Netzip Download Demon: Tool for the Download-Possessed

Download Demon launches automatically when you start a download, displaying the name of the file you're downloading, the site it's coming from, and the folder it's saving to. The program tells you how much of the file's been downloaded and the estimated time remaining until completion, and lets you pause and resume downloads--so you can make or receive a phone call, without having to start over. Download Demon requires at least Netscape Navigator or Communicator 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 4, America Online 4 or 5, or NeoPlanet. It can be used at FTP and HTTP addresses, and it recognizes 85 file formats.

Multitalented Demon

The Demon window remains small on your desktop until you click the down arrow, and out pops the Download List. Download Demon can track multiple downloads simultaneously and, based on your preferences, can list all of them, the unfinished ones only, or only those still downloading. A yellow smiley face appears next to each listed file after it's been downloaded. Files land in a default download folder (unless you specify another location). You're then given the option to install them immediately or to view them.

But perhaps most useful is Download Demon's ability to pause and resume downloads. Just click the Resume button to pick up where you left off. Although Pause and Resume work only with servers that support the resume feature, we encountered no obstacles--most servers support it.

The scheduling feature allows you to download files while you're away from your PC. AOL users should note that Download Demon's scheduler will not connect automatically when you connect to AOL (you can set AOL 5 to automatically connect; but Download Demon can't automatically establish a connection with AOL 4, since that version requires you to enter a password).

The Demon Sheds

You can use skins to customize the look of your Demon by downloading Car Stereo, Metallic Green, and Traditional from Netzip.com. (The utility also comes with two skins: Big and Default.) But though you can change the Demon's skin, you can't eliminate the marching ads. Banner ads run across the main interface, and when you begin a download, another window pops up, directing you to visit other Web sites while you wait. You can get rid of the InfoWindow by closing it each time, or you can buy Download Demon for $US29.99--it's free of the InfoWindow as well as the banner ads.

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Lisa Moskowitz

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