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First Look: Speed Download 5, download manager

updated 01:30 pm EST, Sat February 16, 2008

First Look: Speed Download

Nothing is more frustrating than finding a file on the Internet and then having trouble downloading it to your computer. Sometimes downloading slows to a crawl and other times a web server may be down, forcing you to return repeatedly to a web site to download a file again. Fortunately, Speed Download 5 overcomes these problems by offering multiple file transferring features in an easy to use interface.

The main focus of Speed Download 5 is its upload/download capabilities. First, the program optimizes file transfers no matter what type of Internet connection you may have. Whether you use dial-up access, a cable or DSL modem, or a T1 line, Speed Download 5 can speed up your upload/download time. Of course, the program can't make a cable modem or dial-up line run faster than its physical capabilities, but Speed Download 5 can make your Internet connection as efficient as possible. As a general rule, the faster your Internet connection, the greater the speed difference. Dial-up access users may notice a slight speed increase while cable or DSL modem users will notice a substantially larger speed increase.

Second, transferring a large file can be especially frustrating if your Internet connection gets cut off and you have to start transferring a file all over again. To prevent this problem, Speed Download 5 offers an auto-resume feature that starts the file transfer at the point where you got cut off. Now if you download 98 percent of a file, you can just finish downloading the remaining 2 percent rather than starting from scratch.

Transferring a particularly large file can take an hour or more. If you'd rather not wait for a file transfer to finish, Speed Download 5 offers a scheduler that lets you specify the file you want to transfer, the location to find the file and where to store the file, and the day and time to start the file transfer. Now you can schedule a file transfer to start in the middle of the night while you're asleep and Speed Download 5 can have the file transfer complete when you wake up the next morning. If anything happens during this file transfer, the program kicks its auto-resume feature into action and keeps trying to transfer your file until it finally succeeds.

If you want to share files with other Speed Download 5 users, the program lets you connect directly with another user and share files using encryption. Such encryption protects your privacy so nobody else can see what type of files you're passing back and forth.

In case you need to transfer files regularly, such as updating a web site, Speed Download 5 also acts as a full featured FTP client. The program can import FTP bookmarks from other programs and remember passwords to give you one-click access to your favorite FTP sites for transferring files. For .Mac subscribers, Speed Download 5 can connect to your iDisk as well.

For anyone who must transfer files regularly, Speed Download 5 can make your life a whole lot easier. The program integrates with all popular browsers including Safari, Firefox, and Camino and offers a free 21 day trial version. For $25, you may find Speed Download 5 a handy utility that you'll come to rely on.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I've used Speed Download in the past and have been extremely pleased with it but this latest version is absolutely gorgeous and smooth. Well done guys.

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969



    if you got speed download thru macheist, just be aware that speed download 5 is not a free upgrade. i just got v4 a few weeks ago thru macheist and thought incorrectly that v5 would be a free upgrade since it was just 2-3 weeks ago. guess not.

    they do offer a cheaper $15 upgrade though but i probably won't be doing it.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Is this really a problem.

    if you have broadband?

    Really, I can't remember the last time I had a download interrupted.

    I'll pass.

  1. russellb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I agree , with modern broadband I can't remember the last incomplete or interrupted download.

    As to speed .... the only files that I know of that are slow to download are those files you should not be downloading or sharing in the first place.

    Most legit files from the majority of sites download very fast.... Hey I can download a full itunes movie in 15min

    I'll pass too


    Joined: Dec 1969


    FTP !!!!

    I love Speed Download. Not only does it speed up your downloads but it offers FTP access to your web hosting. So now I use it for updating my webpages instead of having to have 2 apps running. It's truly a brilliant app. Don't over look this guys please give it a test drive!!

  1. G2G2

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The old floater is gone and the new one isn't so nice. A minor annoyance but still, when you have something that works, don't s**** with it.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very Bad

    This piece of dirt was downloaded by old program.

    Now it will not work with my recently purchased key.

    Both are now in the dumpster. What a dumb company.

    Must be Microtards.

  1. jarod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To starwarrior

    It would help to read a little. When I saw the update window, it said it right there that this was a paid (non-free) version. Mind you, it's an optional upgrade and the previous version is still supported. Just head on over to their website and get all the info.

  1. hdfonts

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Miss the floater

    I agree that the new floater isn't as nice, but Speed Download, even with a broadband connection, has been so useful. After I have several downloads in the cue, I can then quit Safari. The FTP functions are also very useful.

  1. Ixion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It can be useful...

    The FTP bit aside, SpeedDownload can still come in handy. It's usually when I'm using my Macbook on free, albeit crappy and saturated, wireless signals in coffee shops and remote locales on campus when I find the need for it. Not to mention when I tether my cell phone to my mac, I can't always get the best signal through Sprint.

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