The advent of streaming content has not quite yet killed the big download business. People still choose to download large files like games, movies, and music to their PCs or other devices.

It’s unfortunate though that after all of this time that browsers still aren’t all that great at managing downloads. Even in the cases where they claim they can stop and resume downloads, it’s usually a lie. It just doesn’t work.

There are, however, some nice standalone software solutions that do a much better job than whatever browser you’re using. In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the best download managers out there and what makes them awesome.


Supported Platforms – Firefox (Add-on)

DownThemAll is a Firefox extension with a lot of great features to boost downloading. One of the coolest is the ability to download every picture and link on a page with a few simple clicks. It also boasts up to 400% download speed boosting.

Free Download Manager

Supported Platforms – Windows

Free Download Manager is an excellent open-source manager with features that match all the rest. This one supports easy drag-and-drop of download links into the app to get it started. It also supports file splitting, acceleration, and multiple protocols. There are extensions available to integrate it seamlessly into your browser.

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Supported Platforms – Windows

FlashGet is another powerful Windows download manager. The application supports all the usual staples: download resuming, acceleration, splitting, etc. It also helps to organize your downloads. Extensions are available for browser integration.


Supported Platforms – All Platforms

JDownloader, which I can only imagine, is named for the Java language the program is written in, is another open-source offering. This one even supports downloading of YouTube and Vimeo videos directly from the site. There are a vast number of plugins available as well that help with other services as well, such as WordPress for example. There is a premium version available, but most would probably be content with the free version.

Orbit Downloader

Supported Platforms – Windows

Orbit Downloader is one of the big boys in download management. It has a lot of tools and customization, including the option to precisely tweak speed and performance. It also supports downloading from sites like Pandora and YouTube among others, including support for some file hosting sites.

Download Ninja

Supprted Platforms – Chrome (for all)

This Chrome extension vastly improves the downloading capabilities of Chrome, an area where it has always had a bit of a struggle. It adds queuing, acceleration, splitting, and other support. It’s a great minimalistic extension that vastly improves Chrome and is worth it if you live off of the Chrome browser.

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Internet Download Accelerator

Supported Platforms – Windows

Internet Download Accelerator has a lot of nice features for Windows. It supports some awesome stuff like ZIP preview, video streaming during download, FTP Explorer, and others. The UI is a bit straightforward and outdated, but if you can get past that, it’s a solid option.

Microsoft Download Manager

Supported Platforms – Windows

It turns out that Microsoft has their download management utility that supports versions of Windows from 7 on up. There aren’t a lot of features compared to others, but the UI is friendly and straightforward, and it supports download resuming.

Freemake Video Downloader

Supported Platforms – Windows

Freemake Video Downloader is a manager aimed specifically at videos, and it does an excellent job of it. Need to download a YouTube video as a video or audio file? No problem. Need to get something off another site? No problem.

Did one of these download managers help you out? Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.