The average Internet user will probably handle nearly everything they download online through their web browser. Some browsers do it right – Opera‘s built-in downloader manager is the best in the field. Others, not so much. Firefox, despite being one of my favorite browsers otherwise, is very weak in this area.
It shouldn’t matter though, because (in my opinion) the best way to handle your downloads is by using a third-party manager. For years, JDownloader has been the way for me. I still use it today, and it comes filled with features that go far beyond simply pulling downloads from your browser. I’m a huge believer in introducing users to alternatives through MakeUseOf, and in this post I’d like to show you one of the lesser-known download managers that may offer exactly what you need in a smaller package.
ochDownloader works for both Windows and Linux. On the GitHub page, a binary download is available for Windows and the source code is available otherwise. Being open source is a perk that can’t be overlooked, as some of these free and lesser-known download managers could easily pack their software with junk that you and I aren’t interested in. On this same subject, ochDownloader doesn’t rotate ads or anything like that. It is completely free to use and doesn’t hit you in the face with annoying advertisements like others.
ochDownloader gets a big thumbs up from me as it also offers a portable version.
The interface is very clean and rather plain, as it should be. There are no overpowering visual effects to weigh the application down. The buttons across the toolbar are very simple and straightforward – start your downloads, stop them, configure your accounts, check your settings, and see help.
How do you add files to begin downloading them? The ochDownloader downloader manager requires no hard installation and doesn’t hook into the browser at all, which is usually messy anyway, so you must paste download links into the application to get them started. ochDownloader supports and can convert links from the following services:
Be advised that only anonymous accounts work with these services. If you have some sort of premium subscription to these sites, your premium features won’t work. It is a feature that is currently being developed for support in ochDownloader, however. Other than these, ochDownloader also supports direct HTTP downloads. If you have a direct link, ochDownloader will begin immediately downloading the file.
I know MakeUseOf readers love to download and save videos from YouTube, and doing that is very simple with ochDownloader. First, just make sure that you have the option to monitor your clipboard ticked in the settings. Navigate to any YouTube video and copy the URL from the address bar. You should now see that video in the list on the ochDownloader interface.
Click the orange down-arrow to add it and it will prompt you to pick a quality that you’d prefer to download the video in.
You can see that ochDownloader didn’t just slap together an all-in-one downloading solution. They really tailored the application to work with certain sites and it’s nice to be able to select from a list of qualities on YouTube.
As you can see from screenshots of the interface above, near the bottom, you’re able to configure download slots (up to a maximum of 20) and also limit download speeds. These, especially the latter, are completely essential in any download manager. Another thoughtful feature is support in being able to import a mass of links, separated by new lines. Adding a large number of links one-by-one could get painful.
Files that are successfully downloaded are then saved in the History tab.
If you’re dealing with a large number of downloads, the search field at the top of this tab can really be useful. You can immediately execute files from this tab or right-click them and navigate to the destination folder.
ochDownloader isn’t nearly as extensive as JDownloader, but if simple download management is what you’re after then it could be the tool for you. While it does lack certain features like premium account support or pausing your downloads, it can still get the job down for a niche crowd. Let me know what you think of it in the comments!