Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real men dont use browsers to download

Thats a little joke i have. What that means is that I, as an experienced PC user, see noobs use the browser's "save as" feature to download files. I dont do that because it has drawbacks. I use download managers or at least browser add ons.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way condoning piracy. Use this to download legal files only.

I'll divide this into 2 parts, HTTP downloads and file sharing downloads. Torrent and other P2P stuff isnt included here, its a different subject.



1. HTTP/FTP

HTTP downloads means the regular download when you go to a website and download something. FTP is similar. It looks like this


I blurred out some options because you wont see them unless you install a download manager. Just concentrate on the "Save File" option.

pros:
* no additional software needed
* simple and easy to use

cons
* No acceleration. Its usually faster slower
* No resume. You can pause and resume, even after turning off your PC
* No queing of downloads
* No limiting speed of downloads
* Download list isnt saved. If your PC hangs, you can resume later.

For HTTP and FTP downloads, use a download accelerator or download manager. This will take care of all the cons stated above. There are also other useful features like right clicking on a website and downloading all the files or jpegs linked. I use either Orbit or download them all.


2. File sharing

We all know what this is so I'll get to the point. Some of these are crippleware. I mean that you can use it for free but there are disabled features. Its not really a software but a website so crippleware is not 100% accurate.

For example if you dont buy the premium version, there can be limitations like:

* No download managers allowed. You have to use the "save as" mentioned above. This may be slower than using a download manager.
* No resume.
* No queing
* Only 1 download per IP address at a time, with some other limit like a max number of files per hour or a time delay in between downloads.

Regarding that IP address thing, If your ISP has a dynamic IP, you can do this

clean up IE or netscape cookie( In this case the one that belong to rapidshare website)
On Command prompt
type -----> ipconfig /flushdns <---Enter
type -----> ipconfig /release <---Enter
type -----> ipconfig /renew <---Enter
type -----> exit <--------Enter

Or save these commands in a bat file and run it everytime you need to fool Rapidshare server.Remember to clean up rapidshare cookie in your temp Internet files folder.

Again, this does not work if your ISP has a static IP like PLDT DSL. Its even worse if your ISP has a shared IP like the many smart bros because you may be competing with hundreds of users for that one slot to dowload.

Ok this is what I do

* Do not use file sharing websites with so many restrictions, use the free ones with few restrictions. This may not be practical all of the time.
* Use a file sharing download manager like jdownloader. It doesnt go around the restrictions but at least its automated. Just set it and it will keep trying while you sleep. When you wake up, its already downloaded. But it does not take care of Captchas Sometimes you need human intervention for the captchas but sometimes the program can go around it. This is useful for ISP's with shared IP addresses. The program merely keeps bugging the server every few minutes. If there are a few seconds where by chance no one on your share IP is donwloading, it can grab that chance.
* Go around it. Use services like rapidleech servers like rapid8 or www.leechking.com. This acts like a seedbox for torrents. They download the file for you with a high speed net connection onto their server and you can use HTTP with a download manager to download the file from them. This might be complicated to use.
update: these are sometimes called premium link generators. The problem with websites like these is that they can sprout and disappear quickly and they have limited bandwidth or they limit you to donwloading only a few files per day.
* Worst case scenario is to use skipscreen. Its semi automated. Set it, do something else and when the timer is up, you get the usual "save file" dialog box. But you gotta be awake to click on the button.
* Dont use file sharing sites, use p2p or torrent

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