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Peer to peer file sharing

How to download movies, music and games from the internet.


  1. General information
  2. Some Facts
  3. BitTorrent: The best way to get tv-series
  4. Direct Connect: The best p2p system
  5. ftp
  6. giFT
  7. Gnutella
  8. IRC
  9. Kazaa
  10. WinMX


1. General information

Everything that can be digitalized is available on the Internet. Movies, music videos, CD records, games, books and more can be downloaded freely. You will not find such things on normal websites, the net has much more to offer than what you see when using a web browser.

You need special peer to peer (p2p) file sharing software to get media off the net.

Be aware that much of the content on the p2p networks is copyrighted and therefore illegal to download in some countries.

p2p software can be divided into three groups:

  1. Those who connect to one large central server (Winmx, Kazaa).
  2. Those who connect to one or more small servers (Direct Connect).
  3. Those who only seek other clients and do not go through servers at all (Overnet).

The best p2p software is currently Direct Connect, but there are other very good alternatives.

It is all about sharing, most systems require you to share and upload a given amount. You get media from others by allowing them to download from you.

Keep in mind that because of the nature of p2p no program file downloaded from such services are safe. Executables may contain viruses and other evil code. Windows users should use a virus scanner before running program files from any unsafe source. Linux users should not download program code from p2p at all, use the official distribution sources instead.

2. Some Facts

Using p2p software to download copyrighted files (music, movies, games and other warez) can be:

  1. Illegal (in most of Europe and the US). Almost all countries have one or more laws against file trading. There are some really tragic, sad, mean and bitter people who work for very evil greedy bastards who participate in file sharing networks just to file complaints against anyone with a nets worth. File sharing may give you trouble with your local law enforcement.

  2. Dangerous. Windows users are extremely exposed to viruses. Linux users who are hopelessly inexperienced with computers and life in general, unquallified to use a Linux system and stupid enough to run programs with unknown origin are also exposed to viruses, worms and other evil.

  3. Time-consuming. It is highly likely you will increase the amount of time you spend around the vizual output connected to your computer.

  4. Space-demanding. A movie does require "close to a gigabyte". Music is no problem, a song takes no space at all and songs can be deleted at will as they can be downloaded in seconds, not hours. Movies can be your problem, it is the TV series that will fill your harddrives (You get more megabytes/money when buying hard drives than buying empty CD media). 24 s03 is 3,1G. That's 10G for the complete show.

  5. Difficult. Those dummy-proff applications like kazaa do pop up from time to time, the most widely-used toys always get stopped by evil people. People have been convicted for using napster. But for using ftp? Or gift? The evil people probably never heard of them. Both are much harder to both get into and use than kazaa is. The point is: Small services stay small because they are difficult to get into and user-unfriendly. Small can be very good. If you are connected to 1k sharing users you could be in file-sharing heaven, being connected to a million n00bs does not mean the world is at your fingertips.

3. BitTorrent: The best way to get tv-series

bittorrent is a different p2p tool. To use it you need to obtain a special information file, a filedescription.torrent, for the file you want to download. This file is loaded by bittorrent, which instantly finds other people transfering your desired file. As you start to download, you also begin to share and upload.

What is bittorrent good for?

bittorrent is the ultimate tool for hot 0-7 day warez, movies and specially tv-series.

bittorrent only gives you a good download speed while other people are downloading (and thereby uploading to you) the same file. (So please keep bittorrent running 24 hours after you finish your download...)

This means that old episodes of tv-series and movies are hopeless to download with bittorrent, while really hot files are easy to grab. epguides is a good place to find tv-shows release dates.

Clients are available for:

  • Linux
  • Mac OS X
  • Windows

Check our seperate page on BitTorrent for more information

4. Direct Connect: The best p2p system

Direct Connect is a system where clients connect to one or more servers (hubs) who keep track of connected users and their shared files. The hubs do not communicate, you can only search the hub(s) you are connected to. There is software that can search all the hubs available.

Files are transfered directly between users.

You need a client to connect:

  • DCGui-QT is a very good client based on . It can connect to multiple hubs and can also search all hubs in your serverlist.
  • Mldonkey can connect to multiple networks: EDonkey, Direct Connect and Gnutella.
  • DCTC stands for Direct Connect Text Client and is a library with an optional gui called dc-gui.

Windows-only:

The very best HUBs require that you share a minimum of 100+ GB, but most hubs are satisfied with 2-5 GB shared.

