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Privacy Power!  Home:  Help & How To's:  Download Helpers

Read Me! | General Info | Download Accelerator Plus | DLExpert | Download Mage | Download Wonder | FlashGet | GetIT | GetRight | GetSmart | Go!Zilla | LeechFTP | MassDownloader | ReGet | SmartFTP

Important - Please Read!  

This page contains links to ADWARE and SPYWARE, along with links to clean freeware and shareware. Information is for reference only. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of any comments other than my own. Please do further reading and research before installing ANY software product.

Ads are not the only issue with Download Helpers. Functioning as browser add-ons, they are also capable of phoning home and transmitting unnecessary information without triggering firewall alerts. Paying for something may get rid of ads but it doesn't guarantee an application is behaving itself. Packet transmissions should be checked before trusting a Download Helper.

Warning: Using any ad-sponsored software with ad-serving functions removed is not recommended, will likely cause the host software to stop working, may cause programs to run erratically, may be ineffective, and may be illegal. Using an alternative "clean" program instead of this type of solution is recommended.

Caution: If you purchase and register Aureate Adware products, it's likely you'll need to remove Aureate. See the Radiate/Aureate page for additional info on removing Aureate. Using AD-aware or OptOut! to remove Aureate from unlicensed products in order to use them without the ad serving feature is not recommended (see warning above).

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General Info  

I've made this page because one of the most often asked questions I see in GRC newsgroups is "What's a safe downloader to use?" Hopefully someone else who uses Download Helpers will make a better resource. I will not be able to keep track of all the downloader issues on a regular basis. Start here for basic information and then look further. Please email me at if you see any important updates or new information on Download Helpers.

Aug 06-00: From "John B": "A download helper is basically an FTP client which has been integrated into the browser as a plug-in. It may offer other features, such as viewing or extracting ZIP archives, but the "other" (i.e., server) side doesn't have to anything special or different."

" could try a standalone FTP client, such as LeechFTP (but not CuteFTP; it's spyware too!) Standalone clients are harder to use: you have to copy the link location (URL) from your browser, launch the FTP client, and paste the URL in. It will let you resume a broken download without starting over, though."

Aug 05-00: From "Stan B": "The new Opera 4.x browser is supposed to have a good download manager incorporated with it."

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Download Accelerator Plus  (Tracking & More)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

Aug 06-00: From "Ruckus": Here's what's in the license agreement - you decide:

From Speedbit DAP (Download Accelerator Plus) license agreement

----begin quote----

3. You acknowledge and agree that SpeedBit may gather information and usage pattern, and as well registration parameters provided by you, your software and configuration, provided that if published, it will be done only in aggregate form without user names.

4. You agree that SpeedBit may use this information provided by you and the Software, or information related to, for the purpose of target advertising, marketing, co-registration to other services by SpeedBit or other parties, provided that if names are part of this information you had been given the advanced opportunity for omission of your name;

5. Comply with any legal obligations, including but not limited to, obligations imposed by copyright, trademarks, patent, secrecy, defamation, decency, privacy and export laws;

6. SpeedBit may use your name in any customer reference list or any other release issued by SpeedBit or any of its affiliates.

----end quote----

From a post in a GRC newsgroup: (sorry, don't remember from who) "DAP (Download Accelerator Plus) DOES CALL HOME at approximately 15 minute intervals! - AND whenever you INITIATE A DOWNLOAD! I installed the little pecker-head earlier today, and just happen to notice accesses in the log of my Firewall program at 15 minute intervals from the 'DAP.EXE' application to address (also during EVERY download I made in addition to the 15 minute intervals). I blocked that address, only to have the little pecker try to use when it couldn't establish a connect at the 1st address. (These seem to be the only two address it attempts communications with)."

General Info: Numerous posts about blocking Download Accelerator's ad-serving function have been made to newsgroups and listserves but do you really want to take chances by having this on your computer?

Methods found online include: Emptying the ADS folder where DA is installed; Adding servers to the hosts file ( &; Using firewalls to block IPs &; and modifying the URL that DL Accelerator "phones home" to in the registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/SpeedBit/Download Accelerator/ADS/DefaultServer

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DLExpert  (Freeware, no ads)

Aug 08-00: From "Milly": "I've been using DL Expert for 6 months and like it a lot. I think Download Helpers divide opinion as much as Notepad replacements, and DL Expert certainly has some hokey UI features allied to liberal use of a little known Chinglish dialect. But in my experience it is very stable, very fast (when the server supports multiple threads) and doesn't phone home."

