Its pretty easy to notice that internet speeds could more than double at night or during the early hours. This is because these are off-peak hours so there is less load (users) on most service providers networks. Apart from better speed, you’ll find that night browsing plans come cheaper than their daytime counterparts. I for example clocked 132 GB in a single month on the SWIFT Merit data plan of ₦3,000 and the bulk of my surfing cost me ₦0 (I had to use up my 3GB daytime data on the last day).
As a heavy downloader, Internet Download Manager (IDM) and Vuze Torrent Downloader are some of my favorite tools
What is Internet Download Manager (IDM)
IDM is a Windows application which speeds up your download by requesting the file (from the server) in parts (byte streams) simultaneously. This ensures optimal download from the server. With IDM, you could get up to a 5x boost. It also has the ability to pause and resume downloads (even after rebooting your PC) so no more downloading from your browser only to lose all your download progress due to a network interruption or failure. Not all servers support resumable downloads but most I’ve downloaded from do.
3 IDM features / tricks you’ll love as a night – early hour downloader
Nighttime / early hour downloads could be a strain, especially when you have a hectic day or a chain of them. This is one factor that I think often dissuades the faint hearted from night plans. While I agree that night browsing plans are only maximized when you actually use them frequently (like in the case of 7 or 30 day plans), I don’t agree that you need to deny yourself of sleep just to utilize free night plans for your downloads. This is where IDM comes in and i’ll be sharing 3 IDM features I find very helpful (from my experience) and why.
1. Queue downloads: No more waiting up to manually download one file at a time
When you have more than one file to download, you would usually opt for one of two options
- Stay awake to download one file at a time
- Set all files to start downloading then go to sleep
The problem with option 1 is that you’ll have to stay up for a while (probably deny yourself of sleep) and it gets worse when you have a slow internet connection. The problem with option 2 is that your browser / downloader could crash (due to a software or OS malfunction) or the multiple download requests will slow down each download so bad that none ends up completing at the end of the day. IDM Scheduler is the answer
IDM Sheduler allows you to queue downloads so that the files automatically download one at a time while you’re fast asleep
How to queue IDM downloads using Scheduler
Once you get the prompt to begin downloading, click Download Later
Leave the setting on Main download queue and tick Start queue processing then click OK
Add more files to the queue using this same step then click Scheduler at the top
Click Files in the queue. You can increase Download x files at the same time to whatever you want but I recommend setting to 1 or 2 max especially if you don’t have a very fast internet connection
Return to the IDM Home screen. If downloads haven’t started then click Start Queue at the top
2. Schedule downloads: Lets selected downloads start automatically, no need to be on your PC or awake then
Some night plans start at wee hours. take Spectranet night plans which start at 1 AM for example. Its sometimes difficult to wake up at that time once you’ve slept; Hell, even the phone alarm would sound like a lullaby 😉 . In such a case, you would have 3 inconvenient options:
- Get some sleep during the day so you can stay up all night
- Try to stay awake till that time
- Set a really annoying alarm
The good thing is that IDM’s Download Scheduler enables you schedule your downloads to start at a (future) time you set; even while you’re asleep. Just ensure the PC is on has an internet connection by that time.
How to schedule future downloads using IDM
Using the above technique, add downloads to a download queue or pause an existing download (after initializing download for a few seconds)
From the IDM home screen, click Scheduler at the top
In Scheduler, click the Schedule tab > Tick the Start download at box > Select Once at then set the date and time you want the download to start or resume
Shutdown on completion: Saves your battery
When initiating downloads and going to sleep, you need to have set your PC’s sleep when inactive setting to long hours or never to ensure the PC doesn’t go off during the download. The problem with this is that the PC will stay on long hours after the download is complete, wasting your battery in the process. IDM’s Turn off computer when done to the rescue!
How to set IDM to shutdown the PC upon completion of download(s)
Under Scheduler > Schedule as described above, tick both Turn off computer when done and Force processes to terminate then click Apply
Extra: Change the Temp folder
I’ve lately been facing the problem of low storage space on my Windows tablet so I resorted to downloading heavy files directly to the external SD card. The problem with this approach was that I needed to have enough free space (the size of the file) on my tablet since the parts are combined on my C: before saving to the external SD card.
The good thing is that IDM allows you change the location of the temp folder so I simply switched this to the external SD card. This way, downloading and combining takes place on the external SD card. This means I can download a 3GB file even if I have just 1G free on my C: provided I have enough space on the external SD card.
You can find this setting under Options > Save to > Temporary directory