By Bruce Stewart
GoZilla has a long history of bundling ad-serving software with its popular download manager (download GoZilla here). The latest version, 4.11, is no exception. Although GoZilla offers many useful features, including recovery from dropped connections and the ability to schedule future downloads, it's simply too invasive. Until GoZilla changes its policies, we suggest GetRight or Download Accelerator, which improve your download performance but allow you to avoid ad-serving software. By Bruce Stewart
GoZilla has a long history of bundling ad-serving software with its popular download manager (download GoZilla here). The latest version, 4.11, is no exception. Although GoZilla offers many useful features, including recovery from dropped connections and the ability to schedule future downloads, it's simply too invasive. Until GoZilla changes its policies, we suggest GetRight or Download Accelerator, which improve your download performance but allow you to avoid ad-serving software.
Easy installation...if you pardon the ads
GoZilla installs easily enough, although you may be getting more than you bargained for in the process. In addition to the download manager itself, GoZilla also installs several ad-serving applications, including Gator, Web3000, and Aureate, that track your surfing, collect personal information, and deliver targeted ads.
Unlike with GetRight, these invasive add-ons are mandatory. And worse, the GoZilla setup program asks permission to install even more adware, including eZula's TopText iLookup and Clickguide. Then, unbelievably, GoZilla's uninstaller leaves many of these tracking components running on your system even after you remove GoZilla itself. To completely rid your system of the ad-serving software, we recommend a program such as Lavasoft Ad-aware.
Functional interface, when it works
On our test system (a 900MHz Pentium III with 256MB of RAM, running Windows XP), we experienced some stability problems with GoZilla's interface. All it took to lock up our test system was an attempt to close the program by right-clicking GoZilla's system tray icon, then selecting Exit. We were unable to restore GoZilla to a working state without performing a complete reinstall.
The interface, a three-window, skinnable display, can monitor the status of your downloads, organize your downloaded files, and leech a download site for all the download files linked there. A separate status window shows a graphical representation of your download's progress.
Plenty of features
Like most good download managers, GoZilla can recover from dropped connections and schedule future downloads; it even monitors files it already has downloaded for updates or changes. And GoZilla certainly speeds up downloads, especially if you have a broadband connection. It also will download multiple segments of a file simultaneously to speed the file transfer and search for mirror sites, automatically selecting the fastest download site. GoZilla provides a search engine for finding MP3s, pictures, and videos, but our test searches turned up little of value.
The GoZilla file manager offers an intuitive and capable way of organizing your downloads--better than the minimal choices found in Download Accelerator Plus. GoZilla also integrates with your favorite media player, such as Windows Media Player, so new music is automatically added to your playlists when downloaded. In addition, GoZilla works with your virus-detection software to automatically scan downloads.
Decent performance but poor tech support
In our speed tests, GoZilla performed on a par with other download managers. It downloaded files that exist on only one server as quickly as Internet Explorer, and it shaved minutes off larger downloads of popular files.
Technical support is available for all users, although registered users receive priority treatment. (Registration costs $29.95 and gives you the ability to turn off the ad-serving software.) Support is available only via e-mail, however, and the GoZilla Web site doesn't offer much in the way of troubleshooting except for a poorly organized, hit-or-miss FAQ. Worse, GoZilla's integrated help system consists of a link to an online FAQ with an option to tell a friend how much you love GoZilla.
We'd prefer to tell our friends about other less intrusive download managers such as GetRight and Download Accelerator Plus.