From "Clem": "I've been using DLExpert v0.94, homepage (Chinese site with English capabilities). Performs fairly well, haven't noticed it misbehaving in any way... (ZA/AtGuard monitored)."

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Download Mage  (Freeware, no ads)

This full featured program can resume downloads and "You can select and download single or multiple links directly from web browser using context menu (Internet Explorer only - click monitoring and drag & drop are supported on both browsers). Select (Mouse Drag) links you want to download or just place mouse over a link for single downloading and click right button. Then select 'Download Target(s) As...'. Or right click on any empty space of web page and select 'Download Links As...'." (Thanks to Joris for help with this link)

Sept 04-00: From Download Mage Site: New version Level 1.2 released. New features include proxy support.

Sept 03-00: From "Andrew C.": "It looks great, but if it won't (re)dial it's no use for me and my one hour cut off ISP. I've had a reply from Jong Lee stating: "Mage does not dial on it's own at this time.""

Aug 25-00: From "JB": "I've been hunting for a decent downloader since the Gozilla/Aureate news first broke. I haven't had this 24 hrs yet, and I`m already in love with it. The size is the best part too."

Aug 25-00: From "NNG": "I've been gun shy on trying another downloader after all the work it took to get Download Demon cleaned out. I just looked at the readme file and this one seems worth taking the plunge again. All those features I want packed into a 175KB zip file!"

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Download Wonder  (Aureate Adware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

This contains Aureate (ref: No information available yet on unnecessary information gathering and "phone home" transmissions in either the Aureate-ware free version or the purchased ad-free version.

Aug 04-00: From "tkraft": v.1.55 "...opens up a second window behind your browser and spends most of your bandwidth going to, etc." (Note: Not stated is if this happens with both ad and non-ad versions.)

Jul 02-00: From "Sandra B": "Download Wonder 1.53 is FREE, but ad-sponsored. The non-sponsored, ad-free version price is $30."

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FlashGet (formerly JetCar) (Aureate Adware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

This contains Aureate (ref: No information available yet on unnecessary information gathering and "phone home" transmissions in either the Aureate-ware free version or the purchased ad-free version.

The FlashGet page indicates this will not work without Aureate's advert.dll though posts below say it will. The FlashGet FAQ indicates this app requires DCOM (see the DCOM and SOAP page for info) but Jaap's posts below indicate it will work with DCOM disabled.

Aug 11-00: From "Jaap van S.": "I have been running Flashget (registered version) in PASV mode for quite some time and am quite happy with it. I like the "documentation" facility as well as the multi threads and resume facilities. It has never asked for DCOM to be given permission to access the internet. I have set it to ask for permission whenever I download a file."

"Both "EnableDCOM" & "EnableRemoteConnections" are set to N on my machine. FlashGet works like a charm - does not look like it need Dcom enabled to do the job, or "EnableDCOM" need not to be set to Y for FlashGet to operate. Dcom is not on ZA and has never asked permission to access the net. I have no ports open and all Stealth according to Shields UP."

"One thing though, if you "check for update" and one is available, it will download the adware version. I have e-mailed the author some time ago. He responded with a different download address which contains an adfree version of the program."

"Overall, I am very happy with the program. It works very well for me W98SE, ZA 2.1.29, McAfee / AVG 6.0 (alternatively) on a 56K modem connection."

Aug 06-00: From "Chuck": "I just downloaded FlashGet, previously named JetCar, and true it was full of Radiate stuff. AD-aware ate it all and FlashGet, unlike Go!zilla, continued to work. I think it is as good a program as Go!zilla. Later I noticed a 'Radiate' item in my Add/Remove. FlashGet even openly gives you the option to remove Radiate with no penalty in its' functioning." (Note: The option to remove Radiate/Aureate is supposed to be used after purchasing FlashGet, not with unpurchased versions.)

Aug 06-00: From "Sunfish": "I know not of the other programs but in theory Flashget will not work without advert.dll. HOWEVER I removed all Aureate s#*t and Flash get kept running without the ads! I have replaced it with Reget - much nicer."

