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free download managerA large majority of people still use their web browsers to download files from the internet ditching their download managers when internet speeds started increasing. Is that a wise move?

Let’s face the facts. Any internet browser slows down dramatically when downloading a large batch of files. In addition to that, these web browsers often use but a single connection to the download server – not even using your internet connection to its fullest potential – and support only some internet protocols.


Even with the most ridiculous add-ons to date, an internet browser just doesn’t make it a ‘real’ download manager, whether through lack of functionality, or because it’s being held back by its main feature; surfing the web. If you regularly have to work with large files, a download manager can work wonders. Meet SoMud.

SoMud

Actually, calling SoMud a download manager would be an injustice. SoMud is at home in many areas and we’ll try to cover the most prominent features in this article, but you can expect some pleasant surprise features if you start using the application. Nevertheless, downloading files is SoMud’s bread and butter and the context in which we’ll review the application.

free download manager

SoMud is a cross-platform application, which means it’ll run on both Windows and Mac OS X. It is currently not available for Linux, although that might change in the future. You can use the application to download via HTTP/FTP and BitTorrent.

Torrent Search and Download

BitTorrent, one of the most famous (and notorious) examples of P2P, connects to a large swarm of fellow downloaders and puts available small parts of the file that has already been downloaded. This allows the download to happen without the interference of a file server, but also forces people to upload while they download.

free download manager

Like all torrent applications, SoMud can start downloading when you open a .torrent file. Far less time consuming, you can use SoMud to search and download without leaving the application window, much like Vuze. The application automatically searches some of the more popular Torrent sites and aggregates the results. Using SoMud, people don’t have to jump to and fro between three applications, or even know much about P2P.

Using SoMud’s integrated search didn’t always produce the best results – you get those when you really know where to look, it was a feature I particularly enjoyed.

HTTP Download Manager

As mentioned, SoMud also sports HTTP (and FTP) download functionality. This works pretty much like you’d expect. SoMud breaks the file into a set number of pieces and requests server access for each one (shown below). Although this won’t improve your internet connection, it will add to the server-allocated speed, which is usually lower than your actual internet connection. You can also add multiple mirror URLs (different links to the same file) to improve download speeds.

free download manager

Especially interesting when downloading audio and video, SoMud allows you to preview the file before it’s finished downloading. This option can be accessed from the download details, also shown above. If you’re worried about anonymity, you can even configure SoMud to download via proxy. All in all, an impressive array of features.

Online Video Download

Although not exactly aesthetically pleasing, SoMud can search different online video websites (e.g. YouTube) at once and syst the results. You can preview the video inside the application and add it as a download with the click of the button.

free download manager

Personally, I think we’ve seen our fair share of YouTube downloaders, but it’s a good feature to top the list. With streaming video becoming ever popular, it won’t do to keep our focus completely on relatively old-fashioned file servers.

Do you use a download manager? Tell us why, and which application you prefer in the comments!

Image credit: Shutterstock

  1. Fulltext
    January 31, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Also sneakily installs the SoMud toolbar in IE even after using the custom install option and deselecting all the extraneous junk

  2. Ibrahim Ali
    November 17, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Simon,

    Yes, the flashgot add-on is a great tool -- sends the downloadable links to the download managers -- including the built-in Firefox download manager (by using the menu or Ctrl-F2 or Alt+Click with an active selection) . But this is if you have a Firefox browser. What are we to do if we are only using Google Chrome or some other browser instead?

    Well, I found the download manager - the FlashGet dm -from your very own article at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/the-best-free-file-download-managers/ -- simply select/copy links and the Flashget magically pastes them to its clipboard. If this doesn't work, you can go to Edit menu>Copy URL to clipboard -- presto! Awesome!

    Another one that worked earlier for me (before reading your Dec 21, 2008 article) was Mipony -- but this program is too clunky and buggy and actually unusable in my other Winxp desktop.

    Anyways, many thanks for all the service you did @ muo - and I hope you will find your future job rewarding.

