You know the story: although your ISP claims that your connection is lightning fast, those huge video files you just grabbed off Google Video and YouTube are taking forever to download. Most people figure that slow download speeds are normal. If you use the built-in download manager in your browser, it is normal. Fortunately, you can change that by simply getting a new download manager.
Here are a few to get you started; some are ugly, some are decidedly 1.0, and some even cost money (gasp!), but they all do the job.
Also see our related post: Download Everything: 30+ Firefox Add-ons for Downloading.
Windows Download Managers
AltarSoft Download Manager – Wonderful basic download manager with up to 10 simultaneous downloads. $14.95.
AmazingDown Studio – Claims speeds up to 500% faster than built-in download managers. Includes proxy support, bandwidth limiting, Internet Explorer integration, and many more powerful features. $21.95.
BlackWidow – Great app that scans the site and lists all the links. It will then download them for you. $39.95.
Chrysanth Download Manager – Powerful batch downloader that integrates with Internet Explorer. $29.95.
ConnectFusion – Fast (some sources claim speeds 50% faster than built-in download managers) and easy to use download manager. Free software.
DC-Sakura Boyish-Downloader – Simple manager with a scheduler, file sorter, an option to shutdown after downloading, and Internet Explorer integration. $19.98.
DLExpert – Powerful multithreaded download manager with scheduling, auto shutdown, clipboard integration, Internet Explorer integration, and much more. Freeware.
Download Accelerator Manager – Includes proxy support, a scheduler, an ability to follow redirects, a free space management gauge, an auto shutdown feature, and integration with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, Avant, and Maxthon. Freeware.
Download Accelerator Plus – Powerful app with advanced tools you won’t find anywhere else, like a file shredder and a cookie/history/temp cleaner. Also integrates with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and Mozilla. Freeware (ad-supported).
Download Boost – Basic manager with acceleration up to 400% faster than built-in download managers and some nice features like scheduling and integration with Internet Explorer and Netscape. $19.00.
Download Commander – Nice multithreaded manager with Internet Explorer integration. Freeware.
Download Express – For people with limited computer resources, a small (~680 KB) app that integrates nicely into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, SeaMonkey, and Flock. Free for non-commercial use.
DownloadStudio – Download entire websites, streaming audio/video clips, search engine results, and more with this power tool. Integrates into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, Maxthon, NetCaptor, and Avant. $39.95.
File Downloader – Small command-line app that can be automated with scripts and batch files. $12.00.
File Rain – Basic download manager that claims speeds up to 800% faster than built-in managers. $19.95.
FlashGet – Powerful manager with support for sequences of files, multiple locations, and site spidering. Also supports the MMS and RTSP media protocols and the BitTorrent and eDonkey P2P protocols. Integrates into Firefox, Opera, Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Netscape, Avant, and Maxthon. Freeware.
Free Download Accelerator – Basic program with speeds up to 800% faster than built-in download managers. Freeware (ad-supported).
Fresh Download – A scheduler, clipboard monitor, antivirus scanning, proxy support, ZIP extractor, and integration into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Avant, Maxthon, and Slim Browser are just a few of the features packed into this manager. Freeware.
GetGo – Claims speeds of up to 300% faster than built-in download managers, and includes virus detection and a scheduler. Integrates into Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape, and Flock. $30.00.
GetRight – Includes a scheduler, built-in MD5 and SHA-1 checksums, and BitTorrent, Metalink, and podcasting support. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Netscape integration is provided. $16.95/yr.
Gigaget – Auto data integrity validation and correction, MMS, RTSP, and Flash support, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Maxthon integration, and more are included in this great app. Freeware (ad-supported).
iFetcher – Easy to use download manager that works with Internet Explorer. Freeware.
Internet Download Accelerator – Proxy support, plugins, an FTP browser, archive previewing, integration with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, Maxthon, and NetCaptor, and much more are built into IDA. $29.95.
Internet Download Manager – Supports proxies, redirects, firewalls, and more. Includes both a command-line version and a GUI version. Works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, MSN Explorer, Avant, Maxthon, and AOL. $29.95.
LeechGet – LeechGet is one of the easiest to use programs in this list. Don’t let that fool you: it packs in a ton of features, such as automatic downloading, resume of broken downloads, a download timer, automatic hang-up and shutdown, and integration with Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Opera. Free for personal use.
Mass Downloader – Great batch downloader with support for streaming media and integration with Firefox, Netscape, Mozilla, and Flock. $19.95.
NetLeech – Sports proxy support, file splitting, file filters, file sorting, and Internet Explorer integration. Freeware.