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GetIT  (Freeware, no ads)

An Editor's Pick on (Aug 07-00). Heads Up: On site third party ads are from Flycast.

Sep 20-00: From "Allen B": "I have found some problems when you try to uninstall it. Uninstallation of GetIT leaves your browser [at least NS 4.73 - 4.75] unable to browse to a URL. It seems to be related to the Monitor Clicks function and something that is changed in the registry. I have not pinpointed the fix."

Aug 07-00: From "Petr": "I used Gozilla very long time because I have not idea about Aureate spy. So now Gozilla is out. I find on (see Links page) GetIt 1.02 downloader which is Gozilla like. But with out spy ware and banners. So if you are used Gozilla, you can now use GetIt."

Jul 29-00: From "mr. s.": "GetIt ( is pretty nice, it's free (No ads), it integrates with browser clicks and grabs files with specified extensions and/or all FTP links from the browser. It also supports resume."

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GetRight ®  (Aureate Adware or Shareware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

This contains Aureate (ref: Extra programs packaged with GetRight (Attune, Gator, etc) also contain Aureate. Not all GetRight users choose to install these extras. See users comments for more info.

On the GetRight Aureate page, they've chosen to defend their lack of disclosure in earlier versions of GetRight by using a quote from Steve Gibson's Aureate page "Even buried way down a few pages on the "OptOut" web site it says: "After spending more than 200 hours examining the operation and function of the version 2 Aureate software system, I was unable to discover any capability for it to inventory or browse the user's hard drive or registry."

This is a red herring. "No Unnecessary Information Gathering" is only one of 7 Points in Steve's Code Of Back Channel Conduct In fact, Version 2 of Aureate failed on all other 6 points. And as for that one point, the full quote continues: "The only way for me, or anyone, to know for certain what Aureate's software is capable of doing, would be for them to allow me to examine their source code. I have proposed this course of action in response to their complaints about the negative attention drawn by my uncertainty . . . but they never replied to that request and therefore appear unwilling. Since this OptOut site declares spyware vendors innocent of specific transgressions until proven guilty, Aureate receives a "double-green" rating for not (apparently) gathering unnecessary information."

Further along GetRight states: "The site with the scariest information and getting the most media attention is the same site providing a "fix" program to remove the Radiate files. (And they soon plan to start charging for the fix - so keeping people scared is good for them.) " Since I resort to cheap shots myself in moments of desperation, I know one when I see one. If GetRight was the only downloading program in the world, I'd happily do without.

Read info, tips and tricks from GetRight ® users....

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GetSmart  (Shareware)

Sept 08-00: From "Jaap van S.": "I have also tried Download mage (very limited trials), but was not too impressed with it. DLExpert094 fairs much better IMO. I have done some testing with GetSmart. Here are my findings. Tests done on a PIII 550 256Ram with W98SE, IE & OE 5 and GetSmart V0.9 Build 11 (Purchased & Registered version since 8.??). Connection via 56K / 33.6K dialup modem - I have 2 ISP connections."


1.  Can act as a local proxy for browser. (also see Con's)

2.  Works well with ISP cache (setup as proxy in GetSmart).

3.  Speeds up page loading because of its multi threading feature.

4.  Speeds up downloading of files.

5.  Very stable.

6.  Intercepts Windows upgrades and really speed up the downloads. This to me is one of its best features.

7.  Works with the hosts file - replace ads with *. (I am using the version with only localhost set to

8.  Search for mirror sites for downloading with response time, so you can select a different site.

9.  Very configurable.

10. Can be used in conjunction with other downloaders.


1.  Problem visiting secure sites like online banking and websites using secure SSL (See 1 & 2 above). Unable to login to bank or get to online transaction screen for web buying. Maybe this is a pro and not a con!!!!! - easy to change your browser settings not to use a proxy.

2.  I was unable to contact the author (support) at the various e-mail addresses supplied on the web page as well as in the about box of the program (2000/08/18 - 2000/09/07). Some were returned as not delivered and 1 (presumably) was delivered but was not answered.

