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Are Peer-to-Peer Applications Dangerous?

Angeline Mabute

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Many of us have been using peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications in our home for a while now.

What is peer-to-peer?

A peer-to-peer network, also called P2P, is composed of participants who share a portion of their resources directly available to other network participants without the need for servers or stable hosts. It was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster. It allows users to connect and transfers or shares files directly with each other's machine.

Nowadays, P2P applications are very popular. People often use P2P to search for and download songs and movies that they like. P2P has a big impact to the people socially and economically.

File sharing is not the only type of P2P application, most of the instant messaging applications are P2P too like Skype. Forums and distributed databases are some of other examples and so on. Here are some the popular peer-to-peer applications:

• BitTorrent – One of the most popular peer-to-peers file sharing used on the Internet involving a significant amount of traffic. It distributes large files, popular files and files available for free which includes films, videos, music, television shows, computer applications, etc.

• LimeWire – The free, simple and popular P2P file sharing program which offers unlimited simultaneous searches of MP3s, documents, software, videos and more. It also has family filters and integrated chat. Other features include improved privacy features, elimination of spyware, and support for podcasts, BitTorrent, iTunes, parental controls and extended file information.

• Kazaa – The single most popular P2P file sharing system of all time which is very easy and fast to use. It has been said that it causes more network compared to any other application.

• Morpheus – A safe and secure file sharing tool that permits you to search multiple P2P networks for MP3s, documents and videos.

• Bearshare – A file-sharing program that connects you with other users letting you to find, download, share and publish audio and video files.

• Tribler – A social community which helps the users to find, enjoy and share content such as videos, audio, pictures and more.

• Pando – A free P2P software which offers a fast, easy and fun downloading, streaming and sharing of large media files.

• Babelgum – A free revolutionary Internet and Mobile TV platform supported by advertising that professionally produces content and prevents piracy.

• Joost – Using P2P, it distributes TV and other video shows for free over the web.

• LiveStation – Runs on a peer-to-peer software created by Microsoft which delivers live TV and radio news as it happens.

• Mashboxx– The peer-to-peer software currently unreleased which promises to be the first to be authorized by major record labels, Sony BMG Music, and EMI Music.

• Ares - A free and open source P2P file sharing program that allows you to search the shared folders of other users for documents, images, sounds, videos and more.

P2P applications have been facing some issues dealing on how dangerous it can be to everyone. Since P2P allows the sharing of files with other peers, your computer might take the risks of being infected or damaged. A user might send you a harmless file, like a music file, only to find out in the end that it is a malicious program. One example of this situation is when Kaspersky Lab discovered the Worm. Kazaa. Benjamin virus. It is also known as Kazkaz which overwrites any file that is sent to Kazaa. Through P2P, files are everywhere and people can share and distribute them to everyone without asking the permission of the person or company who has the copyright on it. It is a violation of the law to download or provide available download for copyrighted files. Music files are one good example of these copyright protected files.

Nowadays, transferring of files is normally done by people every day. That’s why so many people are hooked using different peer-to-peer applications to exchange music, video and other files over the Internet. Even though many are taking advantage of these P2P applications, it is still risky to use because it might infect your PC. You have to configure your peer-to-peer applications correctly to prevent others from accessing you. You might be surprised one day that the world is accessing your PC and downloading your files.

If you encounter problems and gets your PC infected with viruses and other malware while using P2P applications, Techie Now is here to give you a hand. Contact Techie Now and we will give you fast and safe services that will keep your PC protected from everything.


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