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.
There was a time when having a download manager made a real difference to one’s experience of using the internet. There are places where this is still true. A few years ago, I spent a month in a remote part of India, where I struggled to top 2k download speeds with my laptop’s modem connecting via a fixed line. I literally waited an hour some days just to download a morning’s email.
A download manager wouldn’t have helped all that much with those messages, but it would have made a huge difference if I had wanted to download any software, music or video files.
That’s the most common use of a download manager: pausing and restarting downloads, scheduling them for later in the day, perhaps after you’ve gone to bed, so that massive download can be ready and waiting in the morning. There are now a number of download managers that can do a whole lot more than this. Speed Download has been the big-hitter for a long time, but (though I bought a licence for the app) I’ve never got along with it.
Recently, I’ve switched over to using Leech, which makes no claim to being as powerful, but turns out to be an excellent, lightweight option that might just do everything you need.