Hack 40. Speed Up File Downloads
Don't wait any longer for slow file downloads. Use this free program to accelerate them, regardless of your connection speed.
No matter how fast your Internet connection is, it's not fast enough. Whether it's a pokey dial-up or a broadband connection, you always have complaints and you always have a greater need for speed.
This is particularly true when you're downloading files, especially large ones. While there might be no way to physically change your connection speed, you can get the free Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) program from SpeedBit (http://www.speedbit.com) to speed up your downloads significantly, whether via FTP or HTTP.
The program accelerates your downloads in two ways. When you start to download a file, DAP does a mirror search of all the servers that carry the same file, identifies the fastest servers closest to you, and then starts downloading from those servers instead of the one you originally chose. It also sets up a multiconnection download, downloading portions of the file from multiple fast servers simultaneously and then reassembling the file when all the pieces are on your PC. This makes the most efficient use of your available bandwidth because normally there are pauses and hesitations when you download, and if you're downloading with multiple connections there will be fewer of those pauses.
The program also resumes broken downloads; if for some reason your connection is broken, it'll pick up where you left off when you next connect to the Internet. Also useful is the zip preview feature that lets you preview the contents of zip-compressed files before you download. And it'll schedule downloads for you as well. For example, you can schedule downloads to take place overnight, when you're away from your computer.
DAP is free, but the free version delivers ads inside the program. For $29.95 you can get a version without the ads that also includes a few minor extras, such as the ability to extract individual files from within .zip archives, instead of extracting the whole archive.