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Faster file-sharing

Peer-to-peer filesharing
P2P gets a bad press, but it's actually one of the best ways to share

FEATURE INDEX
Introduction
The principles of transferring files between PCs
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Size up your files
Faster transfers start with good compression
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Get files faster over a network
Make more of networking by sharing your files and folders
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Internet sharing
Discover how to share files over the web and by FTP
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Peer-to-peer filesharing
P2P gets a bad press, but it's one of the best ways to share
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BitTorrent
A guide to using and optimising this popular P2P network
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T
hink peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing and you immediately think of spotty teenagers swapping illegal virus-laden downloads of movies and music before a court order drops on the doormat to bankrupt their parents. Even the very process of installing a P2P client is laden with danger, many of them riddled with spyware and adware.
 
   Over the past few years and that picture has changed rapidly. Most illegal filesharing networks have either been shut down or cleaned up their acts - Kazaa for example now merely serves as a redirection page to AltNet, a subscription-based site backed by major record labels offering legal downloads. Even the P2P client software is cleaning up its act, although you should still choose your P2P client with care.

Approach with caution


Why choose P2P?
With these major shortcomings removed, P2P becomes an unbeatable option when looking for an efficient way to share files over the. In traditional forms of internet sharing, a file is stored on a single server and bandwidth must be shared between however many PCs are attempting to access that server at any one time. This is why some files download much quicker than others.
 
   Peer-to-peer (P2P) networking gets around this restriction by taking advantage of multiple computers hosting the same files so more download streams are available, resulting in better performance.
 
   P2P is particularly popular for sharing large files like video and music - hence its poor historical reputation - and while the threat from viruses and spyware remains (don't even think about using P2P without ensuring you're adequately protected first), it's a brilliant way to access and share large files.
 
   All that remains for you to do is choose a P2P network - BitTorrent is our network of choice due to its size and popularity - and suitable client. BitTorrent's own official client - uTorrent - can be downloaded from here and is free from both spyware and viruses. Once you've familiarised yourself with how it works using the annotation and jargon buster below, turn the page to find out more.


Annotation: See how P2P works with uTorrent


 

NVIDIA - CyberLink

P2P jargon buster






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