3.  Downloaded files not to well documented. I prefer the method employed by FlashGet / DLExpert.

Jul 29-00: From "Russ": "It is definitely the fastest downloader I've tried. It will actually break up a file into multiple parts and download them simultaneously (which let me get my maximum download speed on my DSL line -not sure how much this will impact things for dial-up users) It also supports resume and can function as a full FTP client. I haven't tried it in awhile, it was unstable on my system when I last tried it a few months ago, but looking at its web page, it seems that the author is actively updating it - at least 2 newer versions have been released since I last tried it. It's shareware and only costs $12.50 (US) to register."

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Go!Zilla  (Owned by Aureate - Adware or Shareware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

Go!Zilla was bought by Aureate so purchasing this product directly supports Radiate.

Note: Bruce, Terry, Alan G, and other optout newsgroup contributors are currently investigating the registered version of Go!Zilla. Results will be posted when available. To date, no conclusive information is available on unnecessary information gathering and "phone home" transmissions in either the Aureate-ware free version or the purchased ad-free version.

Jul 22-00: From "Alan G": "RE: the *Monster Updates* portion of Go!Zilla, since the entry for it to call home can't be Deleted, I edited it to This works perfectly, HOWEVER, note that the *displayed* url for the entry remains But to test it I let it try to call home a few times (using it's GO.exe) and it calls every time. But I keep the *GO* file X'ed out with Zone Alarm anyways. Actually I do the same for *Down.exe* until I plan to use it, then I change it to *Ask*."

"Handling the little monster this way DOES make it behave and (for my style of usage) leaves Go!Zilla perfectly functional. Though for some, it may not be worth the extra clicks."

Jul 15-00: From "bazza": "As to sending info like Netzip / Real / AOL I don't know - I haven't done a packet analysis. When you run file monitor it check for updates but you can kill that by adding the url to your hosts file."

Jul 15-00: From "Paul G": "Caveat: this solution is Go!Zilla-specific, but the same principles apply to other packages. I ran an early release of OptOut, which of course broke Go!Zilla and made downloading difficult. What I needed was a way to let the program run normally, but keep it from "calling home to mama," or at least to keep "mama" from answering."

"I used the local DNS server so that the whole network was handled at once, but it could just as well be done via a local HOSTS file: I defined all the hosts through and through to point to (the predefined "loopback" address). That way, the program sends out its request for ads as per normal, but the request comes right back to the requesting station, which has no ads to offer, so those banners get very quiet in a hurry. Unlike the OptOut approach, the program never knows anything is wrong, so it continues to function normally. Works like a charm."

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LeechFTP  (Freeware, no ads)

LeechFTP has an auto-update feature. It should be possible to turn this off.

Question:"I use LeechFTP when I'm setting out to download from FTP sites, but I haven't found a way to get it to integrate conveniently with the browser. Are there any options to do with browser integration tucked in a back menu? I activated the URL snatcher, but LeechFTP doesn't seem to do anything when I click links to download in Netscape. Am I missing something?"

Jul 29-00: From "mr. s": "The URL Snatcher snatches items from the clipboard. Right click and copy the link to your clipboard; LeechFTP should pick up the URL."

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MassDownloader  (Shareware)

Jul 23-00: From "Altoid": "I really like Mass Downloader. It will integrate with browser clicks if you like. It's highly configurable and has the ultra cool automated options like "hang up your modem", "shut down computer" when done and "redial if disconnected." No ads. It's not freeware though, 30 day trial, $25 to register."

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ReGet  (Shareware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

This contains Aureate (ref: No information available yet on unnecessary information gathering and "phone home" transmissions in either the Aureate-ware free version or the purchased ad-free version.

Aug 08-00: From "Winton": "The freebee is bannerware. Good progy. Don't use it anymore because I don't need it anymore. Don't know if it phones home."

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SmartFTP  (Adware or Shareware)

Read the Warnings & Cautions before using or tweaking any version of this product.

This isn't on the Aureate software list and the site doesn't say anything about which ad-serving software it installs (probably Conducent Timesink or Cydoor?). Read the license here: (Thanks, Silvio).

Aug 26-00: From "Bruce": "Not only does it track and serve Ads, it also makes you run an active setup. The good thing I can say is it doesn't make you take your clothes off." (Maybe with the next update?)

Updated: Sept 28-00

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