We all like to download things over the internet, whether it’s a movie, the last album from our favorite band or documentation over a subject of interest. The expectations for speed and stability have become increasingly demanding and this can’t be always achieved by tweaking your router – where’s the case. A download manager can spare you of all those pesky issues like download failure or low download speed. So we’ve compiled a list of the 5 most used download managers. You can either choose a free solution or a paid one (the profile of each is specified in brackets; a second download link is provided for the paid apps if you want check them out first via free torrent sites).

1. Internet Download Manager (paid)

IDM is an excellent tool that increases your download speeds by up to 5 times, resumes and schedule your downloads and has a comprehensive recovery and resume technology thanks to which you can save broken or interrupted downloads. Its simple interface makes it easy-to-use. IDM also has a smart download logic accelerator that helps the dynamic file segmentation and it supports protocols like FTP, HTTP, HTTPS. The program fits perfectly with IE, FireFox, Opera, AOL etc. With the improved FLV grabber you can download from YouTube, Good Video, MySpace TV and other popular sites.

The paid version of IDM can be purchased with only $24.95 and offers additional features such as built-in download accelerator.

Compatibility: Windows VISTA/7

Download link (via Kickasstorrents)

2. FlashGet (free)

FlashGet is one of the most used and known free solutions for boosting your download speed. With an impressive number of users on the internet, FlashGet is a high-end platform with a powerful core that offers both stability and speed. Some of its features include MHT (Multi-server Hyper-threading Transportation), various protocols and a comprehensive documentation management. Speaking of protocols, it supports HTTP, FTP, BT, MMS, RTSP and eMule; thanks to its One Touch technique the BT protocol is improved – you don’t need to manually operate anything once your download has started. The download speed is increased by up to 10 times through the MHT technology. UDCT (Ultra Disk Cache Tech) protects your hard drive(s) and makes your downloads more stable. Moreover, FlashGet can even check for viruses after the download is finished. Addons are also available at the following link: http://www.flashget.com/en/addons.html.

To take full advantage, tweaks can be made. Another interesting and useful feature is the FlashGet “gadget” which lets you operate the program without accessing the taskbar icon.

Compatible with: Win95/98/98SE/Me/2000/NT/XP/2003/Vista/7

Download link: http://www.flashget.com/en/download.html

3. KooLoader (free)

This is an all-in-one download manager software that quickly gains popularity – it promises “a worthy Internet downloading experience through the addition of an adaptive download accelerator, segmented downloads for acceleration, an astounding number of simultaneous downloads and more.”

When you want to download something over the internet, copying the URL of that file will paste it automatically into its main window and simply clicking OK in the small window that will be shown instantly, will launch the download. One of the advantages of  KooLoader is its user-friendliness – it doesn’t bundle useless features that overwhelms the user; it delivers fast downloads, offers portable version to use on different systems, smart file management and multi-language support.

The app also comes with an improved, paid version ($14.95 ) – Kooloader Plus which offers more simultaneous downloads (up to 99), direct and indirect HTTP downloads, download prioritization, customer support, and more

Compatible with: Win95/98/98SE/Me/2000/NT/XP/2003/Vista/7

4. Free Download Manager (free)

FDM or Free Download Manager is yet another free solution. It’s an open-source platform that improves your download speed – up to 600% – by splitting files into sections and downloading them simultaneously. Moreover, it can fix broken downloads so you don’t need to start all over again. FDM supports protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and BitTorrent. With the flash video support you can now download from video-based websites like YouTube, GoogleVideo and so on. The program comes with a built-in Upload Manager which lets you upload files and then share them to your friends. The upload manager is compatible with Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer and Outlook Express.

Compatible with: Microsoft Windows 9x/ME/2000/2003/XP/Vista (32bit versions only)

5. Orbit Downloader (free)

Orbit Downloader is a free solution that concentrated its development around the new generation web (web2.0) downloading such as video/music/streaming media from MySpace, YouTube, Imeem, Pandora, RapidShare. The program supports protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, MMS, RTSP and RTMP. You can pause and resume downloads as they go, use proxies and is compatible with IE, FireFox, Maxthon and Opera.

Orbit Downloader has a p2p-based technology and its advanced multithread download algorithm improves your download speed by up to 500%. Its management is user friendly, easy-to-use yet powerful and ready to fulfill the highest of demands.

Compatibility: WindowsNT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7

6. Download Accelerator Plus (paid)

DAP (Download Accelerator Plus) had quickly become one of the leading solutions in download acceleration technology. Its patented multi-channel technology pushes your bandwidth to the maximum. DAP is available both as a free version and a Premium one. The free version allows you to download files through its high acceleration technology, search for the fastest sources, safe download and more.
The licensed version is €19.95 and comes with a bunch of advantages like file shredder, trace cleaner, private downloading, and many more. A Professional Suite is also available for high-end users for a more pricy fee of € 31.95. Further details about their paid services can be found on their website.

DAP supports IE, FireFox, Google Chrome, Opera and more.

Compatibility: Window VISTA/XP/NT4/2000/7/2000

Download link (via Kickasstorrents)