IE and multiple downloads

The problem is best described by the Ask Jeeves page I found while searching for the answer:

I read their solution, which came directly from a Microsoft support page addressing the problem. Should fix the problem, no? Well, not quite

First off, besides being paranoid about fiddling with my registry settings, I don’t quite understand what they want me to do. I’ve looked all about the MS support site, but can’t find any explanation of their instruction’s conventions. The give me two suggestions for registry entries to create:

Well, the comment (Sets the number…) is not part of the entry (I don’t think), but what about (Default X)? Is this supposed to be typed in exactly as it is in the line? Do I change the number to the number of simultaneous connections I want? Do I leave the word ‘Default’ in? What will happen as I put in higher and higher numbers? More downloads will cost me in bandwidth per download, but will it cause my system to become unstable? I also have Netscape on this machine, and it happily downloads several files at once, but I can’t find a corresponding registry entry. Also, do I put in both lines or just one? How do I tell which I should use?

Lastly, here is a rather ominous bit :

What does that mean? Am I going to cause a server somewhere to crash? Am I creating a security problem for myself? Why should I avoid standard browsing? Will I soon hear the ‘jack-booted thugs kicking in my door’?


Background info, FWIW: PIII 550, 128 RAM, Verizon 640 DSL, Win98, Explorer 5.50.

I suggest that you use some third party software to download. I use Download Accelerator, it creates several connections for each file you download. It increased my top dowload speeds from around 100K to around 300K ( I use cable modem).

Go with mblackwell’s suggestion. I use Download Accelerator Plus (DAP) and it’s much faster than normal downloads for me.

If you want to use the other method, you would need to add both entries to the registry – they look like they’re for different versions of the HTTP protocol. I would guess you don’t type “default” (I’ve not seen that on other registry keys). Of course, editing your registry is always risky, so only do this if you’re absolutely happy to.

I don’t believe opening multiple downloads will cause your machine to crash, but it will slow the download speeds right down.

The disclaimer looks like a standard “We don’t recommend you do this, so if you do don’t blame us if it goes horribly wrong.” It’s not anything illegal.

To translate the Microsoft warnings:
[li]Don’t change the 2 connection limit for HTTP 1.1 connections. That’s an explicitly defined standard, and while it won’t hurt other computers, it might make your computer behave weirdly, most likely dropping connections (my WAG.)[/li][li]It should be alright if you want to up the HTTP 1.0 limit, since four connections is more of a de facto limit. 8 connections should be plenty, unless you have a real need to have more than that many downloads in progress.[/li][/ul]

You’ll have to add a new registry value (of the type DWORD_REG) to make the change. Here’s how to do it:
[li]Run regedit and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings. You will want to have the “Internet Settings” folder highlighted in the left pane.[/li][li]From the edit menu, choose Edit>New>DWORD Value.[/li][li]An icon labeled “New Value #1” will appear in the right-hand pane. Rename that to MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server[/li][li]Double-click the newly-created MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server icon. An “Edit DWORD Value” window will pop up. Type 8 into the “Value data” box. You can increase this if you want, but for values above 10 you’ll have to keep in mind that the default number base is hexadecimal, so you’d have to click the “Decimal” button to enter decimal values.[/li][li]Exit regedit and restart Windows for the settings to take effect.[/li][/list=1]
mattk and mblackwell, I’m not sure how a download accelerator would help. It would be faster for single file downloads, but opening more connections would only exacerbate the problem that Rhythmdvl is trying to solve. I also stand by my insistence that you only add the value for HTTP version 1.0, because that protocol is not as strictly defined.

Good points. I haven’t tested the speed with multiple download using DAP. I use it to download in one file after another – so you’re right, I don’t know for sure if it’s faster than opening several simultaneously without it.