Before beginning the review ,let me discuss something about download managers. What are these? Why do I need them ? Is it really effective in boosting the download speed ? Yeah, I know that these are first questions that comes to our mind when we first hear of download managers.
The answer to this is quite relative. The increase in download speed is not guaranteed. That’s because many of existing browsers have evolved so much that they also support high downloading speed ( depending upon your connection ). But for most of the downloading part such as movies ,music,documents etc. from a file hosting server, a download manger would definitely provide you with a good speed boost.
The advantage of using IDM is its ability to pause, resume downloads . You can continue to download a file later if you want. Not only that , there is an option to schedule downloads too. So just provide the timing details of when you want to download a file and IDM would download that data accordingly. IDM can accelerate your downloading speed to around 400 – 500 %. I confirmed it by downloading a 100 MB file through Rapidshare where the speed of download using browser was around 200 Kbps whereas using IDM was 600-800 Kbps. The reason for this is that IDM breaks or segments the download and each of these segments further download that particle piece of file at high speed.
The one feature which you may not find in other download managers is its integration with various browsers. By integration , I mean its ability to catch downloads from the browser. This is particularly useful when its not possible for you to provide the URL of the file.
Resume feature is a necessity for download mangers. You can pause and resume any download( if host supports ). This is useful when the file to be downloaded is very large in size such as 1 or 2 GB files. You can download a portion of it and download the rest as per your convenience.
Another feature of IDM is the ability to control the speed of your download. This feature would not be very much used for most of us. It contradicts the whole point of using IDM. Nevertheless , IDM do provides you an option to specify your maximum speed to download a file.
The option to download a Flash based object such as a YouTube video is really useful. Just move you cursor around the video and a small blue dialog would provide you with an option to download the object at high speed using IDM.
Another quite useful feature is that it can store your login information for various sites. Just type the URL of the file for a particular host and it would automatically enter the details of user-name and password for fetching that file.
In case you Use proxy , there are also options available for you to configure a proxy. You can use both Http and Https proxy types. All the downloads would be then done via those mentioned proxies.
In case IDM is not catching your downloads then one of the reason could be its unknown file type. IDM maintains a list of file type which it would catch from the browser. Just enter the extension of that file ( in my case it was MKV ) and next time IDM would be there to grasp that download. This is useful when we do not want it to catch certain types of files. Just remove that file type from the list and IDM would simply ignore it and your browser would be used to download that file.
Another great option is error correction. What I mean by this is that in case the link from which you were downloading has now become unresponsive due to any reason, lets say the file was removed from the server. What happens to your partially downloaded file ? It would be corrupted and all time downloading that file would be wasted. IDM has a solution for it too. If that file is loaded at a different URL or a different server then IDM would continue to download that file from the point of discontinuation. You would be required to open a tab in browser and enter the URL of file and then it would catch that file and download from the point that it was discontinued.
Internet Download Manager definitely deserves a place in your system. In case you are super downloader then having this app is a must for you. IDM costs 24.95 USD and I think its worth that price. If you could pay for a premium membership plan for a file hosting then it is of no use until you use IDM to download from it at High speed. Its simple and easy to use GUI is a pro. I would recommend this app to everyone.