I remember back in the era of dial up, where downloading a file in two days was good going, that to get the best performance out of your connection would be to use a download manager. I remember using GetRight for Windows, which always helped speed up any download. Now most of the Internet has moved to either cable, fiber optic or ADSL, the use of download managers has changed from speeding up your connection, to managing the download process, even going so far to slow it down. Today’s app review is going to be Folx, a fully fledged download manager for the mac that can handle all of you downloads. As a bonus, I also have a discount code to get 20% off.
The app interface will be familiar to any one who has used any Mac app used for downloading files, you have your files currently being downloaded on the right of the app, each showing various different bits of information. On the left is your group and tagging options for organising the files you download. Since the Internet connections are getting faster, I have found I download more files. Having an organisation system like the one in Folx is very useful.
There are a plethora of settings within the app, many which I will skip over. One of the main features is tagging and sorting the files you download. It will automatically download movies, in to the movie folder it creates. You can also tag files so you can quickly find them later.
One of the other features, which I don’t see many other places is the ability to manage the download speed of a file. I find sometimes in Firefox, it will try and download the file as fast as possible, normally not a problem, however if you want to slow the download speed down so you have some more bandwidth available to other apps, this can be a problem. Folx has a manual and automatic download option which allows you to adjust the download speed to suit you needs. Very useful.
The Extra Features
Folx also has the ability to pause, resume and schedule files to download. If you have a limited connection, or find the best time to download a file is in the dead of night, you can use the settings within the app to only download when you want to. The ordering of the files also means you can control how many to download. If you have a hundred files to download, you can tell the app to download only 5 at a time. It means you don’t have many downloads running at a stupidly slow speed.
One minor feature is the ability to split files into threads, so it starts the download from a certain point within the file and builds the file as you go. I have yet to find the purpose of this feature as most downloads saturate a connection, removing the needs for the speed increase associated with splitting the file into threads.
You can also rename files before you download them. No longer will you have to suffer the pain of downloading a file and having to remember what the contents where from a truncated and shortened name. This may only be a minor feature, but one I really like.
Torrents are one of the more popular methods to download files. What ever the use of torrents, having a good download manager is paramount to manging the download process so some torrents can get quite large. The built in torrent facility of Folx works really well. It integrates with normal download process so you can mix and match downloads, and apply the tagging and other download processes easily. From my small test, torrents download just as fast as any other files and you can find the majority of the features present in other torrent managers.
Overall Folx is a really good app. It downloads files as fast as any other app, with the added features built into the app it has taken over as my main download manager. One quick tip, if you have an existing manager installed, such as a plugin to Firefox, disable it before you use this app. Otherwise Folx will not be able to pick up the download. The app installs a small plugin to your browsers, so you get a good integration with your existing setup.
The app costs $19.95, which is a reasonable price for such an app. There is a free trial which you can try to test the waters. If you want a discount on the app you can use the coupon/code MTAT-20 on the purchase page. This will get you 20% off. It can also be used on SyncMate, reviewed previously.
Try this app out, and tell me what you think using the comment form.