If you can remember back to the days when the blackberry smartphone didn’t yet exist and dial up Internet was king, it was extremely common for a person to begin to download a file or program (which were often rather small by today’s standards), and then to have it get about halfway through before the phone rang. Oops, there goes five hours of downloading. And while you could occasionally get around this problem by starting your downloads at night and waking up to a little “present” on your hard drive, this could also end up failing for the random reasons that only dial up could provide. It was an exciting time because of the potential that our Internet has subsequently realized. It also produced a unique kind of program, known as the download manager.
Download managers are specialized programs which allow a large download to be interrupted, and then subsequently restarted where you left off. Using a download manager can be a life saver if you are downloading a massive file, and do not want to wait another hour for the first 30% of it to download. However, the utility of such a program is beginning to come into question. Do you remember when a “large” file was a megabyte or two? Now we have wireless networks that can upload over one megabyte per second, even to a smart phone. Do we really need download managers now?
A lot has changed in the IT and networking fields. Today we have freedom not only in terms of getting connected but using different applications as well i.e. we have wireless networks and dongles for getting connected and having unlimited downloads. We also have freedom in terms of using different softwares and applications i.e. we have access to large number of open source softwares like 7 zip to compress files; Open Office for regular office and spreadsheets work; Open ERP which is a complete business ERP suite etc.
So, being disconnected is almost unheard of in this day and age. For another thing, as we discussed earlier, the definition of a “large file” has gone from around a megabyte to around a gigabyte. In this kind of environment, there is very little need to keep a download cached up in case something fails, because failure is extremely rare. And even if something does fail nowadays, the likelihood is that we would then be able to upload it again in minutes.