Do you need a download manager in 2017? Here’s a free one if you do

Download faster and more reliably using a free download manager app on the Apple Mac.

The speed of modern internet connections could not have been imagined 15 years ago. Back then, download managers were popular utilities, but do you need one today? Sometimes you do.

Click a link to a file, such as a .dmg or .zip file on a web page and it downloads. Other files, such as videos, images, documents, PDFs and so on, can also be downloaded, although sometimes you need to right click rather than left click, and then select the option to save them - Download linked file in Safari.

What is a download manager?

Instead of downloading a file immediately by clicking a link in a browser like Safari or Chrome, you can save the link in a download manager app and do it later. Many links to files and documents can be added to a download manager and it adds them to a queue.

The downloads can be started later manually or they can be scheduled to ocur automatically.

When you need a download manager

Many people have fast broadband internet connections at home, so there is little need for them to use a download manager. However, some people still don't have fast or reliable internet access, especailly outside of cities.

A couple of scenarios spring to mind when a download manager can be useful. The obvious one is when the internet connection is either poor or limited. If you live in a city then you probably have great internet access, but eselwhere it can be patchy.

Some people still have slow and unreliable internet access while others enjoy super fast fibre. In some parts of the country the speed may be low and the amount of data used at peak times of the day could be limited.

A download manager can help those people by storing links to files so they can be downloaded later. The internet gets quieter and faster in the early hours of the morning when people are asleep and it is a good time to schedule downloads to take place. Also, where bandwidth is monitored, the download limits are much more relaxed during the night.

Another occasion where a download manager can be useful is when travelling with a laptop. Half the time spent on my Mac is running on the battery at some public Wi-Fi hotspot like a cafe.

Sometimes the Wi-Fi is good, but this is not always the case and if a big download is needed, it is often useful to save the link and then download it when I get home where there is a high speed fibre optic internet connection.

Sometimes the Wi-Fi isn’t working at all and I have to enable the Wi-Fi hotspot feature on my phone and use my mobile data. I don’t want to use up all the data with downloads, so any download links are saved till I get home.

Download Shuttle

Download Shuttle is a free download manager in the Mac App Store that does the job well. Start the app and a window opens on the desktop. The simplest way to use it is to click and drag a link on a web page in Safari or Chrome and drop it on the Download Shuttle window.

Any type of file can be added, such as dmg, zip, doc, pdf and so on.

Another way to add a download is to right click a link and copy it to the clipboard. You can then click the Add button in the Download Shuttle window.

Download Shuttle for the Apple Mac scheduling a download

Either way, a window pops up that lets you configure the download. For example, there is a switch to choose whether to start the download immediately, or there is a time and date control that enables the download to be scheduled to occur later.

The file is saved to the Downloads folder by default, but another location can be selected if you prefer. There is a Total Segments feature and this is a method of dividing up a big download into smaller sections. All sections are downloaded simultaneously to maximise the use of the internet connection.

Download Shuttle queued downloads window for Apple Mac

If you choose to download files later, one, several or all of the items can be manually started by right clicking them. When downloading is complete, the standard macOS Quick Look feature can be used, so you can select a download and press Spacebar to view it.

Start downloading with Download Shuttle on the Apple Mac

Download Shuttle is not aimed at people with a permanent, fast and reliable internet connection. For some people though, it will be very useful.

App: Download Shuttle - fast File Downloader https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/download-shuttle-fast-file-downloader/id...
Price: Free
By: FIPLAP Ltd
Size: 4.3MB
macOS: 10.8 or later
Verdict: A useful tool if you need to save download links for later

 

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