Makers Gonna Make

A Beginners Guide to File Sharing Software

Posted on Sep 5, 2012 in Guest Posts, Tools |

Guest Post by Sam Mauzy.

Using the internet for more than checking email and reading the latest news is not a new discovery, especially when it comes to sharing files. File sharing software includes programs that offer the ability to share any type of files with other people from around the world–ranging from movies and music to PDF documents and full books. Although much of file sharing is viewed in a negative light with the recent controversy of internet freedom, file sharing is not illegal altogether, depending on what is being shared and the rights of the person who has chosen to share the files as well.

What are File Sharing Programs?

File sharing programs give you the opportunity to easily share files with people anywhere across the globe. Programs are commonly known as “P2P” software when file sharing, also known as “peer to peer”. Users are able to use the software itself to search or online “torrent” websites to find the content you are searching for (whether it is a very specific video or if you are browsing for tips and free recipes).

Once you have verified the download for safety purposes (to avoid saving a potential virus to your computer), the P2P or other type of file sharing software will begin to download the file. The download’s speed varies based on the number of people who are virtually sharing the file and also have the file downloaded on their own computer. The more “seeds” and “leeches” each file has, the quicker the download will complete.

After a download has completed downloading within your file sharing program, it will state that it is “seeding”. Seeding represents the re-distribution of pieces of the file you just downloaded to newcomers who are also interested in saving it to their own computer. When you are “seeding”, your IP address is available to those who are also downloading and seeding the file–which can increase your risk of being fined or finding trouble with the law if you are downloading illegal or copyrighted material.

Is File Sharing Illegal?

Yes and no. File sharing itself is not illegal, as long as the material being shared is copyright-free or distributed by its rightful owner. Although most torrent websites offer movies, entire music albums, and other copyrighted material entirely free, it is still illegal to download and share them with others. Once you begin downloading illegal material, you are at risk for copyright infringement, especially if you are “seeding” and sharing your completed downloads. Before you chose to share files or download them, ensure you are abiding by the law and only downloading free files that have no copyrights attached to them to avoid any issues with your ISP (internet service provider) or the legal system itself.

Sam is a blogger with a background in marketing. He prefers to use the eMule download for his personal file sharing.