File sharing

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See also: Using File Sharing Networks | How To Search | File Sharing Protocols | File | Hive

Software allowing the mutual distribution of files over a network.

  1. Overview
  2. Abstract
  3. Getting To The Point
  4. Model and History of File Sharing issues

Catagories of clients:

  • Multi-Network | Multi-Network Clients
    • Benefits: allows connection to more than one network, almost always on the client side.
    • Negatives: often playing catch-up to individual networks' changes and updates.



  • - Covering file sharing and copyright issues along with new and established clients by popularity, size, platform, and more.
  • - Covering file sharing and copyright issues along with new and established clients by popularity, size, platform, and more.
  • Dimension Music - Dimension is a good source for news on digital music and file sharing in general.
  • - A frequently updated news site specifically for Gnutella clients. Go there if you want to know which ones have been most recently updated.
  • ShareReactor.Com - A Web Site that helps download confirmed, public files from one of two networks.
  • ShareLive.Com - A Web Site that helps download confirmed, public files from multiple networks.
  • Planet Peer - comprehensive German portal for mainly anonymous file-sharing programs like MUTE, Freenet and Entropy. We are hosting the official MUTE Wiki also and have a forum which deals with everything concerning issues with anonymous file-sharing tools.

Mailing Lists

  • decentralization - Implications of the end-to-end principle - A mailing list exclusively devoted to the architecture of p2p-systems, with a lot of traffic and interesting ideas passed around. Founded by Lucas Gonze, with lots of high-profile subscribers from the P2P field. Open since July 2000, and still running past Nov 2002.
  • The GDF - The Gnutella Developer Forum is a group for discussing extensions of the Gnutella protocol. It is the largest standards body for the Gnutella network, and anyone working on a servant should be a member.


There are a number of other clients out there in the world. Of note, iA maintains a partial list of some other clients which don't look like they've been updated in a while, or for the historical-minded, are confirmed as dead. These are all placed in our The Halls Of The Dead. Go take a look, as there are a number of clients in there which may do the job you're looking for.

Heck, maybe a client which was thought to be dead and out of date really isn't! If you confirm that a project has been revived, feel free to write a little note in there, or even to correct things yourself.

Papers, Articles and Infant Projects

  • A Method of Free Speech on the Internet: Random Pads (by David A. Madore) - Discusses how information can be completely separated from its creators by XORing it with chunks of random data. The resulting "pads" can then be distributed across so-called "pad archives". A pad archive neither knows what it is hosting nor does it host provably controversial data, since the data cannot be distinguished from noise. It's mainly a legal question: If the courts would outlaw hosting random data, it wouldn't work. Other than that, it's pretty safe -- interesting read, and there are already quite a lot of pad archives (thanks to Slashdot).
  • SafeX - Secure and Anonymous File EXchange. Just a draft with many interesting ideas to use in other projects.
  • GNUnet - Anonymous file sharing implementation for UNIX. The page also features various papers and links to various related systems.
  • OceanStore - OceanStore is "designed to span the globe and provide continous access to persistent information". "Data is protected through redundancy and cryptographic techniques. To improve performance, data is allowed to be cached anywhere, anytime. Additionally, monitoring of usage patterns allows adaptation to regional outages and denial of service attacks; monitoring also enhances performance through pro-active movement of data. A prototype implementation is currently under development."
  • Ben Houston's P2P Idea Page - Ben Houston has written a lot of interesting analyses of distributed systems, among them proposals for more efficient, self-organizing and self-optimizing networks.
  • Intermemory Project - Aims to create "large-scale, self-organized, survivable, available, and secure widely-distributed storage". See papers.
  • Who's on First Proposal - This page introduces the Who's On First (WOF) anonymous network, which is the working title of a proposal for a more flexible and reliable anonymous communication network than that provided by current Type I and II remailers.
  • JetFile - Proposal for a scalable distributed file system (some parts are centralized).