How to Speed Up File Transfers or Downloads

January 22, 2009

in file transfer

by David Hakala

Technically, fetching and displaying a Web page involves downloading (transferring) lots of pretty small files. But in common usage, file transfers/downloads means retrieving a large file such as a program that you want to install on your computer. Even on a broadband connection, large downloads can seem to take forever. Let’s see how we can speed them up.

You might try a program other than your Web browser. Browsers are designed for downloading lots of small text and graphics files. They are not optimized for speedy, error-free transfers of large files in the dozens or hundreds of megabytes range. There are standalone programs designed for downloading large files.

CuteFTP represents one class of dedicated download managers: the ftp client. FTP is an Internet protocol like HTTP; it stands for File Transfer Protocol. Where you might download a large file at 300 Kbps or so using HTTP, you can get the same file at 5 Mbps or faster using FTP. However, you have to know the ftp:// address of the file you want to download. FTP clients won’t work with http:// URLs. Other download managers do.

DownloadThemAll is a Firefox add-on that accelerates large file downloads and manages these often time-consuming tasks. Google “DownloadThemAll” to get this add-on. It can accelerate download speeds up to 400 percent. It handles HTTP and FTP downloads. It can pause and resume downloads without losing data, and recover from interrupted connection. It accelerates the retrieval of full or partial Web pages. You can specify which parts of a Web page to download; for example, only the *.jpg images or everything except the images.

Download Accelerator Plus

Download Accelerator Plus

Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) works only with Internet Explorer and Windows. DAP supports pause/resume, scheduled downloads, and shutting down of the computer when downloads have completed; you can set up multiple time-consuming downloads and walk away. It also integrates with popular antivirus programs to check each download and abort it if a virus infection is found.

These are just three examples of how to speed up your file transfers. Google “download manager” for many, many more. Most are free. Many are supported by ads. Try a few download managers until you find one that meets your needs.

David Hakala has written technology tutorials since 1988, in addition to tech journalism, profitable content, documentation, and marketing collateral.

{ 1 comment }

ARK Vayath 08.25.09 at 2:52 am

good, useful.

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