Review: Manage and schedule downloads with Download Accelerator Manager

Got dial-up? This free download manager can help.

Software that promises to speed up your download is almost invariably limited by something it can't effect, namely your Internet connection, and that's the case with Download Accelerator Manager, aka DAM. But DAM does serve as a free, browser-integrated download manager. DAM lets you schedule, pause, and resume multiple downloads, which can be a big help to users who have limited bandwidth or access time, especially when downloading large files such as movies. For instance, you can schedule DAM to download files at night, when local traffic is lighter (or rates lower). To that end, DAM offers features specifically designed to make downloads easier, such as dial-up options. Many folks around the world still access the Web that way, only now they're trying to download broadband-choking files over phone lines, byte by tiny byte. For them, DAM picks up where ordinary browser-integrated download managers leave off.

DAM's setup includes the option to integrate the program with most current browsers. DAM's main points of contact consist of the user interface, which offers an interesting tree view that sorts unfinished and finished downloads by category; the optional Drop Target in the notification area; and a System Tray icon that shows quick counters when you hover the cursor, and a menu of commands and options when you right-click it. It's fairly simple to add or schedule downloads, which starts by pasting or entering the URL of a download target. Files are listed in the main view with column headings such as Time Left, Transfer Rate, and Last Try Date, and the Scheduler appears on the toolbar as well as the options menu. We clicked "Add" to initiate a download, copied and pasted a YouTube URL, selected a destination and category, and added some file info. From there we could schedule or start the download. We could also enter a user name and password for sites requiring authorization.

While DAM did a good job, in general, some of our downloads failed, though that's sometimes the case with scheduled automatic downloads. But for those users squeezing modern media through old-fashioned wires, DAM is darn handy to have around.

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