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Thread: Download Managers Guide

  1. #1
    Talking about clean/spyware infected download managers...

    Download Accelerator Plus (7, dubious privacy policy)
    A few versions back, Download Accelerator Plus came even without a privacy policy, and the one found in a hidden place online contained some bad terms. Today, during the installation a license agreement will be shown, and this license agreement contains a privacy policy. It's still quite misleading and contradicting though, speaking about co-registrations with other services on the one hand, but only anonymous publishing on the other hand. How a registration with other services can be done anonymously is beyond my understanding...
    In addition, just starting it opens half a dozen connections to ad servers, including Cydoor. Couldn't deal with the downloads on the site I used for this tests, as it always tried to download the download page, blocking the load of it inside the browser. On other pages, it worked ok. Still, even if you neglect the ads and possible spying, there are other download managers that are easier to use.

    Download Express (1.4 build 233 SR 1, spyware-clean, free for non-commercial use)
    Download Express is freeware for personal use, and quite fast in downloading as it splits every download and downloads it with 10 connections (like nearly all download managers in this list do). Its IE integration is working nicely, its download dialog is informative (though its quite flickering - a small thing the developers should fix). The German localization I tested is not complete, but at least there are a lot of localizations.

    FlashGet (1.40, spyware-infected or paid mode)
    FlashGet can be installed in two modes - one ad-sponsored, one ad-free shareware mode that needs registering. I tried the ad-sponsored version, and indeed it did install Cydoor.
    The interface by the way reminds me strong of one of the other tools I tested (screenshots will be added later to this article). With only 5 simultanous download connections, it was only half as fast as Download Express, but it can be set to use up to ten.
    My opinion about this one is that you can get better download managers for free.

    FreshDownload (6.50, spyware-clean, free for personal use)
    The IE integration of FreshDownload had problems during my tests and tried to download HTML pages as files, but once downloaded identified them as such and re-opened them in the browser. It doesn't have a lot of features, but it has the necessary ones and comes along with an easy to use interface. Too bad it doesn't uninstall completely.

    GetIt (1.04, spyware-clean, freeware)
    Not very easy to use. In fact, the browser integration and the save dialogs need a lot of work. Until that work is done, I wouldn't recommend using it.

    GetRight (5.02, spyware-clean, free trial)
    GetRight has been one the first download managers around; in the early days spyware infected, but clean today. GetRight is not free, and doesn't have too many features compared to some other download managers in this test, but it's reliable and its IE integration works better than that of many others. If you already use it and don't miss any features, there are not many reasons to switch.

    Go!Zilla (1.44.39, spyware-infected, 30-day trial)
    Only a trial, and then also infected with eZula and Radiate. Does also installs a Smart Explorer, a browser that did phone home when starting it and will keep in memory. The browser integration wasn't working either, and crashing IE instead. With so many good and clean alternatives, keep your fingers from this one.

    Internet Download Manager (3.1.8, spyware-clean, 60-day trial)
    IDMs advantage is an easy to use user interface and integration into many browsers.

    LeechGet 2003 (1.0 RC3 build 1500, spyware-clean, free for personal use)
    LeechGet has the biggest graphical overload, but it's nicely designed and very informative. LeechGet is free for personal use, but you have to pay for commercial use and/or for for removing some limits. It doesn't install any adware or spyware, and has more features than most managers I tested. It has also been recommended by c't as the best freeware solution. It works with IE as well as Opera, Netscape or Mozilla (even Firebird).

    Lightning Download (1.2.1, spyware-free, free 30-day trial)
    From the same makers as GetRight (HeadLight Software, Inc.) comes Lightning Download. My first suspicion was that they created it because some people may mistrust GetRight because of its infected past, but its clean as well, and working like it should, and it's easy to use (I specially like that it shows URLs that are in clipboard inside the tray icon menu to quickly start downloading them).

    NetAnts (1.25, spyware-infected)
    Not only that the NetAnts interface looks more complicated to use than most other tested download managers, it is infected with Cydoor.

    Net Transport (spyware-clean, free for non-commercial)
    Net Transport also behaved quite well, is spyware free, available at no cost and in many languages.

    ReGet (Deluxe 3.3, spyware-clean, 30-day trial)
    Actually not a bad one, having different modes for newbies up to pros, a usable interface, and a good browser integration. 16 streams at the same time is the highest default I found so far, but as I would recommend 10 to 20 with DSL for larger downloads anyway, that's not bad at all.

    Star Downloader (1.42, spyware-clean, freeware).
    The link on their website downloaded an older version (1.42), and right upon the first start Star Downloader told me there was a newer one available (1.50). Sniffing the network traffic though it became clear that all that this update lookup is a clean anonymous thing. Star Downloader is free and spyware-clean. It supports the major browsers, and after changing some options, it worked quite well.

