Tutorial Thursday

I have never tried to find a download manager because most browsers (except Internet Explorer) are able to handle my downloads just fine. However, one limitation that has always bothered me is the inability to start more than two downloads at the same time. I can click on a link to start the first download, and then start another download, but as soon as I click on the link to start the third download I don’t get my “Open/Run” dialog box until one of the other two downloads have already completed.

This gets especially irritating when downloading Linux ISO’s which can be 5 CD’s at 600MB each. I just want to start downloading all of them at the same time so that I don’t have to babysit it.

It didn’t take much research before I found the option that I needed to change. We need to increase the number of connections that are allowed per server and that will solve our problem. Mozilla sets the option to two by default because that’s the recommendation in the HTTP/1.1 specification.

Here’s how you change the value:

  1. Start Firefox.
  2. In the Address Bar type about:config and press Enter.
  3. Find the option that is named network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server and double-click on it.
  4. Increase the value to something a little more reasonable. I changed mine to 10.
    Firefox Persistent Connections Tweak
  5. That’s all! 

I can now have more than two files simultaneously downloading…ahh the bliss. If you are on a slow dial-up connection then you may not want to do this but broadband users rejoice at every opportunity to maximize the use of their bandwidth.