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WinMX

WinMX is a peer-to-peer file sharing program authored by Frontcode Technologies and running on Windows operating systems. The official WinMX website and WinMX servers have been offline since September 2005 due to a lawsuit (One of the major problems that led to the declining popularity of WinMX was the increase presence of “dummy” files, reportedly placed by individuals and/or companies opposed to file sharing) though the application remains operable through third-party modifications.

Sharing files in WinMX

WinMX, by default, will only share Audio and Video files, although, if properly configured, it can share almost every type of file. It is also considered a very safe network with a limited number of viruses. WinMX also has a file-size restriction. Files over 2GB will not be shared, and must be split into chunks smaller than 2GB in order to be shared. Although there is no limit to the number of files a user can share on the WPNP network, when a list of a specific user’s files is requested (using the ‘browse’ function) only a limited amount will be shown. These limits are 5000 files for a Primary connection, and 3000 files for a Secondary connection. However, ALL the shared files will be visible to a general search via filename or hash. These limitations do not apply on OpenNap servers (see below).

Searching for files

You can search for almost any file in WinMX. When a user sends out a search, the search is spread throughout the network. If a file is found, the HASH number of the file along with the way to find it is sent through the network to the user who made the search. Searches can also be made with hash numbers instead of words and numbers.

Even before the WinMX network was originally shut down, there were increasing reports of fake files and corrupted data in the networks. The people hosting the files, called flooders, connect as secondary users. If certain trigger words are included by a user when searching for a file, that user gets many results which are not real. The resulting large bandwidth also often crashes the user and the “Primary” to which s/he is connected.

Chatting

WinMX allows a person to host chatrooms with its built-in Chat function. There are some rooms reserved for chat, some for trading files, and some which allow both. There are typically around 1500 to 2000 chatrooms open at any given time. WinMX also allows you to message a user using its Private Message function. You can message any user regardless of whether that user is in the same chat room as you or whether you are downloading from/uploading to that user unless his or her settings are configured not to. It is also possible to host chatrooms in languages other than English, such as Japanese, German, French and Italian.

OpenNap

WinMX started out as a Peer-to-Peer program that connected to OpenNap servers. It can still connect to many OpenNap servers. These servers enable users to connect to a wider userbase and also receive many more search results. Two advantages for running OpenNap is the ability to have a permanent list of friends called a hotlist and the ability to share an unlimited number of files.

Translations

WinMX is natively run in the English language, but language files can be installed to translate menus into the following languages: Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

Review by Jared Moya

WinMX has an average rating 3.0 out of 5 based on 69 user ratings.