Buggy downloader

Download Web sites for offline viewing, if you don't crash.

Complete Website Downloader sounds like a useful tool. It promises to download Web sites for offline viewing, which saves you money if you pay for Internet access by the minute. You can also use it to browse Web pages when traveling. Unfortunately, the program doesn't work too well.

The program's interface is plain and fairly intuitive, with large buttons for major features. It all seems simple enough: Select a Web site and click Start. The program downloads all of the files on the site. We weren't quite sure how well this would work with larger Web sites, but we decided to jump right in and download the New York Times. Things were going fine, but then an error message popped up and the program crashed. When we reopened it, the files we'd downloaded could not be found, and we couldn't get the download to resume. Next we tried downloading our own blog, which we can say with authority doesn't have too many entries. The program seemed to get hung up around the 56 percent mark, and once again we couldn't view any of the files that had been downloaded. Attempting our local newspaper's site led to another incomplete download and more crashing. Although the built-in Help file contains some troubleshooting tips, it's not enough to save this program, which seems to be a better idea in theory than in practice.

Complete Website Downloader has a 15-day trial period. It installs desktop icons without asking but uninstalls cleanly. It's more trouble than it's worth.

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