If you are a download maniac and always download huge files via the internet, then you should not ignore but check out aria2, a powerful utility for downloading files. aria2 is an interesting download program that supports HTTP(S), FTP, BitTorrent (DHT, PEX, MSE/PE), and Metalink protocols. The beauty of this utility is it allows you to download one or more files individually or from multiple protocols/sources at the same time and tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth. In other words, if you instruct aria2 to download a file, aria2 can download it from several URLs concurrently. If you request aria2 to download multiple files, aria2 will download them all at one time. You do not need to waste your time waiting for the download queue to download it one by one. aria2 is smart enough to use the maximum bandwidth and download these files quickly.

Besides that, like other downloading applications, aria2 also allows segmented downloading. aria2 can split a huge file to various segments to ensure the downloading process is fully completed. The disadvantage of this program is it features command-line interface. Many users especially the non-tech savvy will not be comfortable with it. Having said that, there are some GUIs available from the aria2 site that can provide a graphical interface for aria2. Users can check out the graphical frontends to the command. They allow users to specify files and options graphically and a little more intuitively. They would then generate some of the mainly used options for the command and invoke aria2 with those options.

Overall, aria2 is a powerful downloading tool which features some unique features and it is worth trying. Users who would like to try it can download the latest aria2-0.16.2 via the link here. A summary of aria2’s features is as below:

– Command-line interface
– Download files through HTTP(S)/FTP/BitTorrent
– Segmented downloading
– Metalink version 3.0 support(HTTP/FTP/BitTorrent)
– HTTP/1.1 implementation
– HTTP Proxy support
– HTTP BASIC authentication support
– HTTP Proxy authentication support
– HTTP gzip, deflate content encoding support
– Chunked transfer encoding support
– Load Cookies from file using Firefox3 and the Mozilla/Firefox(1.x/2.x) and Netscape format
– Custom HTTP Header support
– Persistent Connections support
– FTP through HTTP Proxy
– Download/Upload speed throttling
– BitTorrent extensions: Fast extension, DHT, PEX, MSE/PSE, Multi-Tracker
– Run as a daemon process.
– Selective download in multi-file torrent/Metalink
– Chunk checksum validation in Metalink
– Can disable segmented downloading in Metalink
– Netrc support
– Configuration file support
– Download URIs found in a text file or stdin
– Parameterized URI support

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