  3. Ibrahim Ali
    November 17, 2010 at 2:14 am

    Simon,

    Yes, the flashgot add-on is a great tool -- sends the downloadable links to the download managers -- including the built-in Firefox download manager (by using the menu or Ctrl-F2 or Alt+Click with an active selection) . But this is if you have a Firefox browser. What are we to do if we are only using Google Chrome or some other browser instead?

    Well, I found the download manager - the FlashGet dm -from your very own article at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/t... -- simply select/copy links and the Flashget magically pastes them to its clipboard. If this doesn't work, you can go to Edit menu>Copy URL to clipboard -- presto! Awesome!

    Another one that worked earlier for me (before reading your Dec 21, 2008 article) was Mipony -- but this program is too clunky and buggy and actually unusable in my other Winxp desktop.

    Anyways, many thanks for all the service you did @ muo - and I hope you will find your future job rewarding.

  4. Simon Slangen
    November 15, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Ibrahim Ali,

    I use it with with the FlashGot add-on, it really augments any download manager. (e.g. multiple download links, right-click in browser even if the download manager lacks in integration, etc.)

    -- Simon

  5. venkat
    November 14, 2010 at 6:10 am

    There is a vulnerability exists in somud version 1.28 check full discloser here http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2010/Sep/208

    • Aibek
      November 15, 2010 at 6:15 am

      thanks for heads up

  6. venkat
    November 14, 2010 at 7:10 am

    There is a vulnerability exists in somud version 1.28 check full discloser here http://seclists.org/fulldisclo...

  7. Ibrahim Ali
    November 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    I can't get to download multiple links with this program -- everytime I try it "fails". What's the point of having a download manager, if it can't automate downloading all html links like my public dropbox links (or rapidshare/megaupload type links) --- am I missing something? I have to agree with Martín Cigorraga above that the DownloadThemAll add-on seems simpler and gets the JOB done.

    • Simon Slangen
      November 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

      Ibrahim Ali,I use it with with the FlashGot add-on, it really augments any download manager. (e.g. multiple download links, right-click in browser even if the download manager lacks in integration, etc.)-- Simon

  8. Ibrahim Ali
    November 10, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    I can't get to download multiple links with this program -- everytime I try it "fails". What's the point of having a download manager, if it can't automate downloading all html links like my public dropbox links (or rapidshare/megaupload type links) --- am I missing something? I have to agree with Martín Cigorraga above that the DownloadThemAll add-on seems simpler and gets the JOB done.

  9. the mainliner
    November 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    This application looked so impressive I went straight over to the website to download it. Cross-Platform clearly only means Windows and Mac, sadly no Linux variant which I found very disappointing.

  10. Arun Poudel48
    November 9, 2010 at 2:07 am

    i use free download manager
    and it works great

  11. Donnyjrmail
    November 9, 2010 at 1:36 am

    I Have been using JDownloader because of those pesky sites that only let you download one file at a time and want you to type a Caption each time.

  12. Arun Poudel48
    November 9, 2010 at 3:07 am

    i use free download manager
    and it works great

  13. ????
    November 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    thanks, i will download this! seems like a great program

  14. Bangostoll
    November 8, 2010 at 4:24 am

    yes, it's a great tool indeed, more features than expected but useful

  15. John
    November 8, 2010 at 2:56 am

    My question is, why would someone use it when Firefox (may be Chrome too, soon) can do all these and more. With the help of few add-ons, obviously. But doesn't involve installing a new application.

    • Aibek
      November 15, 2010 at 6:14 am

      Additional addons slow down the browser. That's why for the downloads I prefer a standalone app.

  16. Shawn holmes
    November 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Not sure why it posted three times. Sorry about that.

  17. Shawn holmes
    November 7, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    What's the best download manager for Linux?

    • Martín Cigorraga
      November 8, 2010 at 4:08 am

      DownThemAll addon for IceCat/FF, it's truly awesome, best DL manager ever, you want believe your eyes how fast are you downloading, period.

  18. Fred
    November 7, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    How does this compare to Folx? is it better? similar?

  19. Oschrock
    November 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Awesome! Thanks! I'm a new convert to Mac and had wondered if there was a good Download manager available!

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