Are you growing fed-up and impatient when downloading a file that takes such a long time using broadband ? It make you wonder why isn’t the high-speed broadband making downloading any faster . Well, it turns out that it is none of the fault of the broadband and “partly” a fault of surfer for not using a special software called Download Accelerator. One might think it is a marketing ploy to say that Download Accelerator improves download speed a magnitude of times as it sounds too good to be true, even more with no cost at all. Magical as it sounds, Download Accelerator is no gimmick and illusion and in fact it works out of the box, and it should be used if you want to squeeze the last juice out of your broadband monthly bill.
What is Download Accelerator
A Download Accelerator (DA) is essentially a software that breakdown download of a file into several downloads, aka download threads, so that multiple downloads run concurrently. This is possible because the PC nowadays is so powerful and fast that it is able to multitask many downloading processes . However, by default, download run linearly (that is one download thread per file) when you click on a file link. A single download thread download a file at speed of 15kbs, now imagine how much efficient to use four download threads for a combined speed of 60kbs ! In fact, this is understatement, I have in some cases obtain around 1Mbps download over six threads of 160kbps for a file. The performance is dependent on the bandwidth of broadband and the server as the bandwidth is shared.
Most download servers support multiple file download so as long as that feature is enabled by the server, any Download Accelerator can be used.
There are a lot of Download Accelerators in the market with majority free for use. Some of them can be found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_download_managers
Types of Download Accelerator
DA generally fall into two types. The most common type run as standalone application that offers more functionalities and may able to integrate itself into popular web browsers. Extra functionalities include batch downloading, visual downloading map (visually show different thread downloading parts of file).
Another is plug-in/extension type that seamlessly integrated into the browser and essentially become part of the browser. This has the advantage of more transparent and streamlined operation abeit at the cost of reduced functionalities (eg lack of visual map, logging).
Downloading file using Download Accelerator
Downloading file using DA just means obtaining the explicit file link and feed it to DA for downloading.
There are generally two kinds of download file links, namely implicit and explicit file link.
Explicit File Link
Explicit file link is the simplest link that refer to the file directly. Just copy the file URL and feed it to the Download Accelerator (some DAs can be configured to download file in browser when click on file link)
Implicit File Link
Thing is not so simple for implicit file link as it does not refer directly to the file but rather to another URL that will eventually redirect to the actual file. Some reasons for implicit link is to allow the server to perform some activities (eg counting download) prior to download file (as the URL can be mapped to certain operation in server), or that to discourage the use of DA since DA will deprive others of downloading bandwidth (remember that each download thread uses resource in download server).
So how can one still able to use DA in this case ? Simply activate the actual download in browser to obtain explicit file link and feed it into DA.
Example of Implicit File Download
As in the case of https://www.getdropbox.com running in Opera Browser, the Download button will redirect one to another page that activate the file download process. Notice the URL does not refer to the file itself.
Upon click the button, a new page will appear and the Save dialog will appear.
Save the download to extract the explicit file link [From line] (Yes, all file download will eventually become explicit file link). Notice the slow speed of linear download. Stop the download once the explicit file link is obtained, and feed the link to DA. Sometimes, one can even paste the URL from link of [restart the download] (above image) but I am more into foolproof method that most users can follow and use predictably.
In Mass Downloader, notice that the same file now download in multiple threads and that the combined performance yields a astonishing speed of 88.7kbps which is more than nine times improvement over linear download !
DownThemAll into FireFox Browser
It will be just a matter of time before DA is integrated in Browser. The fact that DA is yet to be integrated into browser surprise me as it is the most useful feature that provide immediate value to any one who download file over the net frequently (Who don’t anyway ?).
I bet that FireFox will be the first browser to integrate DA given that DA extension is already available and very extremely popular (almost 29 millions of download)
For those who use FireFox, ! is a must have DA extension because it is seamlessly integrated into FireFox. It has all the necessary features expect of DA and even allows up to 10 threads per file download !
Using DownThemAll! is simplicity itself. After the ridiculously simple installation of Fire’s extension, just click on a file link as normal, a FireBox dialog will appear along with DownThemAll! as option.
Next, choose the directory to save to and start the download process.
Remember to set the following first !
Before downloading, remember to run the Preferences to set the multiple download thread per file to 10 (default is 4), and number of Concurrent file downloads to 10 (default is 4).
Yes, it is that simple so why not start saving your downloading time today ?