them to other formats that can be played on different devices.
A misconception is that downloading is somehow illegal. It is not, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to use a download manager like wanting to grab a file that you uploaded once you have lost the original file, or downloading creative works or open source material that is available.
Here are five of the best download managers.
1. Download Accelerator Plus
Download Accelerator Plus is a tool that will help you speed up your downloads by searching for internet servers to find the file or files that you are going to download. By locating and then downloading it from multiple sources at the same time, it will find the fastest route from the location of the file to your hard drive, which means you get it quicker than when downloading from a single server.
This tool works best when used to look for files that are found in multiple locations, like anti-virus programs, OS utilities, and other files available from the creators. Additionally, it also has a built-in FTP program that will let you access, download, and also upload files that are stored on a server. There is even the private disk function that will keep your downloads from being seen by prying eyes.
2. JDownloader 2 BETA
This software is the sequel to JDownloader. Just like the other tools on our list, this one will let you download files from regular sites, but it can also download files from one-click hosts like MediaFire, NetLoad, Uploaded, and Rapidshare.
Some other download managers don’t let this happen due to the file formats incompatibility. JDownloader 2 does not have these issues and supports DLC, CCF, and RSDF formats.
The extras for this tool include automatic captcha recognition, which allows you to bypass this mechanism, and you can also set JDownloader up in such a way to automatically download files into different folders based on their file names. In order for that to happen, you will need Java Runtime, and since the tool is still in BETA mode, it is not a finished product yet.
3. Free Download Manager
Torrents often have a reputation when it comes to getting illegal content. But there are plenty of legitimate reasons to use a torrent.
Free Download Manager lets you directly download from the BitTorrent network, or by clicking on torrents that are hosted on other sites, also being able to download files from the regular FTP, HTTPS, and HTTP protocols. The tool boasts 600% speed increase in the most recent version, which now has the ability to continue cancelled downloads. There are other features, such as converting audio and video into various formats. This is a one-stop shop for downloading files from different online locations.
4. YouTube Downloader
YouTube Downloader gives you a hassle-free way of getting your YouTube videos to your hard drive, with options to convert files into different formats. It works with other video sites, like Facebook and DailyMotion.
This tool is quite useful, as most video sites stream videos in Flash format, which is not compatible with mobile devices. To save time, you are able to select a variety of video formats which include AVI, WVM, and MP4, before you pasting a YouTube URL to be converted once it has been downloaded.
5. Freemake Video Downloader
Freemake Video Downloader can download videos from different sites before you convert them into various file formats. If you have Firefox, you can grab a plugin that will let you download any video from YouTube with a click of the mouse, which is great for archiving your own videos or grabbing copyright free content from other people’s accounts.
This tool uses its own video conversion technology that powers its converter, which allows you to convert files into formats, including 3GP, MP4, FLV, and WebM. Besides the basic conversions, there are plenty of other features, like allowing you to download from social media websites, like Facebook, Yandex, VKontakte, and Nicovideo. You can set it to filter out adult content and download through proxy servers.