How to download large files (best download managers)

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 3, 2014
Updated • Dec 8, 2014

File downloads are just a matter of clicking on a link and waiting for the download to finish in most cases. There are however situations where downloads are interrupted so that you end up with a broken file on your system that you cannot do anything with.

Several users who tried to download the excellent Tech Toolkit I reviewed yesterday for example have reported that downloads of the 1.6 Gigabyte archive would fail whenever they tried to download it.

It can be quite frustrating if that happens regularly, especially if your computer's Internet connection is not super fast. If you download with 50 Mbit or more, you may not mind if you have to repeat the download, but if you are on a slower connection, you may very well do.

As far as solutions are concerned, there is only one that is suitable and that is to use download managers. The main benefit of download managers is that they support resume.

While the server the file is hosted on needs to support it as well, it ensures that the download will continue after it was interrupted previously.

Instead of having to download the large file over and over again from the beginning, downloads would restart from where the previous download stopped (with a little overhead).

Download managers may support additional features such as download acceleration, scheduling, or grabbing of media.

Free download managers

The following selection lists several download managers that you can use to download files of any size to your local system. Some integrate into web browsers while others may need to be started manually instead to pick up the downloads.


  1. A free version of the application needs to be provided.
  2. The last update cannot date back more than two years.
  3. It needs to support resume.
  4. Needs to support Windows.

Free Download Manager

Free download manager interface

Available as a full and lite version (lite ships without Bittorrent support, video conversion plugin and languages), it offers to add plugins to Firefox or Chrome. These plugins are not required but they make things easier for users of supported browsers.

Tip: A click on File > Create portable version allows you to create a fully portable version of the download manager.

A right-click on a file and the selection of "download with Free Download Manager" sends the download to the application where it will be processed.

The program supports a variety of features such as scheduling downloads, adding it to groups or authentication.

The download manager splits files into segments which it downloads separately from each other to improve the download speed. In addition to that, it supports resume so that interrupted downloads can be restarted where they stopped.


flashget interface

FlashGet does not ship with browser extensions but it monitors the Windows clipboard for file links and will pick those up automatically so that it is easy to add downloads to the application.

It highlights the size of the file that will be downloaded to the local system, and supports multiple download threads, authentication and options to categorize downloads.

The download manager supports resume so that broken downloads are a thing of the past, provided that the server is also supporting resume.


Eagleget Interface

The EagleGet download manager is available as a portable version and installer.  The program monitors the clipboard automatically but can also be integrated into web browsers directly via its universal capture mode.

That's however not necessary to add downloads to it. Since it monitors the clipboard, all you have to do is copy links pointing to files to the clipboard so that they are picked up automatically by the software.

EagleGet ships with a truckload of features such as download scheduling, batch downloads, download acceleration using threading, a speed limiter or options to resume broken downloads.


uget Program Interface

The Linux download manager is also available as a Windows build. It supports clipboard monitoring to pick up files automatically if they have a matching file extension.

The download dialog that opens prior to that enables you to make modifications to the process. Here you can add authentication information, select the number of retries and the delay between retries, change the number of connections per server, or limit the download speed.

GetGo Download Manager

getgo download manager Application

The download manager ships with a browser built-in which makes it feel bloated, especially if you don't require that. It does monitor clipboard events though and will pick up downloads automatically.

It supports the usual feature set, from multi-threaded downloads to speed things up to authentication and the pausing/resuming of downloads.

File Hoster downloads

The programs listed in this category have been designed specifically for so-called file hosting services. They download files from sites such as Mediafire or Mega.

Note: Programs listed in this category may contain offers (adware) when you install them. It is highly recommended to pay attention to the installation dialog and select custom when possible to stay in control.

Free Rapid Downloader - The program requires Java to run. It supports more than 700 sites according to the feature list on the developer website. In addition to that, it ships with captcha recognition, proxy lists, and other comfortable features such as automatic shutdown of the computer or support for streaming videos.

JDownloader - The program supports hundreds of file hosting services but requires Java to run. It monitors the clipboard and will add downloads automatically to its queue if they are hosted on a supported server. The cross-platform program supports many extra features such as support for premium accounts, browser integration, OCR modules or the automatic extraction of password protected archives.

MiPony - The program supports hundreds of file hosting services and extra features just like JDownloader does. This includes support for several captcha plugins to automate the process of filling those out, web remote control options, and automatic database updates to avoid issues with select hosts. Note: may be blocked as malicious by some browsers / antivirus programs, therefore, no link.

PyLoad - The program does not support as many hosters as JDownloader or MiPony, but it may make up for it in other ways. It has been designed with low hardware requirements in mind, and while it makes sure of that, it does not sacrifice core functionality for it.

With that said, it is difficult to set up as you need to run a configuration script first (on the command line) and run a core program first before you can connect clients to it.

Which one is best?

Program Name Portable Resume Monitoring Remote Access Schedule Other features
EagleGet yes yes yes no yes Traffic limits, download acceleration, video downloader, silent mode
FlashGet no yes yes no no Traffic limits,download acceleration Bittorrent support, Emule support
Free Download Manager yes yes yes yes yes Traffic limits, partial zip downloads, HTML spider, download acceleration, Bittorrent support
GetGo Download Manager no yes yes no yes Traffic limits, download acceleration, web video downloads
uGet yes yes yes no yes Traffic limits, download acceleration, command line version,

There is no definitive answer to that question. It depends on what you require more than anything else. Do you want integration into web browsers or is clipboard monitoring or manual pasting of download links sufficient?

Do you require features such as support for authentication or proxy servers, scheduling or support for protocols such as Bittorrent or ftp?

With all that said, Free Download Manager gets our recommendation.

Commercial Alternative: Internet Download Manager

How to download large files (best download managers)
Article Name
How to download large files (best download managers)
Our download manager overview provides you with a list of programs that you can use to download files from the Internet.

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

  14. justputthispostanywhere said on September 29, 2023 at 3:59 am

    I’m not sure if there is a point in commenting given that comments seem to appear under random posts now, but I’ll try… this comment is for

    My temporary “solution”, if you can call it that, is to use a VPN (Mullvad in my case) to sign up for and access Reddit via a European connection. I’m doing that with pretty much everything now, at least until the rest of the world catches up with GDPR. I don’t think GDPR is a magical privacy solution but it’s at least a first step.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.