Use those HUBs that are closest to you, longer distance means slower downloads.

Good:

  • Just about everything is available.
  • It just keeps on growing.
  • Nice list of available users, their connection and shared files.
  • Ability to browse users files from search window, easy to download whole directories.

Bad:

  • You need to share a minimum of your own files
  • You must let others download from you by keeping a minimum of slots open

Locations where you can get DC HUB lists (you can use these with your DC program):

5. ftp

ftp will forever be the most popular peer to peer protocol.

Good ftp servers require a username and password, so you will need to know the person(s) running the ftp service...

6. giFT

"giFT is a modular daemon capable of abstracting the communication between the end user and specific filesharing protocols (peer-to-peer or otherwise). The giFT project differs from many other similar projects in that it is a distribution of a standalone platform-independent daemon, a library for client/frontend development, and our own homegrown network, OpenFT."

giFT can be run as a daemon on one box and be controlled by any other given box. But a giFT instance can only be controlled by one box at the time, it sux bigtime that it can't be shared.

giFT can, apparently, be used with Windows (giFT/OpenFT's Installation Guide for Windows).

The best thing: Most of the audio are .ogg! This is unique to giFT.

giFT supports fasttrack, openft and gnutella. openft is probably the one you will get most out of.

6.1. Content plugins

6.2. Frontends

6.3. Getting started

Run gift-setup after you installed giFT. This will create the relevant files in ~.giFT/:

  • .giFT/giftd.conf
  • .giFT/Gnutella/Gnutella.conf
  • .giFT/OpenFT/OpenFT.conf
  • .giFT/ui/ui.conf

Open your firewall (if any) for the ports you selected for communicating with the world and make sure you block port 1213 as this is the (default) port used between the giftd daemon and your client program.

A common first time error when using OpenFT is:

GIFT-WARNING: OpenFT: no stats-provider found, falling back to number of established connections

..because the default nodes list is outdated so giFT does not find any OpenFT starting point. The solution is to get a nodelist from somewhere on the net:

  wget http://jasta.gotlinux.org/gift/nodes
  mv -f nodes ~/.giFT/OpenFT/nodes 

Good luck, have fun.

7. Gnutella

This is and old and always popular p2p protocol.

  • Gnutella has no servers. Klients talk to other clients and share their peer knowledge.
  • Clients are usually capable to reach 1k-10k other clients depending on how many open connections you choose. 5 open connections will let you search 1k other clients.

Clients

These days it is common for p2p programs to have a plugin for gnutella.

8. IRC

Internet Relay Chat is the worlds largest chat system, and has hundreds of chat rooms on many different servernetworks.

Some of these rooms are used to share media.

To get started, you need a irc client: Read irc clients .

Music:

  • #mp3norge on EF-Net

Musicvideo:

  • #mpglovers on Undernet

Games:

  • #isoz on EF-Net

Futurama:

  • #futuramaVCD on EF-Net

Movies:

  • #filmer on EF-Net

The various channels has their own methods for asking for files. Quite often they have dedicated bots controlled by commands like '/msg brukernavn xdcc list' , !ftp and !list.

Serverlist EF-Net:

Serverlist Undernet:

Good:

  • Experienced users can get everything on IRC.

Bad:

  • You need to be somewhat l33t to get anything downloaded from irc.
  • You also probably need to know a bit or two about ftp
  • No searching, no way of searching the entire irc for a keyword
  • Bandwith may be limited, transferrate will (probably) be somewhat low - meaning you should have a 24/7 irc box

9. Kazaa

Kazaa Media Desktop is a closed-source windows-only client/server system. The original client is a threat to your already insecure windows computer, use KaZaA Lite instead. Do not underestemate the security issues with spyware programs like Kazaa.

There is a Linux client for Kazaa. It is still in alpha development, but it is usable. Read

KaZaa client for GNU/Linux for more information.

Good:

  • User-friendly

Bad:

  • Kazaas client is full of spyware.
  • The searched are filtered, and they sell good search results.

10. WinMX

WinMx is a closed-source windows-only client/server system.

Good:

  • Very user-friendly
  • It has the perfect interface: Only buttons with explaining text on them.

Bad:

  • The default search filter is .mp3, therefore .ogg files are not showed by default.

Copyright (c) 2000-2004 Øyvind Sæther. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".


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