I am going to start a new feature for jkOnTheRun called Freeware of the Moment (OK, I am fickle) and from time to time I will post a short item on a free utility or program that I feel is worth far more than the price. The first program is Star Downloader (SD), a download accelerator that I have become hooked on quite unexpectedly. I have tried a lot of accelerators, free and otherwise, but they have a tendency to sneak spyware onto your system. Star Downloader does not do that and it is a magnificent accelerator. You have complete control over how you want it to work and where you want your downloaded files to go. Screenshot after the jump.
Star Downloader works by integrating into your browser (there is a Firefox add-in too) so that when you click on a link to download a file Star Downloader intercepts it, splits the download up into four or so separate streams (user definable), and then downloads the file in pieces simultaneously. This maximizes the download throughput and you will be amazed how fast SD grabs even huge files. Small files benefit from this technique too. There is a Pro version you can pay $20 for but there is nothing missing from the free version that I need. The free version is very complete and since installing it a few weeks back I have seen every single download come in with maximized throughput. Have a look at it and see if it will work for you.