AutoCAD 2013 – Download the trial without Akamai

It’s AutoCAD new release time again and many of you will want to get hold of the trial software, or download the production software from the trial site rather than the Subscription site for performance or other reasons (the resultant downloads are identical). As in previous years, Autodesk is heavily pushing the use of the Akamai Download Manager to download it, going to what I consider unethical lengths to do so. For a variety of reasons, some of which I’m not at liberty to discuss and others of which I have already discussed extensively, I strongly recommend not installing this software. In my view, it is a very bad idea to let anything by Akamai anywhere near your computer. If you’re in a secure corporate environment, it’s quite likely that you won’t be able to do so, or if you can, that it won’t work anyway.

Although the Autodesk download process gives every impression that you have no choice in the matter, this is not true. In the past I have had to install an unsupported browser (Opera) to get at a straightforward download link, but this time it is possible to get the software without having to resort to that. Here’s what to do. Go to http://usa.autodesk.com/autocad/trial/, fill in the form and click the Download Now button. You will be presented with this screen:

Avoiding Akamai

This is a pack of lies. Ignore everything except the line that says If you cannot complete the installation, click here. Click that and you will see this:

Avoiding Akamai

The feedback link takes you to Akamai’s site so it’s probably not useful as a mechanism to let Autodesk know what you think of its use of the Akamai Download Manager. I have used it in the past and it’s a black hole, so don’t waste your time there.

As you can see, there may not be an OK button visible, but if you scroll down you will see it. Click it.

Avoiding Akamai

That will get you to this screen:

Avoiding Akamai

More misleading stuff here, but the important thing is the text that says Click here to download using your browser. Click that and you can start actually downloading the installation executable.

The links I eventually got to using this process were:

http://trial.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/2013/ACD/ESD/AutoCAD_2013_English_Win_32bit.exe
http://trial.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/2013/ACD/ESD/AutoCAD_2013_English_Win_64bit.exe

At home, using Firefox 11.0, each download took just under a quarter of an hour without using any special download manager software. These links may not work for you and your experience may vary depending on your browser, location and language.

Oh, and Autodesk, the 2013 trial download page is still called AutoCAD 2012 – Free Trial – Download AutoCAD Trial – Autodesk and contains a link to the 2012 download FAQ. You might want to change that. You might also want to change the wording on the messages shown above to something less deceptive, especially if you’re interested in how much your customers trust you in future. Finally, I strongly suggest you give up on pushing this Akamai junk. Please.

19 comments to AutoCAD 2013 – Download the trial without Akamai

  • When attempting to run in trial mode, AutoCAD 2013 prompts for registration information in order to “improve” the experience. I closed that window (from the task bar button context menu), then proceeded unhindered. Just FYI, in case anyone else prefers their experience to remain unimproved.

  • Chris Wade

    The trial took about 20 minutes on our internet connection here, using Free Download Manager.

    I really hate all of this Akamai stuff, it is spyware, at best. Why do I say that? Well, after downloading the software, it continues to use your bandwidth to upload files to others that are downloading it. You are not notified about this when installing Akami, so this is clearly stealing from those that use it.

    This happens with Adobe, AutoDesk and a couple of others that required it’s use. It actually got so bad at one point that we were experiencing intermittent internet outages. We have now blocked all traffic to and from Akamai, as well as removed it from all systems and have found that our internet runs faster than ever.

  • Steve Faleiro

    This was a very helpful article. Many thanks and keep up the good work!

    -Steve

  • Chris Cowgill

    Wish that Autodesk couldn’t be any dumber, this method is not an option when trying to download the Civil 3D 2013 trial

  • santy

    Hi I followed your steps one to one to download vercion of prueva .. but after rejecting the Akamai downloader ago i gave click sends me an error page is not how do I hope you can help me thanks,,, ,,

  • dmnjeet singh

    thanks for trick to download autocad 2013
    i get frustrated for dont get download links

  • Aries Satriyo

    Dear everyones, there.,
    I am confuse to download AutoCAD 2013. Because all your web address recomended to me at following :

    http://trial.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/2013/ACD/ESD/AutoCAD_2013_English_Win_32bit.exe
    http://trial.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/2013/ACD/ESD/AutoCAD_2013_English_Win_64bit.exe

    All has not worked properly since I have made a click on that web addresses.
    Did anyone here knowing to solve my problem ?
    Thank You.
    Greeting from Indonesia.

    Kind regards.,
    Aries Satriyo.

    • Since I wrote this post, it looks like Autodesk has decided to eliminate the possibility of efficient and reliable downloads by making it impossible to download AutoCAD without the “Akamai experience”. Autodesk really does suck at the Internet, eh? As a result, I suggest not bothering to download AutoCAD. Have you considered an alternative product, such as Bricscad?

    • According to what I can decipher from the download screens, it should be possible to do a normal download using the “Browser Download” option. When I tried, it did something strange, throwing up popups and then trying to download two .rar parts of the installation package. I didn’t feel like letting it finish doing that to see if it magically patched the files together at the end, but you might want to try and see what happens.

      Why Autodesk can’t just provide a straightforward link to a file, I have no idea. I guess that would be too easy.

  • Aries Satriyo

    One more things,Steve., I need to ask you again. Did you really know that Bricscad can render and draw for specific case in Process Design for Chemical Plant ?
    Also I may say to Thanks for you Paul for your suggestion.
    Thank You.

    Aries Satriyo.

    • Sorry, my response was rather flippant because I was so annoyed by Autodesk messing us all around again. To answer your question, I don’t know, but in the medium term I intend to find out exactly what it’s capable of and what pain would be involved in switching over before it’s too late. I really don’t see much future in Autodesk as a provider of efficient, cost-effective desktop CAD software.

      I killed your comment that had your email address in it and was awaiting approval before it appeared. Given the traffic this site gets, you would probably have been inundated with spam if I had let it become visible.

  • Aries Satriyo

    Oh., never mind to me , Steve you had deleted my comment including my email address. Yes., you can do that things. But, for now on ., I want to go back use again AutoCAD Plant 3D in my laptop because several add-on doesn’t find in Bricscad. Perhaps, I must be waited to look in a development of very powerful Bricscad in new version. Yes, time goes by as I cannot follow it. In AutoCAD, I am very familiar with building block a chemical plant as easy to build and very fast. Only , in very expensive Price in AutoCAD then another similar software which I cannot buy it., but our company have a limited budget to purchase. Maybe., I must hearing from my friends here to acquire a Cracks in AutoCAD., ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……

  • Adam

    Thank-you for this, no way our sys admins would allow this crap on our network!

  • Bob Tongue

    I just used your link for the 32 bit version, and it worked fine

  • BenieS

    Thank you for that,
    i dont trust the pre-installer and came across to your site, and can download german version with:
    http://trial.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/2013/ACD/ESD/AutoCAD_2013_German_Win_32bit.exe
    thumps up.

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