Free Download Manager

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Free Download Manager

This download manager gives you a bonus to download torrent files too

4

Our rating: 

4

Pros & Cons:

Stable, BitTorrent support, Download tags management, Snail mode & pre-set Speed limiter with different traffic modes, GUI view of download progress, Download scheduler
Cannot refresh expired links, no multi-queue management, No Site Explorer, HTML Spider, Multi-mirror support in v5.x (FDM v.3.9.x is still better)

Publisher Description:

By SoftDeluxe Ltd  (2003)

Our Review:

The free and open-source Free Download Manager has stood the test of time for more than 11 long years and is still a good choice for a download manager. 

Installation: Among the lot, FDM installer has the heaviest download size that could be attributed to support for BitTorrent protocol. It's available in 2 versions, the 5.x and 3.9.x versions. The 3.9.x version works on older systems & is available in two flavours, the 'Lite' version without Video conversion, BitTorrent plugin and Language pack, as well as the 'Normal' version with a bigger setup size. It's also available separately for 64bit & 32bit systems.  You can choose to make FDM as the default client for BitTorrent downloads or setup a dedicated Torrent client for the same. FDM doesn't integrate with browsers out of the box, so you will have to dive into the Settings menu for the same. 

Interface: Since v5.x the interface has been revamped to a much cleaner look. The tags are displayed on the top as opposed to the left menu bar in v3.9.x and with support for creating even more tags.  The status window at the bottom has a download Progress tab that shows with a neat GUI how multi-threading works. At the very bottom left you can see the Traffic Limiter feature to set the speed of on-going downloads which can be customized as per High, Medium, Low & Custom speeds. The interface of FDM is very much customizable in v3.9.x where every window pane can be switched between visible and hidden modes.

Features: FDM includes 3 traffic modes: Light, Medium and Heavy to determine the rate of download, for better performance and co-operation with other programs using internet. FDM is the sole download manager that offers Bittorrent support letting you download/upload torrent files. Proxies can be configured for Http(s), FTP as well as P2P connections. Youtube video can be downloaded by adding the url directly to the interface, but the support for capturing streaming media from various sites is limited. You can categorize downloading files according to their type but this has to be enabled from the Settings menu. The download scheduler can be used to download your queue'd downloads when you are away from your computer. 

Usability: The advanced options and features will make any geeky downloader's eyes sparkle. The snail mode can be used to free bandwidth without stopping the downloads. You also have the option to skip smaller downloads that can be done faster from the browser. To be honest, v3.9.x has more features and is more customizable than the dumbed down v5.x. If you still miss the HTML Spider (website ripper), Site Explorer (exploring files on servers) or Multi-mirror support you can go back to v3.9x 

Support & Updates: FDM is frequently updated by the community and you can expect support in the forums. FDM still has an active community after all these years. 

I've seen FDM work better on Firefox than on Chrome. FDM v5.x is barebones in my opinion but is constantly improving, so if you once knew FDM for it's glory days you might want to consider switching to v3.9.x which rates higher for me compared to the former. 


Free Download Manager was reviewed by on based on version 5.1.23.