This is what I tell people: if you don’t have a stand-alone download manager on your PC, you don’t download a lot. Downloads managers are a must-have software for anybody who is serious about downloading large files like videos and softwares.
In making my list of best free download managers, the download managers had to tick the following boxes
1. They must be free of course
2. Ability to resume downloads
3. Ability to accelerate download by splitting the file into several small parts and subsequently using several connections to download the split parts. Then joining the various parts at the end of the download
4. Can queue downloads so that downloads can be done immediately or later
5. Can easily integrate with browsers so that they can automatically take over downloads from your browser
6. Can automatically grab media files from streaming sites
7. On the technical side, my ideal download manager must be able to work with proxies and support protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP amongst etc.
I don’t pay too much attention to the technical specs because any good developer worth their salt would include those. So, let’s take a look at my best free download managers in no particular order.
Free Download Manager
As the name implies, it is a completely free download manager. There are no premium features where you have to pay a token to access them. That is one reason it is the first on my list. Free download manager is popular and you can’t go wrong with it because it is very stable and integrates very well with browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.
During download and installation, you should be careful to either check or uncheck the relevant boxes or you might mistakenly install somethings you don’t need. That is one of the perils of free softwares. They tend to come bundled with other softwares.
It is understandable because that is how they get funds to support the the freeware.
Download Accelerator Plus
When I started using DAP, I used to get lost just starring at the colorful user interface. There are so many colors and so many clickable buttons in DAP. But when you get the hang of it, it is rather easy to use and worthwhile. DAP ticks all the boxes of the basic features my best free download manager must have.
The major downside here is that DAP is a free version of the premium software known as DAP premium. To get the premium, you need to pay. So while using the Free DAP , ads constantly remind you to buy the premium. Good thing is, the ads don’t interrupt your work. And like everything else in DAP, the ads are very colorful.
I like Uget a lot because it has a lightweight design and a very simple uncomplicated interface. And it is completely free like without any premium features.
This open source application is based on the GTK+ script. So you need to install the GTK+ Runtime Environment separately before you can run uGet on your system. After it is plain sailing all the way. This is what the developers had to say about uGet,
“uGet is a VERY Powerful download manager application with a large inventory of features but is still very light-weight and low on resources, so don’t let the impressive list of features scare you into thinking that it “might be too powerful” because remember power is good and lightweight power is uGet!”
Internet Download manager (IDM)
Some people who are familiar would be surprised to see IDM on my list of free download managers. It gets a special mention because it is the best. In a new computer system, it is the first download manager I recommend for people. The catch here is that for a new system, you are allowed 30 days free trial. So for one month you get to enjoy this awesome download manager. For that 30 days, you use it to download all other essential softwares, and to update drivers and other system softwares.
After one month, your free trial ends. To continue using it, you need to pay. You can now uninstall it and switch over to any of the free download managers above. They also do the job of downloading your files very well.
You might wonder why my list of free download managers has just three softwares. Well, in reality, you don’t need more than one download manager at a time. And those are the three I can really vouch for because I actually used them and still do.