Net Transport – Not only does it support the standard HTTP(S) and (S)FTP protocols, it supports the MMS, RTSP, and PNM streaming media protocols and the eDonkey and BitTorrent P2P protocols. Plus, it integrates with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera. Freeware.
Orbit Downloader – Social site downloading is the main appeal of this program. It supports HTTP(S), FTP, Metalink, RTSP, PNM, MMS, NSS, RTMP, embedded video from sites like YouTube, music from sites like Pandora, and files from sites like Rapidshare. It works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Netscape, and Maxthon. Freeware.
ReGet – Has basic, advanced, and expert versions, so there’s something in it for everyone. Integrates into Internet Explorer, Opera, Netscape, Mozilla, NetCaptor, NeoPlanet, and MSN Explorer. $9.95-$29.95.
SimpleDownload – A simple manager with support for features such as file sorting. Freeware.
SoftAtlas Download Accelerator – Provides size counting, tags, filters, categories, file splitting, support for RSS, ATOM, and podcasts, a scheduler, a virus scanner, and a file search tool. Internet Explorer integration available. $16.95.
Star Downloader – Includes categorization, automatic installation of installation programs, automatic extracting of archives, proxy support, and virus scanning. Integrates into Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Opera. $19.95 (includes a basic free version as well).
TrueDownloader – HTTP/FTP support, proxy support, and ZIP previewing are available with this great app. Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Mozilla integration provided. Free software.
VisualWget – A Wget (see below) front-end with support for skins and Internet Explorer integration. Free software.
WackGet – A minimalistic app that does a great job. Integrates with Internet Explorer. Free software.
Web Excavator – Powerful tool to download entire websites or files from websites. $14.95.
wGetGUI – Simple Wget (see below) front-end. Free software.
WinGet – Claims speeds up to 300% faster than built-in download managers. Integrates with Firefox and Opera. $19.00.
WinWGet – Another Wget (see below) front-end, with features such as clipboard monitoring, threaded downloading, job exporting, predefined user agents, ASP/PHP redirection, multiple FTP file and folder downloading, and bit rate limit. Free software.
YADA (Yet Another Download Accelerator) – Fast manager with drag ‘n’ drop, multithreading, batch downloading, and much more. Freeware.
Macintosh Download Managers
CocoaWget – Simple Cocoa front-end to Wget (see below). Free software.
cURL GUI – Basic AppleScript front-end for cURL (see below). Free software.
Interarchy – Powerful manager that supports (S)FTP, HTTP(S), WebDAV(S), iDisk, and Amazon S3 and includes Growl support, file encoding, Dashboard, Safari integration, and much more. $59.95 ($29.95 upgrade).
Simple cURL – AppleScript GUI for cURL (see below). Free software.
Speed Download – Smart folders, iDisk support, auto add to iTunes, Safari integration, filters, file sharing, and much more are packed inside this power user tool. $25
Linux Download Managers
Downloader for X – Simple Linux download manager. Free software.
Gwget – A Wget (see below) front-end for Gnome with integration with Firefox and Epiphany. Free software.
KGet – Minimalistic manager, but works well with KDE and the Konqueror browser. Free software.
Cross-Platform Download Managers
cURL – A command-line app that supports (S)(T)FTP(S), HTTP(S), SCP, Telnet, DICT, FILE, and LDAP and includes tons of features. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Free software.
curl::gui – A simple GUI for cURL. Windows and Linux. Free software.
DownThemAll – Fast and powerful Firefox extension that includes a nice spidering tool. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Free software.
FlashGot – Not actually a download manager, the FlashGot Firefox extension will use an existing download manager to grab every type of link you tell it to. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Freeware.
Getleft – Batch downloads files using cURL. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Free software.
iGetter – Powerful tool with a site explorer, queues, scheduling, and much more. Integrates into Firefox, Mozilla, Safari, and Camino. Windows and Macintosh. $25.
Retriever – Java tool with a scheduler, BitTorrent support, proxy support, mirroring, and an option to execute programs on download. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Freeware.
Super Downloader – Fast Java downloader. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Freeware.
Urlgfe – Front-end to cURL and Wget. Windows and Linux. Free software.
Wget – Another powerful command-line tool with support for HTTP(S) and FTP, site downloading, proxy support, site spidering, bandwidth limiting, and a whole lot more. Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. Free software.
wget:gui – A nice interface to Wget. Windows and Linux. Free software.
wxDownload Fast – Download splitting, scheduling, organizing, HTTP, FTP, Metalink, and file:///, and MD5 and SHA-1 checksums are all available in this great cross-platform tool. Windows, Macintosh (partial support), and Linux. Free software.
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