Internet Download Manager or as it popularly known “IDM” is one of the most reputed name in the field of “Download Manager/accelerators”. IDM is developed by Internet Download Manager Corp. which is a subsidiary of Tonec Inc.
Company claims “Internet Download Manager is a tool to download Internet files with comfort and speed. IDM can download several files and file segments simultaneously, pause and resume downloads with a single click, recover broken downloads from unexpected power shutoff or network related problems. Simple graphic user interface makes IDM application user friendly and easy to use.”
IDM can be considered as technically matured due to a long history of development, as per company project on IDM started on 1998.
User can check the change log from IDM Ver. 5.0 (Released: Nov 25, 2005) to latest version 6.22 (Released: Feb 05, 2015) for the developments made in IDM.
Being a shareware IDM is priced at $29.95 per system license and only have 30 days trial period for the user to evaluate before purchasing or uninstalling after the trial period.
IDM also has a family pack license option. User can obtain 3 licenses and more for a special discount price of $19.95 each. Please visit this page:
Trial version of IDM don’t have following features
- Better utilization of bandwidth
- Delete all complete download from list
- Site login feature from IDM
- Built-in logic optimizer
IDM has loads of features which makes it one of the best download managers available in the market.
Salient Features of IDM
- Download Speed Acceleration.
- Dynamic Segmentation
- Resume broken downloads.
- Video grabber.
- Built-in Scheduler.
- Advanced Browser Integration.
- Batch downloads option.
- Automatic Antivirus checking.
- Web site spider and grabber feature.
- Supports many types of proxy servers.
- Drag and Drop feature.
- Login authentication protocols: Basic, Negotiate, NTLM, and Keberos.
Following review is based on evolution of latest version of IDM with following specifications
Version: 6.22 Build 1
Size: 6.07 MB
Release Date: February 9, 2015
* Added support for Windows 10
* Fixed problems with corrupted video files from several types of video services
* Fixed bugs
Latest version of IDM installer is only 6.07MB in size; installation process is very smooth & only takes few seconds.
The main USP of IDM is the claim of increasing download speed by 5 times through optimized file download logic.
How it works?
It works by synchronizing two separate download technology as one, these are “Dynamic segmentation” and “Connection Reuse”.
Dynamic segmentation gives significant download performance improvement.
When new connection becomes available IDM finds the largest segment to download and divide it in half. Thus new connection starts downloading file from the half of the largest file segment. IDM minimizes the time needed for negotiations with servers and keeps all connections busy. When it has finished downloading all file segments, IDM will assemble segments into one file.
Connection Reuse is can be consider as artificial intelligence of IDM.
Once a connection has downloaded a segment and if the next connection has not started to download its segment yet, IDM reassign the segment to the first connection. If the next connection has started to download its segment, first connection helps other slowly working connections by dividing the largest segment in half. IDM won’t divide the segment only when its size is too small for this connection type.
- General Overview
Being a download manager IDM is built for the speed, even after light use user will certainly notice the same. If you go through the change logs of IDM it is pretty clear that developers put great effort to make its browser integration & video downloading features (from web player based sites) nearly perfect. Rolling out regular bug fixes reduce user’s hassle with dynamic nature of internet as well as any concern regarding security.
IDM integrates seamlessly into all modern browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Netscape, AOL, MSN Explorer, Opera, etc. to automatically handle downloads without any hassle.
You don’t need to be advance user to get best out of IDM as Help Contents & Tutorials under Help menu is enough even for rookies to put best foot forward while downloading contents from web.
- User interface
IDM has very simple but effective graphic user interface which makes it very user friendly. User can easily customize the interface and even look for new toolbar design form developer’s site.
From the screen shot above we can break UI into four parts.
2(a). Menu Bar
Menu bar consist six menus Tasks, File, Downloads, View, Help, Registration with drop-down menus for lots of functionality and customization. Through these you can manage more or less everything related to download something for Web.
2(b). Download Control Buttons
Toolbar is also called download control buttons these includes Add URL, Start/Resume, Stop, Stop All, Delete, Delete All Completed, Options, Scheduler, Start Queue, Stop Queue, Tell A Friend are located below menu bar.
All these buttons (except “Tell A Friend”) are very useful for managing your downloads, through “Tell A Friend” button you can inform someone about IDM, although in my case it just open a new browser window for me.
In the left side of the main window contains download categories segment. IDM has several predefined categories like Music, Video, Programs, Documents, etc. You can delete, edit or add your own categories. If you don’t need them you can simply close categories window.
