The market for download managers has always been small and shady, at least for the Mac. I’ve never really needed one, although I am also not entirely happy with how the downloads are managed through the Downloads folder. However, for people who spend a lot of their time downloading huge files, sometimes the few extra features that download managers offer could come in handy.
While the market for these type of apps isn’t very big, here we’ll present to you some of the best options we could find. Why would you need a download manager? Which one suits your needs? Let’s find out.
Why Use a Download Manager?
As far as I can tell, download managers aren’t widely used anymore. With the average internet speed that ISP’s offer now being so high and the implementation of better handling of downloads from both browsers and operative systems, developers just have all but forgotten about creating apps like this.
However, some may argue that they still find them useful, and with enough reason. People that need to download huge files on a daily basis may find it very helpful to have an app that lets you organize, filter and limit the speed of each download to avoid slowing down their network.
But the truth is, as a conventional Mac user you are probably used for things being simple and uncomplicated. You want a completely integrated experience, and the Downloads folder that comes with your Mac (coupled with your browser of choice) provides just that. It’s a simple, easy to understand folder in your hard drive where anything that you download will be saved. I think installing a download manager, in a way, breaks that system integration and tarnishes that experience.
If you are an average user comfortable with your browser and Mac OS’s ways of managing downloads, you likely have no need for one of these apps. However if you want a little more control over your downloads, like scheduling them ahead of time, queuing them and limiting their speed so that it doesn’t slow down your browsing; then you should check out a few of the most popular download managers that we found for you.
Speed Download is probably the most widely used app in this category, and also the most expensive. It’s made by a fancy company called Yazsoft that also makes some other cool products. I’ve heard mixed things about it. Some people say it performs very well and has plenty of features, but I’ve also heard that for some people it slowed down their system and caused a multitude of bugs.
It comes with plenty of features like being able to share files with other users of the app, as well as support for FTP clients and the iDisk. It also has the usual features that you would expect from a download manager: prioritization of downloads, the ability to pause and resume downloads, “turbo” downloads, browser compatibility, etc. The app also advertises more speed in your downloads, but from what I hear that is mostly subjective.
Requires: Mac OS X 10.5.8 or later
iGetter is a free, but old-fashioned looking downloaded manager. Don’t let its looks deceive you, it is actually quite up-to-date and it’s compatible with most current versions of browsers. It’s not that fancy with its features, it has the usual stuff like resuming downloads, queuing and it advertises an “accelerator” of some sort, but outside of that there’s nothing out of the ordinary.
If you are looking for a functional and free alternative, iGetter is probably your best bet. I’ve heard comments that it work