Free Download Manager

freedownloadmanager_icon Free Download Manager (FDM) is not cool title, it’s actual name of a program. Very search engine friendly, isn’t it?

In the crowded and long-established software niches there are two ways to succeed:

  1. Offer more.
  2. Offer everything.

FDM takes second approach to make place for itself among numerous popular download managers.

What it does

Initial purpose of download managers was to offer better speed and stability while downloading files. It is still valid and achieved by splitting downloads in multiply parts and streams and resuming broken ones.

freedownloadmanager_interface

But Internet is moving forward and downloads are no longer limited to grabbing file from server. FDM handles downloading of:

  • files from HTTP/FTP servers;
  • files from BitTorrent (with help of libtorrent based plugin);
  • batch downloads with number or letter variables in file names;
  • site explorer for easy setting up multiply downloads from single source;
  • HTML spider to download web-sites.

App is download hub. It’s not going to beat separate tools like utorrent for specific tasks. But it combines a lot in single place. Which is strong plus for reducing number of software but having rarely needed functions few clicks away.

Productivity

Personally I like FDM most for flexible options that simplify downloading itself and what happens after:

  • it can schedule download to specific time or even for repeated downloading which is great for files you need updated (like CureIt portable antivirus);
  • categories system manages where file will land;
  • site manager allows separate setup for different servers (or even different pages on same server) like number of connections and default category.

Downsides

Development of FDM is bit strange with plenty of minor “build” releases. It’s mostly bugfixes – keeps you updated but no promises of stuff coming. Still it is very usable as it is so adding features is probably not a priority.

I also had bunch of crashes with small server app that comes with FDM to be used for remote control of downloads.

Wish list

I wonder when download managers start adding downloads from RSS. Torrent ones are barely began to and it is nowhere in sight for http/ftp ones. Sounds like an interesting task to code in AutoIt.

Overall

Does almost everything download-related and is pretty good at it. Freeware and open source (GPLv3). Comes as installer but can generate portable version from its menu File > Create portable version.

There is also Lite version that does not include any plugins and additional languages.

Home page http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/

Download page http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/download.htm

Blog http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/blog/

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5 Comments

  • Thanks for sharing!

    I was indeed in need of a download manager and this one definitely looks worthwhile.

    It would be awesome to be able to download RSS’. I wouldn’t have to open my browser, go to my Netvibes and open my reader.

    I’m all about time management for me, so every second counts! :)

  • @Luis Gross

    Glad you found something interesting to try in my posts and thank for visiting. :)

    About RSS I meant not downloading them but downloading stuff from links included in RSS. It’s not very popular but highly effective method to automate downloads.

    Had you tried any desktop clients for reading RSS? Personally I never understood online clients. :) Going to web-page to read content ripped out of another web-page never seemed right to me.

  • Rarst,

    Nice share. I am currently using Download accelerator. Have you used it before?

  • @Nihar

    I checked that one out years ago, can’t even remember version. Didn’t like it. I think it was packed full of advertisement or something.

    I’ve used FlashGet for a long time but it got kinda unstable so I switched to FDM.

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