    WGET (1.6.x to 1.8.x, spyware-clean, GNU freeware)
    WGET is my all-time favorite. It offers more options than any of the other tools I tested (except splitting the download - at least I haven't found that option yet ), but the downside is that it is a command line utitility. You should have some command line knowledge to use it, or take a look at some of the GUIs (graphical user interfaces, I'll try to add some links to those later) for WGET that are out there. While the other tested download managers are all for Windows, WGET is available for Linux, MacOS and some other Operating Systems.

    Still to be tested: NetLeech, Sun Download Manager, Download Mage

    Conclusion: And the winner is ... LeechGet, followed by Download Express. Both are easy to very easy to use, have a nice looking (but not too crowded) user interface, are spyware-clean and free for personal use.

    Credit goes to : Patrick Kolla

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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    shn's Avatar 3μ|\|(7
    Join Date
    May 2003

    I recommend wget if one knows how to use it. It can get and resume files and it uses a lot less memory. Works good on windows too.

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    Rip The Jacker's Avatar Retired
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    I was actually looking for a new download manager, excellent post sharedholder! B)

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    DownloadPlus! also free and spyware clean.

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I dont use one ,

    flashget was always tops imo

    I have to do something today catch you tonight.

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    tough choice, leechget sux.
    need a download manager which splits files, takes less memory, pause resume function n works well wit IE. wats ur say shared?

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    I'm using NetTransport lately.

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    DarthInsinuate's Avatar Died in battle
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Arkham Asylum
    i've also been using Net Transport since the Flashget/spyware thing - it's a good alternative because its sooo similar , it does lack one or two features, like: quick speed limiting, some browser monitoring options, and mirrors (wait that's three things)
    The Sexay Half Of ABBA And Max: Freelance Plants

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    Actually i'm using NetTransport.

    New good download manager spyware free :


    Author Description :

    Download files from the internet as much as 500% faster!

    Download files, programs, images, video, audio, flash, complete web sites, complete FTP sites, and much more.

    Get 'under-the-hood' and interactively walk through web sites and FTP sites.

    Organize downloaded files into categories so they are easy to find.

    View thumbnails of all downloaded files using the built-in image and file viewer. View full-sized images of files with the Instant Viewer. Over 150 file formats supported.

    Download streaming audio and video from Microsoft Streaming Web servers (WMV, WMA, WAX, WVX, ASF). Capture streamed output from Real and QuickTime servers and save to your favorite file format (WMV, AVI, WMA, WAV).

    Works with all internet connections (ADSL, cable, ISDN, dialup modem, etc.), firewalls, and proxy servers on your computer.

    Power your downloads with DownloadStudio!
    DownloadStudio uses the latest technologies to maximize your internet bandwidth and download files fast. Its multi-threaded, multi-connection and file splitting technologies means you can download many files at the same time.

    Get 'under-the-hood' and interactively walk through web sites and FTP sites!
    DownloadStudio contains a visual site explorer that lets you see all the files contained in web sites and FTP sites. This lets you choose what files you want to download before you download them.

    Get all the pictures from web sites and FTP sites!
    DownloadStudio can find and download all the images contained on web sites and FTP sites. You have full control over what to download. You can choose file types (e.g. JPG or GIF), file sizes, only recent files and more. Now you can get all your favorite pictures!

    Download video clips from web sites and FTP sites!
    DownloadStudio downloads video clips contained on web sites and FTP sites. All file formats are supported - WMV, AVI, MOV, etc. It fully supports direct downloading of streaming video from Windows Streaming servers (WMV, WVX, ASF). It can also capture the streamed output from other streaming servers.

    Get your favorite audio clips from web sites and FTP sites!
    DownloadStudio gets audio clips contained on web sites and FTP sites. All file formats are supported - WMA, MP3, WAV, etc. It fully supports direct downloading of streaming audio from Windows Streaming servers (WMA, WAX, ASF). It can also capture the streamed output from other streaming servers.

    View your downloaded files with the built-in file and image browser!
    DownloadStudio comes complete with a visual file browser that displays thumbnails for the files that you have downloaded. Over 150 files formats can be displayed. The Instant Viewer lets you quickly see full-sized images of your files. Detailed properties about files are displayed. It's like having your own image browser built into your internet download manager!

    Organize all your files using categories!
    You'll never lose a file again using DownloadStudio's categories. Categories are virtual folders that allow you to collect all your related files together. They help you keep all your files together and make it easy to find them later. DownloadStudio's high performance database technology means that your files are only a click away!

    DownloadStudio is the perfect partner for Internet Explorer!
    If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer as your web browser, then you'll love DownloadStudio. It has a special download toolbar that helps you download all the files and web pages as you browse the internet. It also has a special menu that lets you download certain images and links that appear on web pages. Advanced click monitoring catches all your download clicks in Internet Explorer so you will never have to download the slow way again!

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  11. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    How about to pin this topic ? Lot of people are asking about.

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