Friday, January 25, 2013

[Review] Internet Download Manager v6

The Good :

- Fast downloads with resume capability
- Efficient web player detection
- Ease of use via a clear interface
- Lot of useful options/tweakings
- Good browsers integration
- Low on resources usage
- Frequently updated

The Bad :

- Paid software


Internet Download Manager


Internet Download Manager (aka IDM) is what we call an "Download accelerator"; it uses intelligent dynamic file segmentation and safe multipart downloading technology to accelerate your downloads. It means it segment the file you wish to download into smaller part, downloaded separately to achieve greater speed.

Dynamic file segmentation and connection reuse
Internet Download Manager has optimized file download logic. IDM divides downloaded file on file segments dynamically, unlike other download accelerators that divide downloaded file in segments once just before download process starts. Dynamic segmentation gives significant download performance improvement. When file download starts, it's unclear how many connections may be opened. When new connection becomes available IDM finds the largest segment to download and divide it in half. Thus new connection starts downloading file from the half of the largest file segment. IDM minimizes the time needed for negotiations with servers and keeps all connections busy.

The goal of this kind of software is to give you more control over your downloads and a boost in your download speed.

The Installation of IDM is classic and it will add a plugin into the main browsers available on your system (with an option to include less known ones manually)

Now that you understand how it works, let's go for a tour:

1- Main Program Window

When you open IDM you arrive into the main window, where all options/features are listed.

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- Download control buttons: (Add URL, Start/Resume, Stop, Stop All, Delete, Delete All Completed, Options, Scheduler, Start Queue, Stop Queue, Stop Queue, Grabber, Tell A Friend) are located above the download list under the form of a ribbon. They can be in active (colorful) or disabled (greyed) state depending on what actions are possible for the current selected downloads.

- Categories: In the left side of the main part of the window is a tree of download categories. IDM offers the categories feature to organize and manage your files. Every download category has a name, a default download directory and a list of associated file types. IDM has several predefined categories like Music, Video, Programs, Documents, etc. You may delete, edit them, or add your own categories.

- Download List: located in the middle of the windows, here are listed all the downloads you have started, paused or completed. It also indicates the percentage and ETA of the downloaded files.

2- Download Modes

IDM has multiple download mode giving you a great freedom of use; the main methods are:

- Automatic Mode: This method to start downloads is the easiest one. IDM takes over downloads from various browsers and starts downloading files automatically when users click on download links.
  • When a link is clicked this window appears:

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note that your download can be delayed.
  • When IDM detects a Web Player and receive a multimedia request, this small windows appears

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if clicked, the Download window appears (as above), if you have many requesting pages, all videos will be showed as a list.

note, than some website does not trigger this feature.
  • If the download is started , then this windows is activated

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as you can see, the "resume capability" shows "Yes", it means that if for some reasons i have to stop the current download (internet disconnection, reboot, etc...) i will not loose the already downloaded part and i will bnot have to re-download from the beginning. This is a very useful feature especially if you download heavy files.

you can set the speed limit here:

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and what IDM will do upon completion:

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  • When the download is completed , this windows appears and inform you where the file is located and if you click "open" the file/program is executed directly.

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- Download a specific link or all links in the selected text from an html page : If you right click on a link in your browser, you will see "Download with IDM" menu item. Just click this item to start downloading the link with IDM. You may also select a text and click "Download with IDM" to add all links in the selected text to IDM.

- Add URL Button: You can add a new file to download with Add URL button (see Main Program Window chapter). You can either enter a new URL in the text box or select URL from existing ones. You can also specify login informations if the server demands authorization (by checking "Use authorization" box. )

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3- Options Dialog

IDM has a wide range of options, here they are some of the most useful:

- General options:

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The interesting feature here is "add browser" , if your browser is not listed in the windows above, you can manually add it by selecting the executable (i.e: Dragon.exe for Comodo Dragon, etc...)

IDM supports basic and advanced browser integration types. For basic browser integration you can check what type of integration is used for a browser by selecting the browser and clicking on details button. In basic browser integration you can add a browser by using "Add Browser..." button. IDM determines the version of the browser and will integrate into it.

IDM has a special module (IEMonitor.exe) for click monitoring in IE-based browsers (MSN Explorer, Avant, MyIE, some versions of AOL etc.) that runs separately from the main process of IDM. This module can be turned on/off using "Run module for click monitoring for IE-based browsers" checkbox.

- File Types tab: File Types tab can be used to change the list of file types that will be taken over from a browser and downloaded by IDM.

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- Connection tab: Here you can set up IDM to fit the kind of connections you have for optimal performances.

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- Save To tab: This is here where you can define the default final download location for the selected category (Music, Videos, etc...) and the temporary one.

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-Downloads tab: Here you can control how IDM dialogs are displayed.

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Final Note:

Now you have a good idea of What is IDM and its usefulness, it is simple to use and efficient. iI have to admit that when you start using IDM, it is very difficult to renounce to it.
i really like its speed, ease of use and ability to download contents from streaming video sites.
IDM is useful for people that download a lot of software/files, for the others it is not very necessary since it is a paid product.

I rate it 4/5 (based of my sole opinion and testing, this rate can be raised/lowered if new Pros/Cons are found)

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