2(d). Main Window
The main window shows a list of downloaded files. This list includes additional information about downloaded files like file size, download status, estimated time to complete, current download speed, download description, date added, save to and referrer. User can easily add or remove these columns as per their need.
- Downloading with IDM
There are several ways of download (commonly known as Download Modes) to start downloads like a pro with Internet Download Manager.
3(a). Automatic Mode:
This is the basic mode of download for most users. In this mode user don’t need to do anything except clicking the download link in the web page, IDM will immediately check if the file type matches with editable list mentioned in automatically downloadable file types,
If user clicks yes it will show following dialog
Before starting download user can change download location and write description about the file to be downloaded.
“Start Download” will immediately start download of the file, “Download Later” will put the file in list of downloads but won’t start download, if you want you can cancel the download too.
IDM also let you check the preview of .zip files even before downloading
IDM will take over any download if you hold down the CTRL key while clicking its download link in Internet Explorer. (You should check “Use CTRL key with IE click monitoring” box in “IDM Options->General”).
If you hold down the ALT key while clicking on a download link in IE, IDM will not take over the download and let Internet Explorer download the file. (You should check “Use ALT key with IE click monitoring” box in “IDM Options->General”)
If you don’t want IDM to take over any downloads from a browser, turn off the browser integration in IDM options. After turning off or on the browser integration in “IDM Options->General”, don’t forget to restart the browser.
3(b). Manual Downloads through web addresses
User can start downloads using URLs having direct link to any file available in web.
User just need to click “Add URL” Control button and paste the link in dialog box
If you click on OK button, Download File Info dialog will open. Then use can decide on the same.
Batch download is another great feature of IDM, by using it user can download multiple files with same extension having sequential file name from a web page.
3(c). Using Right click to download from Web Page
Sometimes user may need to download multiple files with different extensions from single web page. Here the “Advance Browser integration” feature come into action.
User can choose single or multiple options from four context menus through IDM configuration setting.
If user use “Download all links with IDM” function IDM will prompt a dialog which shows all links available for download with options like “Use link texts as download description”, “Hide HTML files”, “Hide images located on this web” and “Hide repeated files”. User can also select download location for each file. When user clicked “OK” after finished selecting files, IDM will add all selected file links to main window and start downloading in queue listing.
3(d). Downloading through Clipboard links
IDM can also monitors system clipboard for URLs with extension types mentioned in IDM configuration’s “File Type” Tab. When such web address is being copied to the clipboard, IDM will prompt a dialog to start Download.
3(e). Drag & Drop feature
IDM also has an inbuilt drag and drop feature where user can drag a link from web page and drop in basket which will immediately put it on queue for download.
The basket looks like following and can be activated through Tasks-> Show drop target.
3(f). Downloading through Command Line
IDM also give user option to start downloads through command line parameters.
Following parameters are available to manage downloading through IDM
idman /d URL [/p local_path] [/f local_file_name] [/q] [/h] [/n] [/a].
For more information check help segment of IDM.
3(g). Text files Import downloading
Use can create a list of links in a text file and use it as input through “Import-> from text file option under tasks menu.
- IDM Site Grabber
IDM’s site grabber is another great tool for any user who wants to download specific set of files from a web site or download mirror of whole website for offline browsing. Although function can hog user’s bandwidth if not used carefully, I know someone who tried to mirror whole Wikipedia for offline browsing through IDM grabber.
Site grabber comes with easy four step wizard containing pre-defined project templates like “download all pictures from website” or “all audio files from website”, it makes user’s work much easier.
User can also add more filters through “Add Filter” on Step 4.
After creating a project grabber start exploring the site on the basis of parameters mentioned on the project (it might take time depending on the size of the website).
User can select all or only select necessary files in the grabber dialog and start download from toolbar button.
The toolbar has the following buttons: “Start Exploring “, “Stop Exploring”, “Check All Files”, “Uncheck All Files”, “Start Downloading the checked files”, “Stop Downloading the checked files”, “Add checked files to the main IDM list and to the download queue”, and “Show Grabber Statistics”.
User can save any project for future which will appear in categories under “Grabber Projects” tree.
It’s possible to run multiple grabber projects once at a specified time, stop them at a specified time, or run periodically to synchronize changes.
User can rename, edit or delete any saved project anytime in future.
For complete instructions on Grabber check following link
- Downloading Videos from Web
This is probably one of the most sought after feature for any video junkies through which enable them to download videos from almost all popular web player based video sharing sites.
