Speed up downloads in Firefox with Multithreaded Download Manager

Multithreaded Download Manager is an extension for the Firefox web browser that may speed up file downloads in the browser thanks to the use of download threads.

Download manager extension require a scary number of permissions and Multithreaded Download Manager is no exception to that.  The developer explains the permissions on the project’s GitHub repository; the extension is open source which means that anyone may check the source code to analyze the functionality.

The main feature that the add-on adds to Firefox is that file downloads may be downloaded in threads to speed things up; this works only if the server supports this and if the Internet connection allows it. The extension uses four download threads by default but you may increase the number in the options. Firefox does not allow more than 6 threads by default but you may increase that limit by changing the values of network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server and network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy accordingly.

firefox extension multi thread downloading

The extension adds an icon to the main Firefox toolbar during installation that you may interact with. Downloads are listed in the interface when you click on it. Each download is listed with its name, speed, completion percentage and other information. There are also options to pause downloads or to cancel them at any time.

Multithreaded Download Manager picks up downloads in Firefox automatically but you may start manual download processes as well either by pasting a URL or URLs into the download form or by having it already in the Clipboard as the URL is used then automatically by the extension.

download manager firefox

The referring page is always the URL and title of the active tab. You may change that manually as well as the address. A click on link or media displays all links and all media files found on the active page to download these directly.

You may also add checksum information for verification and change network options including the number of threads, minimum chunk size, and maximum retries before the download is canceled.

The extension’s options are quite extensive. You may change network, interface, and other preferences, e.g. to automate the download process further, to automatically removed completed or failed downloads, to change several network preferences, or to modify the interface to better reflect what you need. There is even an option to add custom CSS snippets.

Closing Words

Multithreaded Download Manager may offer a good compromise between using a full download manager such as Internet Download Manager, HTTP Downloader, or uGet, and using a browser’s built-in download capabilities. It lacks some of the advanced options that desktop download managers offer, e.g. better management of downloaded files, but not everyone needs these.

Now You: do you use a download manager?

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