Now that LimeWire is gone for good, I’ve taken the time to compile a list of 10 alternative P2P programs that are available.
With U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood having recently issued an injunction ordering LimeWire to disable the “the searching, downloading, uploading, file trading and/or file distribution functionality, and/or all functionality” of the famed file-sharing program many former users have been searching for a viable alternative.
LimeWire still says it plans to to return as a subscription-based “ecosystem” that will give subscribers “complete and instant access to their entire [music] library and catalog across their desktop, devices, and in the cloud,” but it’s likely not to have much appeal for those who used LimeWire to download music, movies, TV shows, etc..
With this in mind I’ve taken the time to compile a list of 10 alternative P2P programs that are available.
(UPDATED MARCH 4th, 2012)
The easiest alternative of all. Right after LimeWire was shut down a secret team of developers made some modifications to LimeWire 5.6 beta. They stripped it of all the spyware and adware, activated all of the PRO features, cut its dependency on LimeWire LLC’s servers, and released it back into the wild as LimeWire Pirate edition. I also wrote a great guide on how to use it.
So where can you find it? Right HERE.
There are versions for both Mac and Windows.
The personal favorite of many a file-sharer, BitTorrent breaks files down into smaller packets so that thousands of people can share the same file simultaneously. This scheme is particularly useful for trading large video files.
With BitTorrent, high demand can actually increase throughput as more bandwidth and additional “seeds” of the file become available to the group. To use bittorrent to download content, you will need both a website where you can find .torrent files and a client to open those torrent files and download what you are looking for.
In contrast to other file-transfer protocols, BitTorrent is designed to work better as the number of people interested in a certain file increases. BitTorrent can support about a thousand times as many downloads as HTTP.
Usenet is one of the oldest, and arguably safest, computer network communications still in use, having been first conceived way back in 1979 by a pair of Duke University graduate students to basically post messages as a sort of public bulletin board system.
Users download content from Newsgroups, the better ones of which require a nominal monthly subscription fee.
The benefit is that it offers relatively fast download speeds while simultaneously offering a great degree of safety and security.
FrostWire uses both the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols to download content. It’s been around since 2004 and enjoys a loyal following.
FrostWire includes much of the functionality of LimeWire’s free version, as well as a few of LimeWire Pro’s payment based upgrades.
I include this one because I mentioned it yesterday and it holds promise for a new wave of clients that take advantage of the large volume of content that already exists legally on the web.
MP3Rocket beta is a “time-shifting tool” that so far harnesses the music selection of YouTube to deliver “even faster” MP3 downloads. It has an easy to use user interface that lets you search through existing videos for conversion to an MP3 download.
MP3 Rocket beta offers live on-demand streams for more than 3,000 movies and TV shows, a Live Radio feature offering more than 1,000 live radio stations, and a Game Player providing access to more than 1,000 games.
Then there is WinMX. Yes, after all these years, there is still an active community of WinMXworld. Typically, users can connect to WinMX via the help of WinMXWorld where patches can be retrieved to get the client and network working again.
Tribler is, as the developers claim, “designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline,” and can only be shut down if you “take down the Internet” itself.
Tribler is a bittorrent client so you can open torrent files you find on various torrent sites, or Tribler also includes a built in search so in theory you don’t have to find .torrent files on your own.
Shareaza offers connections to the Gnutella2, Gnutella, eDonkey, and BitTorrent networks. It’s easy to use and users should have no trouble quickly figuring out how to search, check our network status, and customize the interface through a healthy choice of skins. Shareaza also has a decent built-in media player for common audio and video formats. Other features include a chat client and the ability to schedule transfers.
Ares is a free open source file sharing program that lets you search and download just about any file shared by other users. With Ares you can also join chat rooms or host your channel and meet new friends.
Latest versions support BitTorrent and lets you preview audio and video files downloads in progress.
eMule is a file-sharing client based on the eDonkey2000 network, but offers more features than the standard eDonkey client. This client also now include a new serverless network based on Kademlia. The client is also open source but under the restrictions of the GPL License. eMule is one of the biggest and most reliable P2P file-sharing clients around the world.
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