Comparison of the best Windows download managers

It is important to have a powerful download manager when downloading a lot of files. Download managers increase the download speed of data packages and offer more features than Windows’ pre-installed downloader. In this post, we will provide you with an overview of free and paid Windows download managers.

What is a download manager?

Download managers offer more functionality for downloading files and provide faster download speeds compared to the built-in Windows downloader. Files can be transferred much faster by splitting data packages into sub-packages and downloading them at the same time. Additional features include custom download scheduling, resumption of interrupted downloads, offline browsing of full websites, and export functions. You can also use browser extensions to automatically download individual website elements (e.g., photos and HTML files) or multiple linked downloads.

Many download managers are freeware or are free open source programs. However, some downloaders offer additional features that are only available in their paid pro versions.

What download managers are there for Windows?

Here are all the free and paid download managers for Windows that we have compared for you:

Free Download Manager free
JDownloader free
YouTube Downloader HD free
Ninja Download Manager (Free/Pro) As a free version and as a paid pro version
Internet Download Manager 30-day free trial period
Google Book Downloader free

Presentation of the best Windows download managers

We will present various programs and how they work to help you decide which download manager is right for you.

Free Download Manager (FDM)

Free Download Manager is among the most popular downloaders for Windows and macOS. One of the best free download managers in terms of efficiency thanks to its powerful software. The application’s developer says that FDB can increase download speeds by up to 600%.

Features:

  • Resuming aborted download operations
  • Download support for BitTorrent and FLV
  • Download options for HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP as well as for RTSP and MMS
  • Automatic website downloads can be performed by importing URLs into FDM via drag & drop or the clipboard
  • Supports Chrome and Firefox
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Open source and freeware ✘ Not compatible with all virus scanners
✔ Increases download speed by up to 600%  
✔ Available as a browser version  
✔ Supports BitTorrent  
✔ Integrated download planner  
✔ Can be expanded flexibly thanks to plugins  

JDownloader

The free download manager JDownloader is a piece of open-source software that greatly improves download speeds. As a JavaScript app, JDownloader offers special support for one-click file hosts like Uploaded, cloudZer, and Share-Online. It supports container formats like CCF and DLC and offers numerous features for automated extracting and downloading of multiple files at once.

Features:

  • Custom download speeds
  • Automatic extraction of RAR and ZIP archive files
  • Automatic solving of Captcha queries before downloads
  • Even faster download speeds with premium file host accounts
  • Link grabber to custom download multiple download links on one website
  • Plugins for additional features like YouTube video downloads
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Supports most download and one-click hosts ✘ Installation contains adware
✔ Can be expanded flexibly with plugins ✘ Complicated user interface
✔ Supports remote function ✘ Important integrated extensions must first be activated

YouTube Downloader HD

YouTube Downloader HD is a free download manager specifically for YouTube videos.

Features:

  • Saves YouTube and Vimeo HD videos at 720p and 1080p
  • Also converts videos to AVI, AVI HD, FLV, and MP4 file formats (for iOS devices)
  • Download starts when video URLs are copied into the download manager
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Available as a browser and mobile version ✘ May contain adware
✔ Video downloads in HD and 4K ✘ Adware it comes with may be marked as malicious by virus scanners
✔ Easy to use  

Ninja Download Manager (NDM)

Ninja Download Manager is a download manager available in free and pro versions. The software segments downloads into different packages and downloads them at the same time over various connections. This means that you can expect tremendous download speeds, and enjoy the ability to control, pause, resume, or restart download progress yourself.

Features:

  • Custom download management, including concurrent downloads via queues, custom download speeds, and the ability to pause, resume, and restart downloads
  • Shred function for deleting/removing meta data and anonymized downloading
  • Easy to use by copying links to the download manager
  • Integrated media converter for HD video downloads
  • More additional features in the pro version
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Modern, attractive, and clear design ✘ Many functions only available in the paid pro version
✔ Intuitive UI to operate and manage downloading features  
✔ Media converter for streaming video  
✔ For multiple devices simultaneously  

Internet Download Manager (IDM)

Internet Download Manager multiples your download speeds by five and offers flexible, custom download control, as well as a scheduling feature for downloading files at set times. In addition, you can download entire websites or the contents of individual websites and view them offline without any restrictions.

Features:

  • Custom download management with queues for simultaneous downloads and the ability to flexibly start, pause, and resume multiple downloads
  • Practical scheduling of downloads at specified times
  • Download speeds increased fivefold with file segmentation via Smart Download Logic
  • Site grabbing to download and view entire websites or website contents offline
  • Downloaded files are scanned for viruses
  • ZIP preview and download quotas
  • Can be used as a browser extension, separate application, or command line command
  • Supports all popular servers and file hosts
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Five times faster download speed ✘ Only free for 30 days, after which a paid license is necessary
✔ Practical scheduling feature for planned downloads  
✔ Integrated antivirus feature  
✔ Supports VPN, FTP/HTTPS, proxy server, and download quotas  

Google Books Downloader

As the name suggests, the Google Books Downloader is freeware that works specifically as a download manager for Google Books. Depending on the country, the copyright of books is limited to a fixed period (in the United States it is usually 70 years after the author’s death, but this may vary) and expires at the end of the protection period. Once the intellectual property rights have expired, authors’ works enter the public domain and can be made available to the public free of charge. Google also takes advantage of this provision and publishes millions of works in the public domain in its Google Books online collection. The Google Books Downloader makes it easy to download online books as PDFs.

Features:

  • Download online books available on Google Books as PDFs, PNGs, or JPGs for computers, print, or e-book readers
Advantages Disadvantages
✔ Easily download Google Books in PDF, PNG, or JPG formats ✘ Contains adware and preinstalled software that must be disabled during installation
  ✘ No current version available
Tip

Special programs to improve workflow don’t exist only for downloads. File managers can also help you organize your hard disks, storage devices and devices, delete duplicate files and free up disk space.


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