Tip: if you download from China, use a download manager

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 20, 2015

So, I received a new smartphone today which I bought a couple of weeks ago. It is a Xiaomi Mi 4C which I purchased directly in China after carefully evaluating my options. Since I did not want a large device, I had high hopes initially for the new Nexus 5x but it did not turn out to be what I wanted.

I made the decision long ago not to buy flagship smartphones anymore as it is just not worth it in my opinion. The main idea was to root it and install a mod afterwards to get better control of the device.

The very first thing that I wanted to do was to flash the latest Developer Rom on the device to prepare the device for the installation of custom mods.

One of the core benefits of installing a Developer ROM on the device is that these versions have root automatically.

Anyway, the Developer ROM has a size of 730 Megabytes; not much if you are used to download files with 50 Mbit.

And so I tried to download the ROM from the official Chinese website in Chrome and Firefox. Downloads were really slow, a couple of Kiloybtes tops. While I have no issues leaving the PC on until downloads finish, it turned out that downloads would be canceled regularly as well as the connection was quite unstable.

slow downloads china

After trying several times to get the file to download, I decided to use a download manager instead. Well, first I tried to find a mirror server that would provide me with better download speeds.

Since there seemed none available, I decided to give Free Download Manager a try. Lo and behold, the speed increased to acceptable 1500 KB/s so that the file was on my PC in a matter of minutes instead of days (if at all).

download from china

Free Download Manager establishes several connections to the server hosting the ROM file which speeds up the download significantly if the server supports the operation and resume. The server that hosted the ROM file did support these which resulted in the speed boost.

Closing Words

I had no use for download managers in the past ten or so years thanks to a fast Internet connection up until now. I tried other downloads located on Chinese servers just to see how fast, or slow, they would be, and it turns out that most downloads from China are rather slow.

It is worth a shot in my opinion if you are experiencing slow downloads from servers. They don't need to be located in China necessarily, as you may see improvements regardless of server location provided that they support resume and don't limit the number of connections.

Tip: if you download from China, use a download manager
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Tip: if you download from China, use a download manager
Find out how to speed up file downloads significantly if they are slow or unstable in your web browser of choice.

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  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 name.com 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.

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