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File sharing

File-sharing software is used to directly or indirectly transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet, over a smaller Intranet, or across simple networks following the peer-to-peer model.

Table of contents

Using File-sharing Choosing a program

For starters, look at what is available for your operating system and which programs meet your specific requirements. Read users reviews and check file sharing websites for the latest developments and to determine whether applications contain spyware, adverising, etc that you may wish to avoid.

Some people may not be willing to try various progams to find the best product, but this seems to be the best with so many choices available. Many networks are new, while most network designs undergo regular updates.


Be patient, not all networks are instant or even permanent. Once connected a good program should just work in the background.


Finding files to download is not always an easy thing to do. Some programs allow for chatting and browsing users files directly. You can find content this way, but results are more hit and miss than keyword searching.

If you can combine all methods for searching initially you might find a number of favourable sources for files to download.


Once again be patient and if you can preview your downloads, especially, if your unfamiliar with the material or using an narrowband connection. This helps to save network bandwidth.


If you can, try to share at least some files and try to ensure your shared files are appropriately named.

File sharing and copyright

Anonymous, Internet file-sharing (such as Gnutella and Napster) grew in popularity with the proliferation of high speed Internet connections and the (relatively) small and high quality MP3 audio format. Although file sharing is a legal technology with legal uses, some people have used it to download copyrighted materials. This has led to counter-attacks against file-sharing in general from some copyright owners.

Through 2001 and 2002, the entire file-sharing community has been in a state of flux, since record companies and RIAA try to shut down as much of this as possible. Even though they have forced Napster into cooperating against copyright violations, they are way behind, since the community has flourished and produced lots of different clients, though not as many different underlying protocols. The second generation of P2P protocols, such as Freenet are not as dependent as Napster is on a central server, making it much harder to shut down these systems through court actions. Another attempt (used by the maintainers of KaZaA) is to change the company's organization so that it is impossible or useless to attack it legally.

List of file-sharing utilities

Credit This article was partly based on public domain material from the infoAnarchy wiki. Update as needed.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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