Flashget: high speed downloading

FlashgetHere at Softonic we download and test up to 30 programs a day, so having a download manager on our PCs definitely makes our life easier. Flashget is considered by many to be the best download manager out there, but does it really deserve this reputation? We gave it a test drive to uncover the features that make it such a widely-coveted application.

Flashget takes charge of your downloads, automating the whole process from start to finish. Among the essential features of a download manager is batch downloading of multiple files, well handled by the program. Flashget also lets you schedule downloads to start at particular times. This is good when you have a long list of files waiting to be downloaded but you want to avoid sucking up bandwidth. You can schedule them to download one after the other, or at times when you will not be using your PC. What makes Flashget a particularly valuable tool is the speed of its downloads. You can cut up a file into various parts to download it faster and can optimize the speed according to your connection. When tested out, Flashget definitely revealed higher performances than the in-browser download managers included in Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Modem users will appreciate the auto-connect/disconnect function but the majority of users, who are on broadband, can ignore this feature. Our favourite function was the ability to explore a website for all possible downloads, an easy way to catch all the files in a site in one go. However, avoid using this tool for a website like Softonic, otherwise you’ll end up with hundreds or even thousands of random programs queued up.

Flashget is compatible with Internet Explorer and Netscape (meaning it also works with Firefox and Opera) but a little browsing on the developer’s website and you will find out that it also offers plug-ins for Opera and Firefox.

Flashget allows you to set up rules for your downloads, such as organizing them according to name or URL; a promising feature which actually turned out to be pretty disappointing. Where we expected a whole range of filters to select and organize downloads according to categories like size, download speed or even comments, we only found two sets of rules, seriously limiting this feature’s possibilities.

So what is our verdict? Flashget has enough features to make it a solid option for any download addict or beginner alike. What’s more, Flashget is fast. Actually, it’s really fast: the Formula 1 of download managers. If you download files often, you won’t be disappointed.

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