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Tip: Use alternative, not-so-popular browsers to bypass annoying download managers

Posted By Ashraf On September 6, 2011 @ 6:20 PM In Tips 'n Tricks | 12 Comments

It seems more and more companies are forcing users to download their “download managers” in order to grab downloads from their websites (e.g. Adobe, Dell, etc.). Sometimes these companies have download-without-download-manager links that users can use; sometimes they don’t. If the download-without-download-manager links are available, the links are often hidden in such a way that you may almost never find them. One easy, quick way to bypass these dumb download managers is to use an alternative browser.

The download managers that companies force upon users typically operate in one of two ways:

  • The downloader manager is an add-on/plugin to the Internet browser;
  • The downloader manager is a program users must install on their computer.

If a download manager the latter, obviously you will have to download it regardless of what browser you use because the download manager is not browser-specific. However, if a download manager is the former, typically the download manager will only be configured to work with popular browsers because:

  1. It takes manpower, time, and money to develop add-ons/plugins and most of the time it just isn’t worth it to create an add-on/plugin for a browser that has a .1% market share;
  2. Not all browsers support add-on/plugins.

So, many times simply downloading whatever you are looking to download via a not-so-popular browser can result in a direct download link as opposed to having to go through a download manager. For example, to download Adobe Acrobat in Internet Explorer and Firefox users must install Adobe’s download manager. However, that same Adobe Acrobat is available as a direct, non-download-manager download in Chrome and Opera.

That said, exactly what browsers will this bypass technique work with? Well, the five major browsers right now are Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Because of their superior market share, there is no chance this bypass technique will work with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Safari, Chrome, and Opera are good candidates for this bypass technique, with Opera and Safari (Windows version) having the most chances. There are, of course, other browsers out there that one can try, such as Flock, Maxathon, Avant, etc., but it needs to be noted that many of these other browsers are based off one of the major five, so download manager add-ons/plugins may still work for them and may still be required.

In the end, while this tip is not guaranteed to always work, it is handy to keep in mind for those websites that try to put a download manager between you and your download.

If you have any special tips on how to bypass download managers, feel free to share in the comments below.


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