After having consulted two friends who are major Microsoft geeks (and
having received a word of encouragement from my friend and colleague
Tisme, in the "Comments" section below), I feel confident that you'll
find both an answer to the "why" and a fix for the problem here:
This article describes how to configure Internet Explorer to have more
than two download sessions.
Warning: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious
problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system.
Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result
from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your
To comply with current Internet standards (Request for Comments 2068),
Internet Explorer limits the number of simultaneous downloads to two
downloads, plus one queued download. This configuration is a function
of the browser. However, as connection speeds increase, and the number
of total connections that are allowed to Internet servers increase,
the two-connection limit may be restrictive. To increase the number of
simultaneous connections that are allowed to 10, follow these steps:
1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
2. Locate the following key in the registry:
3. On the Edit menu, point to New click DWORD Value, and then add the
following registry values:
Value name: MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
Value data: 10
Value Name: MaxConnectionsPerServer
Value data: 10
4. Quit Registry Editor.
This procedure is for informational purposes only. Changing the
maximum number of connections beyond two is a violation of Internet
standards; Microsoft does not recommend this procedure for use outside
Microsoft: How to configure Internet Explorer to have more than two
This article may also be of interest:
Everything2: How to get unrestricted simultaneous downloads in Internet Explorer
My Google search strategy:
Google Web Search: "internet explorer" limit downloads two
I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, or if a
link doesn't work for you, please request clarification; I'll be glad
to offer further assistance before you rate my answer.