Lightning-fast downloader

Speed up your downloads with this drag-and-droppable tool.

Light Downloader is a free download manager that claims to speed up downloads by 600 percent or more by splitting target files into several parts that it downloads separately and simultaneously. It can schedule downloads, automatically resume interrupted downloads, support proxy connections, and do the things similar free tools can do. What sets it apart is its easy drag-and-drop capability.

Light Downloader's three-panel interface has a familiar view, with a left-hand navigation panel and a main view divided horizontally into a listing of downloads above a log display. The tabbed navigation panel accesses Downloads, which is the primary view, and the Scheduler feature. Toolbar icons quickly toggled between network access modes: Heavy, which hogs the connection for maximum download speed; Medium, for general browsing while downloading; and Light, which takes longest but has the least impact on the network. We were intrigued by the Drop Box, a translucent system tray icon that lets you drag-and-drop stuff from your browser directly into the program and that can be dragged around itself. Clicking it also wakes the program and gives access to settings and options from the system tray. We decided to test Light Downloader's drag-and-drop download capability with a variety of files. We browsed to some freeware, grabbed the download link with our cursor, and dragged in into Light Downloader's interface. We selected our options and destination folder in a pop-up settings dialog and started the download, which finished quick as lightning. Next we dragged and dropped a link to an audio clip of a pulsar, a kind of star; it played perfectly when we clicked Launch File. We also tried videos, images, and Web pages, both parts and whole pages. In each case, Light Downloader automatically identified and categorized each download by type. Filters let us quickly find specific downloads in the queue, too.

We were impressed with Light Downloader's capacity to actually make downloading easier while still preserving powerful options and scheduling capabilities. Downloads were noticeably faster, even with broadband, and we really like Light Downloader's drag-and-drop capability, too.

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