Google Chrome currently by far the leader in internet browsers, taking up over half of the global market share. This success is due to its extensive features and generous customization. Despite its benefits, Google Chrome doesn’t do particularly well with download management.
Luckily, there are plenty of Chrome extensions for download management that will do the trick. Here is the list of the most popular and valuable download managers you can use with Chrome.
Free Download Manager
Free Download Manager (FDM) is considered one of the most popular managers due to its simplicity. This is an extension of the official FDM program for Windows, Mac, and Linux, allowing seamless integration with Chrome. Effectively, the extension will route your Chrome downloads into the FDM app and let the app take over the management for more control.
At its core, FDM adjusts traffic usage and streamlines downloads to alleviate bottlenecks and prevent breaking.
One of the most common requirements a download manager needs to satisfy is handling large file downloads. The base Chrome (without any extensions) can often cancel downloading large files from even a momentary lapse in the internet connection. FDM splits up large files into chunks and downloads them via peer-to-peer networks and simultaneous threads.
The effect is twofold. First, if a download server has a maximum bandwidth capacity for downloads, the file will be downloaded faster since it’s working with multiple instances of the download thread. Secondly, FDM caches progress and allows users to pause or stop downloads and resume them at a later date.
When downloading multiple files, users can assign priorities so their bandwidth is primarily allocated to files they need most urgently. For example, if you’re downloading a TV show, you can prioritize early episodes so they’re available first and watch them while the rest download in the background. Downloads can also be scheduled so they don’t interfere with other activities.
FDM is compatible with the BitTorrent protocol and works for HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols for downloading.
Apart from being a download manager, FDM can also sort incoming downloaded files by type or category, something that Chrome doesn’t allow users to do.
Finally, FDM is supported in 24 languages, including English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, French, and more.
As its name might imply, FDM is one of the few download managers that doesn’t have a Premium or a paid offer.
Internet Download Manager
Internet Download Manager comes out with a bold claim of speeding up your downloads by up to five times. At its core, IDM offers similar features to other popular download managers, such as pausing and resuming downloads of large files.
However, one of its standout features that support its speed increase claim is intelligent dynamic file segmentation.
The dynamic file segmentation means that a file is split up into multiple pieces for a faster multi-threaded download. Unlike traditional file segmentation, however, IDM continuously rechecks the status of segments and reallocates them to idling threads so their progress can be expedited. This means that if a new connection to the download server becomes available during the download, IDM can use it to create a new download thread and effectively increase throughput.
IDM has a simple interface, and comes in a Light and Dark theme to better work around your aesthetic requirements.
With the extension, IDM replaces your traditional Chrome downloads with its more comprehensive system, allowing you to save and categorize downloads as soon as they start.
IDM works on all major browsers and operating systems, allowing you to synchronize your downloads across browsers if you use them for separate purposes. It’s also relatively inexpensive and offers a trial period to test out all its features.
Ninja Download Manager
Ninja Download Manager, or NDM, claims to increase speeds by up to 20 times through its segmentation and thread parallelism.
NDM is a relatively simple download manager on the surface. It has an intuitive user interface, which makes it straightforward to use.
Its features don’t stand out much from what the best download managers have to offer. It has all the features you’d expect, such as download pausing, stopping, and resuming, as well as queueing multiple downloads.
NDM’s scheduler is simple to set up, and its segmentation focuses on write sequencing, meaning that it works with large audio and video files well. The sequential writing means that a sufficiently fast internet speed allows you to start watching a movie while you’re downloading it, since the latter segments of the video file will be loaded by the time you get to them.
NDM also has a password management feature, which is relatively uncommon to find in download managers, but can come in handy.
Overall, NDM doesn’t really have many standout features, but what it does do it does well, with a focus on simplicity and ease of use. It offers a customizable payment plan and can be installed on multiple devices with one account for better synchronization.
Download Accelerator Plus
Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) works seamlessly with the browser and adds avant-garde downloading capacities. Similar to other entries on the list, the Chrome extension will forward download requests to the official app for more control, so you need to have both installed for the system to function.
DAP has similar features to many other download managers when it comes to standard download management, such as pausing, stopping, resuming, and segmenting the downloads.
One of the standout features of DAP is its focus on video content. It works seamlessly with video and sound files, and also allows users to convert video from various platforms to a standardized MP3 format. Its file and segment sequencing also allows you to preview and watch videos you’re downloading (provided you have a sufficient download bandwidth).
Thanks to its streamlined design and focus on doing one thing well (video and music content previews and conversion), DAP has quickly managed to become popular for these purposes.
DAP is available in 48 languages, with translation for more languages in development.
Chrono Download Manager
Unlike other download manager extensions, Chrono exclusively focuses on bringing you the best Chrome experience. As a Chrome extension first and foremost, it does all of its work inside the browser. You don’t need to download a separate app to route all downloads.
Chrono has standard download management features like better control over pausing and continuing downloads. Additionally, Chrono works wonderfully with batching downloads and detecting images and links from pages you’re browsing. This allows you to quickly download all the information on the page in separate files and make them easier to process when needed.
While Chrono lacks a lot of the nuanced approaches of fully-fledged download management apps, it’s a great extension when you need to improve your downloads without going through different programs. It has a simple UI with straightforward download instructions, and generates file names from their URL for better readability.
If Chrono can’t download a file, it can fall back to Chrome’s regular services, or you can use a dedicated downloader for more control. However, as a free extension, it does a lot of the heavy lifting for a fraction of the effort.
You can find Chrono by following its official extension link.
Ant Download Manager
Ant Download Manager (or AntDM) rounds out our list of top Chrome extensions as a fully-functional Windows app with a seamless Chrome integration.
AntDM blends a simplistic user interface with a range of useful features that work behind the screen to streamline and speed up downloads and make everyday browsing more enjoyable.
Apart from standard download management (pausing and resuming), AntDM also uses multithreading to speed up downloads from limited-bandwidth servers. It allows you to schedule and limit downloads when needed for less interruptions while you’re working. It is also compatible with the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol, making it useful for torrent downloads, apart from the standard HTTP, HTTPS, and FTPS protocols.
The Chrome extension can automatically capture download links and forward them to the main app.
AntDM can also extract audio content from videos and convert it into MP3 files, but only with a paid license. Luckily, there is a 30-day trial so you can test out if you like AntDM’s features before committing to a purchase.
Extend Your Download Capabilities
While Google Chrome doesn’t offer much in terms of download management, one of the apps and extensions mentioned above should provide the help you need to streamline your work or hobbies.
What features do you look for in your download manager software? Do you have another popular download manager to recommend? Let us know in the comment section below.