Before everything else, I must excuse myself. The reason is that I may forget about some other products that could be here today, but I am too much into these two that I'll tell you about a little later, so if you are a software producer and you think that your program should have been here, just drop us a line and I'll do my best to have your product entering a future compared review.
Now, what do we have here? Since some websites deserve to be downloaded entirely on your computer, you need to have the tools required for this operation(if you like to punish yourself, you can try to download manually, but just think about saving a graphics gallery with over 20,000 pages page by page...). Today, I will present you my two favorite tools when it comes to grabbing entire websites from the Internet for various dark purposes...
Teleport Pro and Offline Explorer Pro are two excellent commercial programs that have a lot of things in common and also a lot of differences. While the first one is as easy to use as possible but still a very powerful software, the last one is highly customizable and gives the user more choices, and this can be good for some people and bad for others. Anyway, power users, better said "maniacs", can use Teleport Ultra or Offline Explorer Enterprise, programs that can handle really huge websites (on Teleport's camp you can also find VLX and Exec versions, but those can be considered out of this world for now). You don't have to fear about being limited with the programs that I have for you today, because it's not the case. Now, let's see what we have in store... Teleport Pro 1.41
First on the list, Teleport Pro. This program's last version is labeled 1.41, and you can get it as a trial version in a flash, the installation kit having a little more than 500KB in size...So, what's so special about it?
I never thought about Teleport Pro's interface. I never felt that "it could look better", although this is the truth. This program has a Spartan-like interface, designed for maximum efficiency with little care for being attractive. Efficiency in use is enough, and this is what we have to see next, the features and their use.
You don't have to fear overheating your brain with Teleport Pro, because that won't happen. All you have to do is follow a wizard and then wait for the download to complete before getting an entire website on your hard drive. Let's check the wizard's steps to get to know better the program itself, shall we?
The New Project Wizard can be started from the File menu or using the first button of the
toolbar. The first step requires choosing the work you want to complete with the program - create a browsable copy of a website on your hard drive, duplicate a site, search for certain files, explore every site linked from a central one, retrieve one or more files located at a certain address and search a website for keywords. I will choose the first option, and leave the rest for you to try.
Next, you are required to enter the starting address and the exploring depth. Try not to use large values here, because you may need to get some additional Tb of storage...or cancel the project when your hard drive gets full, of course.
Now, you have to set some project properties - the files to retrieve (everything available, or just text, text and graphics, and text, graphics and sound) and the account user name and password, where applicable.
Congratulations! The project has been created! Now, save the project file and press the start button on the toolbar. Of course, you may want to know more about what is happening and change some settings first, so I advise you to choose Project Properties from the Project menu first...
There are seven things to take care of when changing a project's properties. First, you have the project Summary that contains the current statistics, being very useful especially when you change settings after an unsuccessful run. File retrieval, browsing/mirroring and exploration settings can prove extremely useful, but, for some of them, you may need to check the documentation. Don't worry, because Teleport Pro's help is good enough to help you with most issues that you may have here. Exclusions, netiquette and advanced are the last three properties items, each having a bunch of useful options.
Now, if you think about the things that seem to miss from this program, don't worry! This program can use proxies, your download tasks can be scheduled, and the results you get are, in most cases, excellent, and I can tell you
- from my experience - that when something goes wrong, usually the problem is the human factor...
At last, the price: 39.95$, a real bargain, if you ask me. The free trial is limited to 40 uses with a maximum of 500 files downloaded per project, so get this as soon as possible! Here are some pictures of the program doing its work:Offline Explorer Pro 4.4.2458
While Teleport was my first offline browser, Offline Explorer was one of the first programs that made me go "wow!". This time, we have a nice looking interface, and although they didn't work with Ashampoo to build it, as far as I am aware...of course, the ease of use doesn't have almost anything to lose because of this. To make a long story short, Offline Explorer is almost as easy to use as Teleport, but more handsome. Now, let's see what and how we can do with it!
Obviously, the purpose of this program is the same - to grab sites from the internet and put them on your computer as fast as possible. Even more, you should be able to use most of the internal site links just like you would be surfing the Internet...or as close as possible to that.
Now, how to do it? The good part is that you don't have to think much, just follow the wizzie...Once you start the program for the first time, you get to see the New Project Wizard right away, but before starting to follow it, let's see some details...
The current version of the program is 4.4.2458, its installation kit is almost 3MB in size, but is just as easy to install as Teleport Pro. The trial period is 30 days long and the full version costs 70$, almost twice as its competitor. If this is worth it or not is what we should see next...
First of all, you have to enter the URL to use as starting, address and the project name. The wizard can be started from the toolbar or using the File menu, but beware! There is more than just download projects here, since you can create new folders, project templates or new blank projects to customize on the spot, before launching them. You will get to know those better in time, so I'll stick with the wizard.
Next, the download depth level limit and files to download are your concerns. Nothing special, of course, but I'll tell you again - be careful when changing the default value of the scanning depth!
Next, you have to choose the exploration options and then finish it all - last choices are to start the download immediately, generate a site map, schedule for later and setup the advanced settings. Advanced settings available are file and URL filters, content filters, link translation, and scheduling and password access.
What should be more about this program when facing Teleport Pro? Well, the best part is that here, you have an internal browser, which can prove extremely useful and comfortable. Download speed can be limited, and the project templates can prove an excellent addition for hard workers.
I have only shown you the top of the iceberg, the rest of it is up to you to discover, and you have an entire month at your disposal. I wish you a fast and reliable connection and don't forget: no matter what you do, have fun with it!Here are some snapshots of the application in action:Conclusion
Can we compare a racing car with a limo? Usually not, and now I won't try to break the rules. I can't have a winner. These programs are both my winners, and I'll use them according to the task I have in mind and the time at my disposal. After all, each time two producers compete, there is only one winner: you, the users; so there's only one thing for me to do, hope that you enjoyed today's race. Have a nice weekend!