Downloading large files from the Internet can at times be an annoying activity. There are network interruptions that require you to restart the download from the very beginning – that’s in a best case scenario. How about those files that are 99% complete, but seem to never get the last couple of packets downloaded so the file reaches the long-expected 100%? Also, can you limit the bandwidth of the files you download or is it set to the maximum. What if you want to download a file in the background, while watching some awesome YouTube video? Well, there is answer to all of those problems. It is called FDM.
Free Download Manager was designed to take care of all of your downloading needs – files, torrents, websites. It can download it all and do it wisely.
Regular files are downloaded faster compared with browser’s default download managers. It is achieved by breaking up a file into sections and downloading a couple of sections simultaneously. A regular download manager downloads each file sequentially – that is bit by bit. It takes longer to download the same file sequentially than when it is divided into smaller sections. Let me use an analogy: you need to fill in the tub with regular water. When you use one faucet, it takes an X amount of time to succeed. When you use two faucets (considering many variables constant), it takes half of X, which means much faster. Sectional download takes advantage of that principle. The wasted time on lost packages and low download speed due to the network congestion is minimized as a result your files are downloaded faster when using FDM.
Another outstanding feature is program’s ability to pause and resume downloads at your will. Let’s say you are downloading a 100 megabyte file, but you wish to free up bandwidth so you can watch this viral YouTube video. You press a button, the program suspends the download and your video is played without lags. So when you are done watching your video and wish to resume download, just hit the button and the program will continue where it left off. Unfortunately, this feature only works when the server you are downloading from supports such functionality. Most servers do, and those that don’t will require you to download your files sequentially – that is slow!
In the past, you had to install a torrent client to download your torrents, unless you use torrent2exe website (dot com domain). FDM is a torrent client. That’s right – as I said before – one program to take care of all of your download needs.
To download a file using BitTorrent protocol, you have to download a torrent file and import it into your bittorrent program. FDM allows you to add a torrent using an http link. It will download that torrent file into its cache and delete it when you are done with it. No more torrent files in your download folders mixed with what you actually want in that folder. Otherwise, FDM is a standard BitTorrent client with all the appropriate functions and features.
FDM allows you to download flash videos from various websites. It claims to support Dailymotion, YouTube, Google Video, MySpace Videos and others. I tried to download a video from YouTube but it didn’t work. I rarely need to download flash videos, so I did not test other sites as I consider this as wasting my energy.
Site Explorer and Manager.
FDM includes a tab called Site Explorer. It allows you to browse files on a remote server, like you are browsing your hard drive. It happens that some web designers make mistakes when positing links and when you cannot download the file you want, you get frustrated. SE can help you find those files in no time. Just copy and paste the website address and see its content.
The Site Manager manages sites that FDM accesses. Some sites limit the number of simultaneous connections and if you continuously exceed that number, you get banned. It may mean “bye bye the files you need”. The Site Manager gives you a chance to fine-tune access to those sites. Setting number of connections that can be established to a particular resource, login information to the website, and which group the files should belong to when you download them from that particular site – all that can be done with FDM’s Site Manager.
HTML Spider saves the entire websites to your hard drive. Once in a blue moon we need to save a page or two from a website. Previously, I was using specialized programs to download webpages, but I do not need them any longer - I got the FDM. Just copy and paste the site you want to copy and the program will do the rest of the work for you. The sites are saved in an appropriate Folder and you can preview it on your hard drive right from the program.
There is an emergency at work and you need to share a file right now. Switch to an Upload tab inside FDM, select the file, agree to the terms and upload it to a remote location. A link is given to you at the end of upload. It leads to WikiFortio – a free remote hosting website with maximum allowed file size of 100 megabytes. I am sure that will be more than enough for you.
Scheduler and Bandwidth Management.
Some people can get sweet deals on Internet connections from their providers. For example, the speed could be doubled at night, or unlimited download/upload is available from midnight to six in the morning. No problem! You can make FDM download only when it is convenient for you. It will silently do its job, while you sleep, or attend other matters.
You also have the flexibility to manage your bandwidth. There are three options available to you: Light, Medium, and Heavy modes. Settings for each of those modes include: upload traffic limits, number of connections limits, ports that the program is going to use to download, and some other options. One click and you free up the bandwidth for your needs, another click and you, again, download at full speeds – pretty slick, eh?
Free Download Manager is constantly evolving to bring you the new features and ever more flexible options. It is one program for all of your downloading needs. FDM comes in a variety of languages under GNU General Public License, which makes it absolutely free. What a bargain?!
Check out Software Informer's review of this program here: Free Download Manager