This week’s app is Speed Download – a download manager. I’m reviewing version 4 in this review, which came as part of a previous MacHeist bundle, however, version 5 has subsequently been released.
Despite having held a license code for some time, it’s only been in the past few weeks that I’ve actually tried the app. However, it’s become very useful over the past few days; we’re having some internet trouble (which I believe is caused by our ISP, since it’s worse in the evenings than in the mornings) and so having a download manager has been a great help, as it can auto-resume downloads when you get disconnected. It also claims to speed up downloads by making multiple server connections and downloading the file in pieces, rather than one continuous connection. Additional features include web browser integration and FTP support, and when adding a download you can choose to spoof a web browser user agent and provide a referrer URL if needed.
The interface of version 4 is good, if a little cluttered – there’s a lot of buttons and options, and the preference pane especially has lots of options to configure – maybe too many. Download speed was good though – it did seem faster than Firefox but I didn’t conduct any scientific tests.
If you have a dodgy internet connection, or the need to download large files, then I would recommend a download manager, so that you can resume partially-downloaded files rather than having to download them again from scratch. Speed Download is one such application, and works well for me.