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Shareaza - a better Peer to peer program
A good spyware-free kazaa alternative
By Red Squirrel

main window screen shot   Search window screen shot

Shareaza's interface is much more appealing to the eyes then most interfaces. Some have too much "nice graphics" that make it bloaty. While Shareaza is not a plain windows GUI, it does not go overboard in graphics either, and you can also use various skins to suit your taste. The start page is not some crazy page with tons of ads that use more bandwidth then your downloads, it's a plain page and you can search directly on it or use the side menu.

"My Downloads" displays the latest downloads that you have started, "My library" shows the latest files added to your share list, the "Connection" section gives a quick description of the connection status and what not and finally "uploads" shows how many active uploads and allows you go to to the upload section by clicking on it.

The Shareaza search allows you to search files on all networks simultaneously and the search is rather quick. Make sure you are connected to the networks by going to Networks/Choose networks. This is one thing though, I find it should be connected by default, or remember last time you connected, but it's not the case, you need to click on Edonkey 2000 and Gnutella1 each time you start, but Gnutella2 is always connected to by default. A typical search with all 3 networks turned on takes about 5 seconds to start seeing results, even less at times, and depending on the keywords you'll get results coming in like crazy. Unlike KaZaA it's not limited to like 50 downloads or something.

Downloads screen shot   Uploads screen shot

The Shareaza download list is very detailed and gives you more information on progress then most p2p clients. First off, it actually shows you what's going on in terms of various file parts. It's fun to watch the different patterns that occur and what part is downloaded first. If you hover on a download, you will get a popup with a graph with more info. The download speeds with Shareaza can be pretty good at times, in this particular screen shot I was getting bad download speeds, but often enough I'll get in the 20KB/sec range and I've seen it shoot even higher once in a while. The main issue with any p2p network is that there is tons of network overhead to keep track of everything going on so that's why it's harder to get high download speeds, also your speeds depend on the other person's upload speed and allot of ISPs cap that at ridiculous limits.

The upload section is separated in various queue groups. In the options you can setup groups and priorities them. Like uploads, you can get a popup description of progress. One other thing, which applies both to uploads and downloads, there is a speed throttle on top which you can use to limit speed. This is good especially if you are surfing the internet while it is on, since when you get good speeds it may eat up your browsing speed.

Shareaza also features a great media player which can play unfinished downloads, even ones that have different chunks. The media player will automatically fill in those empty spaces and decode it on the fly to play what has been downloaded. Sometimes it will be all weird and stuff, but that's because of the way video files work, but at least it gives you an idea of whether or not you are downloading what you want.

On the next page we'll take a look at some of the settings.

Next Page
25891 Hits Pages: [1] [2] [3] 11 Comments

Latest comments (newest first)
Posted by jellyfish on June 06nd 2005 (21:29)
Emule doesn't contain any spyware but edonkey does (both connect to the same network).

here's the link to the 8MB deal i'm getting: http://www.bulldogbroadband.com/residentia...NP/XP/index.asp

My bit torrent speeds will increase at least.

Posted by Red Squirrel on June 06nd 2005 (16:44)
Oh wow 8mbit, that's almost LAN speed (well a slow LAN, but faster then most DSL/Cable services tongue.gif). But don't expect to actually hit that though, Mine is a 5mbit connection but it's really about 1, at the most.

I don't think I've ever tried emule, I'll have to give it a try. I hope there's no spyware, I'll have to research first.

Posted by jellyfish on June 06nd 2005 (16:14)
Emule downloads are based on a reward system, you have to have a high upload to download ratio in order to get alot of decent downloads, but once you do emule is brilliant- especially for programs, i downloaded a program last night at the speed of 70.

I like the file comment capabilities of emule aswell, it saves alot of time by not downloading corrupted files.

I use bit tornado aswell- my highest speed on there was 196.

I once downloaded 26 high quality music albums from emule in the space of 7 days...didn't like most of them so i deleted them, but that's not the point...rare stuff is there aswell.

soulseek used to be brilliant for getting rare stuff but now it just doesn't work for me.

[R.I.P soulseek.]

emule is good for downloading tv episodes- that's mainly what i download now (via: http://www.the-realworld.de/).

will be going off line now for ages as i'm moving house tomorrow but i'll be back soon with an 8MB connection...much fun will be had on bit tornado/Shareaza.

Posted by Red Squirrel on June 06th 2005 (22:52)
Well it seems to have dived like most p2p networks. I have 20 downloads, all pending.
Posted by Pyr-O-Rgasm on February 02th 2005 (00:52)
I heard Shareaza sucked. I use to use Kazaa Lite K++. Now Kazaa is shitting out on me. It will start to download the files, I'll check back later and they disappeared, so naturally I'm like, "YAY! IT'S DONE!". Wrong. The file is no where to be found. BitTorrent is my favorite as long as you can find good sites.

R.I.P. www.suprnova.org.

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