File Downloads

The title of this post may appear deceptive and some of you might have noticed this phenomenon as well. This is something I encountered while downloading a file from major file sharing/hosting websites like Rapidshare, Mediafire etc.,

I use Google Chrome for general surfing and Mozilla Firefox for downloads. I’ve installed this add-on for Firefox called SkipScreen, which allows a user to bypass timers in these file sharing websites.

So, if I wanna download a file from Rapidshare, all I have to do is paste the link in Firefox’s address bar and SkipScreen automates the rest. Rapidshare frequently changes its HTML code structure, so sometimes SkipScreen would work instantly, otherwise you would have to wait until the timer expires.

That is when I noticed something while downloading a file. Generally, when you press the download button in any file sharing site for that matter, a Save As dialog pops up, requesting you for the location to save the file. Once you choose the location and press the Save button, your file starts downloading and you can see the download progress bar indicating the percentage of the file being downloaded.

Now, all you have to do is when the Firefox’s download dialog appears,do not click the OK button. Instead wait for a few minutes and then press the OK button. It prompts you for the location. Choose the desired location and press the Save button.

Download Dialog

Download Dialog

Now, if you check the download progress bar, a few MBs of the file would have already been downloaded, even before you had saved the file onto your hard disk.

Now download the same file as usual. As soon as the Firefox download prompt appears, save it to your hard disk. The percentage of the file being downloaded  would be much lesser. If you had followed the earlier method, for the same duration. the percentage of the file being downloaded would be much more.

I’m not sure of the reason. But, I believe that when you use a client like Firefox/Chrome to download a file, all other characteristics like downloading a normal webpage or parallel downloads are taken into account. But, with the other method, you’re actually transferring chunks of data you wanna download, faster than the conventional method directly from the server. If someone knows how this happens, please enlighten. 🙂 Have fun downloading people. 🙂

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About Manikandan Surendren

A PeopleSoft Techno-functional Consultant. An engineering graduate in Computer Science. Technology Enthusiast. Movie freak. Gadget geek.
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