Here's How: P2P file sharing under OS X

Even with the downfall of Napster/Macster, peer to peer (P2P) file sharing has become a well-estab­lished Internet institution. Interestingly, the technology is also commonly used for legitimate corporate use. Most file sharing applications now allow the sharing of multiple forms of media, including audio files such as MP3s, movies (often in the DivX format) and general software applications.

It’s important to remember that downloading files from file sharing services can potentially violate copyright laws, but there are also legal downloads available. So, while sharing copyrighted files is illegal, file sharing itself is not.

Hotline Connect now has an OS X client available. Originally started by an Australian, this service grew to a quiet popularity in the mid- to late 1990s. Ownership of the service has recently changed. The Hotline Connect Client for OS X allows users to chat, transfer files, read news, and interact with communities using its own network system.

Drumbeat, which is available at http://drumbeat.info, uses the OpenNap network and claims to have over 800,000 available users, an impressive figure. The download version is a 15-day trial; it costs $US29.95 to buy the software after this period.

Myster uses Java and is therefore available across most platforms. It supports multiple media types and operates without the need for a central server. eDonkey 2000 also does away with central servers and uses its own network that operates across multiple computer platforms. You can download eDonkey for OS X from http://sourceforge.net/projects/cocodonkey.

For Gnutella-based file sharing net­works, one program you may like to try is the free Acquisition (http://www.xlife.org) — supporting newer Gnutella features such as download resuming and multi-source downloads. Then, of course, there’s the ever-popular LimeWire Gnutella client that we’ll run through using. The basic version is Ad-ware; the Ad-free version costs $US9.50.

LimeWire

Once downloaded, installing LimeWire is a breeze on OS X compared to a PC, especially as there’s no need for added Java installations. The installer will request the directory for saving your files, your connection speed and ask if you want to scan your computer for files to share with others.

The program’s interface is very clean and easy to use. You can run multiple file searches simultaneously; each time you run a search using the left column, a new tab appears in the right of the main window. You can search for any type of file, including programs, video, documents, audio and images. Audio and video in particular have expanded search options covering everything from defining the type of clip to its file size.

At the bottom of the main search window you’ll find a download list. Click and drag the centre section upwards to view the status of your downloads. Using the buttons underneath this area, you can kill and resume incoming files.

The upper Monitor tab allows you to monitor your downloads and the Library tab is where you can also resume incomplete downloads and view or listen to completed downloads.

Neo

As at the time of writing, Kazaa offers no Mac support. However, a ‘shadow’ client called Neo is available that scans the Internet for Kazaa hosts, takes a copy of their file lists and places the list on your hard disk. If this interests you, download Neo at http://expert.cc.purdue.edu/%7Emthole/neo and read on.

When you start Neo it will instruct you to click on the toolbar’s Master List button. This makes Neo contact a central server and download a list of known Kazaa hosts found by other Neo users. On a high-bandwidth connection this took about five minutes to scan through 250 known servers. Once a fair amount of host files have been indexed, you can search by typing your query into the Search Text field — the down arrow will bring up previous searches. The media filter drop-down list allows you to limit your search to audio, images or video.

When you’ve got a list of results, you’ll note that the file size and type are displayed in columns. Clicking on a column heading will sort the results. The top-left Download and Browse Hosts buttons will do just what their names suggest. Most importantly, pressing -3 will bring up the download manager.

giFT

UNIX fans may also be interested in giFT — an open source file sharing utility ported for OS X 10.2 and used from the terminal. giFT also has a more visual in-terminal front end available. You can find more information about using and installing giFT at http://gift.sourceforge.net and http://fink.sourceforge.net, respectively.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Danny Allen

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?