Some Peer-to-peer or P2P file sharing applications may have developed a bad reputation among many computer users. While there are some disreputable P2P file sharing applications, tracker sites, and users, the practice itself is perfectly legal and has many legitimate uses. The software and programming that run P2P file sharing apps are very sophisticated. However, using P2P apps legally and safely is fairly simple. Understanding the basics of P2P networks will help take the mystery out of the process.
P2P File Sharing Defined
P2P files sharing gets its name from the fact that peers share files with one another. File sharing applications make it possible for people to seek the files that they want while sharing files with other users. There are many legitimate uses for P2P file sharing sites, including open source computer software, artistic works in the public domain, and where copyright holders have authorized free distribution of their works.
Torrents and File Transfers
When individual computers access files, the process is called downloading. Torrents are transfers that allow multiple users to access the same file from the same server at the same time. Torrents also allow differing file formats to be transferred directly or through trackers. Vuze is a major player in the torrent arena. It facilitates for P2P file sharing by using the bittorrent protocol. Vuze also provide a host of resources for legal P2P downloading.
Rogue File Sharing Sites to Avoid
Back in the day, there were and still are some rogue P2P file sharing applications and tracker sites. Those sites specialized in flouting the law and openly offering pirated music, movies and other illegal downloads. However, in recent years, some of those sites have either spent more time in court than nearly anywhere else, or been sued out of existence. Sticking to legal P2P sites and software is a wise strategy.
File Sharing in the Business World
If you think the P2P file sharing is just for teenagers and young adults, think again. Many businesses use P2P file sharing as well. Your co-worker could very well be using P2P file sharing software right now. P2P software is especially popular among gaming and software companies. For instance, World of Warcraft is known to push its updates and new items to its millions of users through such file sharing networks.
Safe P2P Sharing Practices
There is no reason to be fearful of P2P networks. Watchful, yes. Cautious, yes. But not fearful. Practice safe P2P network usage and the risks associated with using torrents can be minimized. For instance, always maintain updated anti-virus and anti-malware software, along with double-checking your firewall settings. Store the files that you obtain from file sharing sites in a separate folder. Resist the temptation to visit sketchy websites that promise “all the big hits” for free. You may be browsing toward a scam site.
Even if you are diligent, you run a somewhat higher risk of exposure to unwanted files by using P2P sites ; Run anti-virus and anti-malware software both before and after accessing P2P file sharing sites. While carrying out these safeguards in association with using P2P file sharing sites may seem inconvenient, it is far less inconvenient than trying to rid your computer of a nasty virus or Trojan.
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