Review of Free Download Manager

I found Free Download Manager (FDM) to be faster than the built-in Java-based download manager when downloading VMware product. It also has the MD5 check built-in. To me, this is now a better and faster way to download VMware products from www.vmware.com/download.

I used it as recently some products cannot be downloaded by the built-in download manager. I got the following error.

DLM java issue

I checked the reason, and found that it’s a known issue here.

Issue

So I fell back to the single-thread download. But after 24 hours and different browsers, it was not able to download.

2 Mozilla failed in normal download

Speed of download is low

I guess when a problem came, it could actually be an opportunity to learn something, and experience something better. I would not have learned about this great FDM if not for the issue I encountered.

You can use the full or Lite version. Both are free. I use the Lite as I do not need the rest.

Download this one

The UI is pretty easy. You can see each download. I only have 1 on the following screen as I was testing it first.

Free DM 1

I wrote earlier that it’s faster. Look at the screenshot below. Now that’s MUCH faster than the 125 KB/s I got from the single-thread download. You can see it’s opening multiple threads

Free DM 2

You can drill deeper to see the actual threads. I’m surprised to see it actually opened 14 threads!

21 Free DM opens 14 sessions

You can control the settings if you are concerned about bandwidth. It has a lot of settings!

30 settings

One thing I like is the built-in file integrity check. It will do it automatically once download completed, but you need to specify it manually.

Manual check if you forgot

Here is where you set it.

MD5 Sum check

After I validated that the download was correct, I tried the multiple download. You can see below it’s downloading 2 products.

multiple

If you see an error message on the access denied in a few of your threads, you can ignore it. I’m not sure why, but it did not impact the result. I specified the User ID and password in FDM, although I don’t know if it’s required.

wrong passowrd

Overall, I’d give 5/5. Very pleased with it.

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