Once upon a time when my primary operating system was Windows 95, 98 and I was using dial up Internet connection with maximum speed of 19.2 kbps. The most essential software was Download Accelerator Plus (popularly know as DAP) from Speedbit.
Even though the average downloaded file size was much less compared to today’s standard, it was very much essential to have a software that can speed up the download and allow us to resume the broken download from the point it was broken.
After that I made my primary operating system as Linux and I don’t know why I never felt the need of download accelerator any more. Perhaps I was used to download anything and everything when I started or may be I started using torrents more or the average Internet connection speed is increasing day by day (but so is the average download size).
Any ways I felt the need of download accelerator recently while trying to download one of the Linux distro, because torrent ports were blocked by proxy. I started my search for download accelerator with following requirements
- It should be open source, preferably GPL (Sorry DAP I am not one of those 200 millions, one good change results in lot more good things)
- It should allow me to download multiple parts of the file at the same time, also called as multi-threaded downloading.
- It should allow me to specify multiple mirrors.
- It should allow me to stop and resume the download as per my convenience.
- Should support command line operations.
- Batch processing support is preferable (not necessary as with command line support any scripting language can add this feature).
My search ended at Multiget it met my each and every requirement so well that I felt that tools is developed for me. So I will not list the features separately.
I used my Kubuntu system to test Multiget, the installation was very easy as Multiget is available in standard Ubuntu repositories, so my installation needed just following 2 lines
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install multiget
This will install Multiget and it can be launched fromApplications->Internet menu of Kubuntu. For other operating systems please refer to multiget download page.
Multiget configuration is very simple and is limited to just one page as shown below. This dialog can be opened from Options->Settings menu or by shortcut Ctrl+S.
The first section mainly deals with default setting for a task such as number of concurrently running task, sessions/thread/parts for each task and default location for saving the downloaded files. Multiget can also monitor clipboard for URL and you can set the ignored and accepted extensions filter as per your need.s Rest of the settings need not be changed for basic uses.
The proxy configuration is separate to allow different proxies for different tasks, Multiget supports SOCKS version 4, 4a and 5 proxy, ftp proxy, http proxy. The proxy configuration dialog’s snapshot is shown below. Proxy configuration dialog can be opened using Option->Proxy Admin or by shortcut Ctrl + T.
As said earlier you can configured multiple proxies and select any one of them while starting a task.
Adding New Task:
New task can be added in multiple ways
- The simplest and easiest way to add new task is to just copy the URL (Provided Clipboard monitoring is enabled and copied URL matches filter specifications), Multiget automatically detects this and opens New task dialog.
- By dropping and URL on drop window (If enabled)
- From Multiget window, open new task dialog using menu option Task ->New or by shortcut Ctrl+N.
This should open a new task dialog as shown below:
You can add additional mirrors, change the save location, number of sessions, authentication credentials (if required) and choose proxy server here. Note that this dialog can be opened again anytime when task is not running to change these parameters.
Multiget provides detailed information about the running task and it’s different sessions/threads. This can be seen by selecting the running task and different options in info pane. Status bar also provides overview of current status such as number of running tasks, number of waiting tasks and download speed.
You can also change number of sessions at runtime by selecting running task and menu options Tasks->+Thread & Tasks->-Thread or by shortcuts Ctrl + +, Ctrl + – respectively.
Following two snapshots shows Progress and Thread information as provided by Multiget. Note that thread information is available only for running tasks.
System Try Control:
Multiget also provides very handy system tray menu which can be used to enable/disable frequently used features, Start/Stop all tasks and set the bandwidth apart from other options. The System Try Menu is shown below.
If you download lot of huge files and your primary platform is Linux, this is the must have software.
I liked it for its very simple interface and features set. For all options discussed above, there are toolbar icons as well which make it very very user friendly.
The only limitation (if you can say it) is that maximum number of sessions/threads per file are limited to 10 but i guess its OK considering our social responsibility on Internet.
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