How to download long files and not time out

Today I tried to download a 3 meg freeware game for my son. At 56K it took awhile, but it was going pretty good, and then after about 29 minutes, it said, “the operation timed out and your download was not completed.”

I figured there must be some kind of cnotrol in Windows or IE to control this (I’m running Windows 98 and a fairly recent version of Internet Explorer on an older Wintel box. Anybody got any idea how I can keep long downloads from timing out?

Someone mentioned to me a while back to enter a chatroom while downloading. Something with the flow of info keeps it from timing out. I don’t know…worth a shot.

Use Getright from

It has an option called “ping to keep connection alive” that will help prevent a download from timing out. Incase of a disconnection, it also allows you to continue downloading the file from where you left off, instead of downloading the file all over again. Especially useful for large file downloads.

Wouldn’t that slow the download?

In this context, what is a ping?


  1. No, it wouldn’t slow down the download in practical terms, because the amount of bandwidth used by the chat client would be negligible in this case (typed text requires a very small amount of bandwidth to be transmitted. Binary files, the type you download, e.g. .exe, etc. require far more bandwidth). The rest of the bandwidth will still be available for the download.

  2. A “ping” is essentially the sending of a small packet of data to the destination and receiving it back at the source. Something like taking a rubber ball, chucking it across the room to the wall on the far side, and catching it when it bounces back to you. Just consider the rubber ball to be data instead.

To understand it in context, sometimes an internet connection can be dropped because of something called idle time where no data is either sent or received. If the idle time exceeds, say 15 mins., the dial-up connection to the Internet might be dropped. Going into a chat room would help in this case, because you would constantly be receiving information from the Internet, thus preempting any idle time cut off scenario.

This is not the same as the download timing out from the server side. Which is more likely what Evil Captor is facing. In such a case, where the connection to the server times out, staying in a chat room won’t do much. But sending a ping to the server from your computer can prevent the server from timing out, and thus keeping your download from timing out. This is what Getright has an inbuilt option to do for every download it initiates.

Of course, you can ping manually. Open a dos window. Type:


this will send a ping to and tell you the time it took for your rubber ball (the data packet) to reach yahoo and return to your comp. The time of ping is usually used to test either the existance of a connection between two points in a network, or to find the speed of the connection between two points in the network.

Replace with the domain name of the server you’re downloading from.

Best option, after four or five minutes, watch the download progress and, if it freezes, Cancel, then click the download again. Works for me. 3 meg should take 6-10 mins.

Thanks, I will check out getright and also the “cancel” option.