Unstable download manager

Expect neither speed nor reliability from this download management tool.

Software that claims to boost the speed of your downloads invariably seems to disappoint, and Download Direct is no exception. The interface is straightforward and the program offers a number of customizable settings, but in our download tests, the application did not meet expectations.

When targeting the manufacturer's Web site, Download Direct performed admirably, pulling down a 3MB file in 22 seconds. But when we tried to download a 41MB MP3, the application slowed to a painful 2.2 KBps, even using the application's fastest setting. We were able to download the same file using Firefox's built-in utility in a few minutes at speeds hovering around 125 KBps. The application does provide a number of helpful options for managing and integrating downloads, although these two do not always work as expected. You can add multiple downloads at once and schedule each one; customize various interface settings, such as window position and dialog display; and choose a default download folder as well as make a list of favorite folders. The integration with the Windows Clipboard works well, with Clipboard contents automatically populating the target URL for new downloads. The browser integration works less well. Clicking on a test link for the maker's Web site sent the download command to Download Direct, but the same failed to occur with links on other sites.

Overall, we found Download Direct to be unstable as well. Running more than one download at a time consistently caused the program to crash. Users looking for a reliable download management tool would do better elsewhere.

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