Axel tries to accelerate HTTP/FTP downloading process by using multiple connections for one file. It can use multiple mirrors for a download.
Wilmer van der Gaast is the upstream author of Axel. Y Giridhar Appaji Nag and Philipp Hagemeister are the current maintainers.
Axel is the only accelerator I like using, and the one that maxxes out my slow-as-molasses adsl connection. It is one of the oldest out there, so you will find it in the repositories of virtually every linux distro you can imagine.
What happens if you’re forced to, or actually enjoy, using windows though? I couldn’t find it in the cygwin repos or anywhere else on google-territory, so I compiled it (35K executable) and bundled it with the necessary cygwin runtime (2MB !!) for your perusal. It works out to 900KB, and to approximately 3MB decompressed. If you have space to spare, download from: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/23114384/builds/Axel2.4.zip(goo.gl link just counts downloads)
To use, decompress those 2 files in your favourite directory (preferrably somewhere in your path) and download away:
Usage: axel [options] url1 [url2] [url...]
–max-speed=x -s x Specify maximum speed (bytes per second)
–num-connections=x -n x Specify maximum number of connections
–output=f -o f Specify local output file
–search[=x] -S [x] Search for mirrors and download from x servers
–header=x -H x Add header string
–user-agent=x -U x Set user agent
–no-proxy -N Just don’t use any proxy server
–quiet -q Leave stdout alone
–verbose -v More status information
–alternate -a Alternate progress indicator
–help -h This information
–version -V Version information
virustotal report, for the paranoid few: click here