free music downloads

What is P2P?

P2P stands for peer to peer. A P2P network is a group of users who can share files with each other for free. Before P2P, one could only download music from a server which was quite expensive and even slower than modern P2P networks.

Some files are shared by thousands of users. New technology allows bigger files to be divided in segments so a user can download a file from hundreds of computers ensuring speeds of up to 800KB/s or more. For this reason, less and less people are downloading music from legal stores as can be seen in the Statistics.

The reason why P2P networks work is because some users share their own files. Others prefer not to share them because it makes internet browsing speed a bit slower and allows anyone to see their shared folder (even detectives). However, the less people who share files, the slower the overall network becomes.

The main downside of P2P networks is them being so freely open. Anyone can share any file including, but not limited to: viruses, spyware and illegal content. While there are ways to reduce infections, viruses propragate freely in such networks even infecting computers that only download music. Kazaa is well-known for having spyware and adware within the actual software.

However, P2P networks are extremely useful. They allow users to download any song within seconds and if one knows how to use them properly, they become indispensable tools.

How do P2P networks work?

P2P software such as LimeWire is installed in a computer. The program opens ports so information can be sent and received freely through the port while still maintaining security standars set by the software. When a user looks for a file, the network outputs the available sources. This is actually a very complicated process that involves a very dynamic database, but I won't get into that. The program then divides the file into segments and each source provides some of the file ensuring high download speeds. The program opens the ports between the uploaders and the downloader. Lastly, the file is checked first by the program and then, if the user has the proper software, scanned for any virus/adware/spyware.

Since the P2P network depends so highly in the open ports, it is vital that you enable them on your firewall. Every network has documentation regarding how to do this. If you experience slow downloading speeds it is likely because you forgot to enable those ports in Norton or another protection software and all the information is being carefully monitored.