Aktiv Download Manager from Goforsharing is a free tool that enhances Windows' downloading capabilities. It can schedule and manage up to 99 simultaneous downloads, pause and resume downloads in a variety of connection types, accelerate downloads, segment files, and automatically search for additional and faster downloads.
Aktiv Download Manager's businesslike interface is divided into two panes, Current Downloads and Finished Files. A suite of control icons lets users add and delete URLs for download sites, reset the list, pause and resume downloads, and quit the program. An Options button initiates a properties dialog for setting general preferences such as destination folders, specifying connection segments and proxy settings, scheduling downloads, and choosing English, French, or Spanish language versions. We verified that the program's browser integration option was selected on the General tab of the Options dialog, closed the program, opened Internet Explorer, browsed to a download, and right-clicked the link. The file menu displayed an option to download the link with Aktiv; we clicked it, and a dialog appeared displaying the download progress and related data. Next we tried downloading three applications at the same time. We thought something had gone wrong, but in fact Aktiv Download Manager had downloaded all three so fast that we hadn't had time to notice. Clicking Open File on a finished download opened it directly from the Aktiv interface, and right-clicking an entry opened its details dialog. Right-clicking the program's system tray icon let us quickly pause and resume downloads as well as access the program's main interface.
As luck would have it, a rare hitch in our broadband connection let us test Aktiv Download Manager's pause and resume feature under real conditions, and it performed as claimed. We were a little disappointed that the program doesn't seem to integrate with Firefox as it does with IE. Nevertheless, it's a free download manager that's well worth checking out.