FlashGet: So many downloads, so little time

Being able to download data from the Internet is one of the most vital elements of our daily online experience. Whether if it’s about the latest drivers, a proper codec, an office software or even digital purchases which require large downloads, our progress in this matter is dictated by our download speed. Regardless of how much in a hurry we are or how beefy our computer is, there’s not much we can do when it comes to download speeds. Or is there?!

Luckily enough, there is indeed a solution to this problem and it comes, ironically, in the form of a downloadable program, designed to boost our download speeds thus saving us precious time. Such is the case with FlashGet, a program built with the sole purpose of providing an alternative to your regular download manager. FlashGet boasts with a 6 to 10 times download speed increase as a result of the segmented file downloading technology and the brand new P4S technique. Furthermore, FlashGet supports HTTP, BT, FTP and eMule protocols altogether.

FlashGet Main

Installation & Requirements

To sum this up nicely, the installation process for FlashGet is like a walk in the park, only that it takes a lot less time to install FlashGet than to complete your tour, and just as with the walking, FlashGet is as free as it can be. The good news don’t stop here as we benefit from a relatively clean, adware free setup which will let us decide whether we’d like FlashGet to run automatically at Windows start-up or promote it as our new default download manager. Note that although there is no adware involved in the installation process, FlashGet will attempt to make changes to your homepage settings.

Sadly, FlashGet is available only for the Windows platform, supporting Windows 9x/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7/NT.

Interface

Without a doubt there are a lot of programs similar to FlashGet which, interestingly enough boast with pretty much the same thing as our software in question. That being said, one of the main categories where these download manager programs can prove that they indeed possess a unique identity is the user interface. FlashGet was designed in that manner and gives us effortless access to all of its functions through a nice and clear looking interface.

So what does FlashGet has to offer that might differentiate it from the rest of the pack? For starters, FLashGet puts a small square-like icon on your screen which is set to stay on top of any other windows that might happen to get in the way. The purpose of this square-shaped icon is to give you the possibility to drag-and-drop pretty much anything you might want to download from a website.

Other than that we get a neat looking user interface which, unfortunately does not offer any sense of customization whatsoever, except for the use of skins which will only change nothing more than the background image, not to mention that figuring out how to install these skins as a first time user is genuinely difficult.

Another small black-spot regarding the user interface is that it doesn’t offer much of a choice when it comes to languages and you won’t be pleased unless you are able to understand either English or Chinese.

Pros

– Nice looking and user-friendly interface
– Significant increase in download speeds
– Free for use
– The relatively unique drag-and-drop feature
– Fast, low on resources

Cons

– The installation process will attempt to make modifications to your homepage settings
– Not much of a language support
– The user interface is lightly customizable but it’s not a user friendly process

Alternatives

We obviously made clear the fact that there are quite a few similar programs out there that offer more or less than what you’d get from FlashGet, most of them being free and all, so let’s have a look at a couple of similar programs.

DownThemAll is a small but rather ingenious download manager which comes in the form of a Mozilla Firefox extension. Being an exclusive add-on for an internet browser labels DownThemAll as a “mixed bag” simply because it will only work hand in hand with Mozilla Firefox, but on the other side of the coin you will be able to use this particular download manager with any operating system compatible with Mozilla Firefox.

Free Download Manager can easily be another FlashGet alternative, and what you get from FDM is very similar to the FlashGet package, except the user interface doesn’t look so fancy, nor will you get a drag-and-drop “square”.

Conclusion

Overall, FlashGet has its ups and downs, its hard points as well as its missing features but these are traits which surround pretty much any other program from this niche. Even if FlashGet can’t “speak” more than two languages, the increased download speed, pleasant looking interface and the awesome drag-and-drop support will definitely make your time spent on downloading data more enjoyable and significantly shorter.