When user open a web page having video embedded in it and played through any web player a “Download this video” popup appear on the corner of web player. User can check the description from drop-down for suitable download on the basis of video quality, clicking the same will open a dialog box. User then can start download immediately or defer it by clicking “Download later”.
User can also use right click option directly on web page and select “Download FLV content with IDM” to start download.
User can customize web player related contents easily through Options-> General-> Click “Edit” for “Customize IDM download panels in browser”, it will open following dialog with two tabs.
- Downloading from File Hosting Sites.
User can customize IDM to download from several file-hosting sites; following is the list of some such sites
|FilePost.com (Premium only)||Rapidgator.net (Premium only)|
|DepositFiles (Premium only)||Uploaded.net (Premium only)|
|FileFactory (Premium only)||Netload.in (Premium only)|
The settings vary from site to site depending upon sharing criteria of the site.
For individual settings details on the same kindly check following link
Note: Old versions before 6.09 build 3 have a bug with processing of cookies and may not work with sharing sites. So make sure that you have installed the latest version of IDM.
- Schedule Your Downloads
To make life easier IDM has an inbuilt scheduling option. It help user to schedule any download at a particular time, which is very helpful when user have tight web surfing schedule.
The scheduler dialog opened when user click on Scheduler button, or through “Downloads->Scheduler” main menu item, or “Create new queue” menu items from queue context menu in the list of queues in “Categories” window.
User must select “One-time downloading” radio button to assign a download queue.
When IDM is processing a synchronization queue, IDM checks if the files in the queue have been changed on the server, and if the file in server changed, it will download new files and replace old with new ones. All files will stay in the queue after synchronization. User should select “Periodic synchronization” radio button to assign a synchronization queue. You can change between synchronization and download queues only for custom additional queues.
There are sites that don’t allow opening more than one connection from one computer. If you want to download several files from such site, you should create a separate queue for this site and set “Download” 1 “file at the same time” on this tab. Also you should add such sites to the list of exceptions in IDM “Options->Connection” tab with 1 connection to always download one file using only one connection.
- Customizing IDM Settings
IDM provide huge range of customization which help user to manage any downloading activities from internet. User can access these either through “OPTIONS” control button or Menu bar (Download->Options).
Options Dialog box provide user nine customizing options of IDM through nine Tabs.
These are following
The primary content of this tab revolves around IDM Browser integration and customization of the same for the efficiency of user.
8(b). File Types
Here user can specify types of file extensions to be monitor by IDM which surfing through any website. User can add number of extensions which are not available by default. User can also specify website names which IDM will not monitor for download activities.
8(c). Save To
Here user can define “Save To” directory any six pre-defined categories or can add more directories as required. User can change default download location for General category as well as change temporary download directory.
This tab gives user a few more download customization option but the most important feature on this tab is automation of virus checking option immediately after any file being downloaded. Virus check will be performed only local antivirus platform installed in user’s system. It can be activated either by assigning virus scanner directly from program Files folder in system drive or through “Command line parameter”.
Sometimes Internet server changes file modification time with every download request. In such case IDM will start downloads from start, to avoid it user need to check “Ignore file modification time changes when resuming a download” box.
In this tab user can specify speed of their internet to IDM as well as “Max connection Number”. It also has a feature to limit your total download in megabytes in hour’s intervals, which help users with low bandwidth cap to keep a tab on their downloads.
This tab help user to configure Proxy/Socks server to connect IDM through these only or can specify web addresses where proxy servers not to be use by IDM.
Users can also proxy setting directly from browser through “Get from IE” button.
If “Use FTP in PASV” ticked then IDM will use passive mode of FTP protocol
This feature is very suitable for users concerned about their privacy and who use proxy often.
8(g). Site Logins
User can save authorization details in this tab to reduce the hustle of putting authorization login and password to download files from sites require authorization, IDM will recognize these site and automatically fill authorization details every time.
8(h). Dial Up/ VPN
User can configure Dial up/VPN settings also modify redial options through this tab.
User can activate sound alert either system defaults of custom for IDM events.
During the evaluation I found that IDM really reduce my pains to download from various websites, and there was certainly noticeable increase in download speed in comparison to downloading through browser only. The best feature of IDM is its ability to utilize most out of any bandwidth. Due to its automated features user mostly need to click just once to start desired download, for advance users it provides a whole lot of customization options to suit anyone’s need. The only con I can think related to operational capability is unavailability of torrent file download option, although developers says that they might include this feature in future upgrades.
On the basis of working on latest version of IDM, I can conclude that IDM deserve to be on the upmost slot when it comes to compare among download managers available in the market today. Overall it is a top notch download manager with solid performance.
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