Accelerating Downloads

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I usually have trouble remembering the itsy bits and pieces that I have to make up the jumble of stuff that eventually becomes my system. For posterity's sake and for the sanity of my memory, here goes...

There are times that WGet doesn't really do it for me. For one, I think there are servers that refuse to accept multiple connections from WGet. So to replace WGet, I have two favorites to squeeze all that bandwidth out of my connection. Para sulit naman ang monthly fee ko, 'di ba?

One is Axel, which is just a "sudo apt-get install axel" away from any terminal emulator. Advantages are its size and that it doesn't break up downloads into the pieces (and joins them, post-download) like most every accelerator out there does. Axel puts all the data into a single file, pieces of the puzzle written in the right order and on-the-fly at download time. And it is a very small program too. I think I've read someone say, he puts it in a floppy and just executes it on several linux PCs he uses. A plus if you're using a low-resource PC. The other accelerator I use is Prozilla. I've had trouble with this before but I still use it. Its still a favorite, owing to the fact that I get to see the progress of each part of the download and the speed of each of the 4 (default) connections. Its a pet peeve. Don't ask. You can get Prozilla by going to http://packages.debian.org/oldstable/net/prozilla for the stable deb package, currently version 1.3.6. There are newer versions you can compile from tar (download those from here), the latest of which is 2.0.4, but I've had the most stable experience with the 1.3.6.

Both acceelerators support downloading the same file from different mirrors, so you don't make the life of some poor network admin out there a living hell by overburdening one his server. Hey, bandwidth is money! So my parting shot would be to use one (or both!) and use those mirrors. Let's make everyone happy, even the guys who sit behind the servers that churn out all the open source goodness that we so treasure :-)

Next up, Aria2!

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