For some people, Internet downloads are never fast enough. If you’re one of them, you might be tempted by Speed Download 2.3.4, from YazSoft, which is supposed to accelerate the speed at which files download from the Internet. But in our tests, Speed Download did almost nothing to speed up downloads. And in some instances, files took longer to download with Speed Download than without it. Luckily, the program has other virtues.
YazSoft says that Speed Download is optimized for both dial-up and broadband connections, but the company is careful not to make specific speed claims. My DSL connection via EarthLink downloaded a 10.7MB file faster by itself than with Speed Download — an average of 1 minute and 13 seconds versus 1 minute and 17 seconds, respectively. A 67MB file took 7 minutes and 55 seconds with Speed Download — 30 seconds longer than without it.
I was also disappointed by the insignificant speed boosts my dial-up connection got. A 4.6MB file that took 18 minutes and 6 seconds to download without Speed Download took 17 minutes and 22 seconds with the utility.
But Speed Download has some worthwhile features; it facilitates networked downloading from Rendezvous connections, URL sharing, and file transfers between Macs running the program. It also has filters that organize downloads by type, a transaction log, and a search function. It even lets you control the number of downloads per domain. And Speed Download’s automatic-resume feature is handy for large downloads.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
If you need a download manager that centralizes your Internet downloads, lets you sort them, and facilitates file sharing, then you may benefit from Speed Download 2.3.4. But don’t buy it if you want only to boost download speed.