Our internet connections have become faster over the years, but with that our need for speed increased too. And sadly, having a fast internet connection does not mean the server you’re downloading from gives you the speed you pay for. That’s where download managers come in. One of their more interesting features involves speeding up your downloads. So how exactly do they do it?

Getting the software
Before showing you the tricks, let’s have a look at some good download managers. If you’re a Windows user, I’d recommend Free Download Manager (freeware) or GetRight (shareware that never expires). Another big name in the download manager business is Download Accelerator Plus, but I advise you to stay away from that one because it is ad-supported and tends to slow down your system.

Trick 1: chop the download in pieces
fdmtest-1.jpgHow long does it take to transport 20 people from point A to point B with one taxi? A lot longer than when you have multiple cabs at your disposal. It’s just like that with the internet: in most cases one connection is doing all the work, even though your pipe can handle more than one. When you let a download manager chop your download in segments, simultaneous connections with the server are established that enable you to download different parts of your file at the same time. Often referred to as segmented downloading, this technique can greatly increase your download speed.

I put this to the test by downloading Internet Explorer 8 (16.1MB) using Firefox and Free Download Manager. It took my browser around 47 seconds at an estimated average of 343 KB/s to download the entire file. FDM did it in a whopping 21 seconds, which accounts roughly for an average speed of 767 KB/s. These calculations are not fully accurate, but the difference is clear. Keep in mind however that your mileage may vary depending on your connection and the server you’re downloading from.

Trick 2: using download mirrors
A second trick to speed up your downloads is using mirrors. The idea behind this is that you download a file from multiple sources at once, combining the speed from these servers to get faster downloads. Both FDM and GetRight have a feature for automatic mirror search, but from my experience they don’t find any as soon as you download something that’s not on the list of the top 15 best-known programs.


You can however choose to enter mirrors manually. Whenever your download is bigger than 500MB and the site you’re downloading from offers alternate download links, it doesn’t hurt to enter them. A good example of when you’d want to use this is when you’re downloading Ubuntu‘s install CD.

There Are 20 Comments

  1. This is a really useful article we run a gamecenter and we have to constantly download updates for the computers whether it be for steam or the newest MW2 patch.

    We were getting our main backbone to bogged down and it was affecting customer experience so we got a second DSL connection just for downloading updates and applying them across the network. But we still could use all the speed we can get.

    • Hey….. tell me how to chop the download into pieces…. tell me as soon as possible i have 512kb connection its downloading speed is only 60kbps to 78kbps tell me how to increase it and compare with your???? please reply me.. i have a difficulty in downloading i wanna get speed of yours… i install FDM now tell what to do????

  2. I barely visit the website since you switched to this crappy “Click to read more” format. I still have you bookmarked, but this format is useless. If I have to click and rewind to read every single post, it’s just not worth it. Most of us have fast connections, so just post the entire articles on the front page. Seriously, this stuff sucks.

  3. Computer Video Tutorials

    Orbit Downloader also supports mirror.

  4. This helped me understand the download proccess immensely keep posting issues thanks

  5. I think, the most basic way to speed up your internet connection for faster download is to speed up your pc itself, because no matter how fast your connection is, if you’re using a 10 year old PC, then it’s like asking an 80 year old man to perform workout. I basically follow this great guide to speed up downloads [speedypc.org]

  6. lol, i just use google chrome, fast, not the best, but fast

    • im using google chrome right now to download gta vice city stories for psp and it is SLOW AS SH**!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • firefox..google chorme..opera..internet explorer..etc..

      it all same..if you got the better connection internet..it all will be fast..

      use the add on blocker..it help you a lot..

      the add on at some website is make your browser slow..it try to download and read that anoying add on..

      if you always go on same web site..try to download the page n save it in 1 new folder..save the cache and other thing about that site..

      it help you to open the same website more fast..

  7. okay thx but in lebanon our connection is up to 30kb/sec MAX how can i speed it up a bit?????

  8. hie..You cant change the speed by that. it because your connection..if your connection is slow..you cant speed up anything..i was try and find solution in 2year..but the result is still same..if you want get fast download..get a high connection..

    if you are using high connection internet supply..it still slow..call your internet center..they will help you by setting up again your notebook/computer..

    it gonna be slow in a daylight & weekend..it because got trafic in the air..

    i suggest you use lan wire connection..but..someone can stole the line connection..

    sorry if my english is low..i hope you all can understand this..thx..

  9. yes but i am trying to download and install lotro ( lord of the rings online) and i have a download manager it downloads the downloader then the downloader downloads it in total my computer would take 72 hours of constant download and i have the most powerful connection to the internet in my house ( better then my dads and my mums and my sisters) i am directly connected to my houses router

    so thats not it so what is? by the way my average speed is around 40kb per secound lotro is 6 Gb

  10. Yes. But only on Tuesdays!

    That made just as much sense as the comment above…
    You pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down?

  11. it didnt helped me at all… -.-

  12. Whoa! This whole essay is useless! I`ve tried all the steps, but it still takes 5hrs 19minutes to download 23 kb

  13. it was helpful thanks

  14. You people just need to be paitient!You might need to clean up your PC or Mac and if 64x bit (optional) it will make it better but if you are 32x bit (86x bit),you might need to upgrade or get a crazy,awesome,fast internet for ex. I have got a BoB2 and 2 extenders (Belkin and Telstra)and they improved my 32x bit computer!Hope it helps.

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