Gnetwork Is The Computer - Gnutella
next generation file-sharing application inspired by Napster's success.
Gnutella does not rely on a central server
in the way services like Napster do, the program theoretically offers
users many advantages, not the least of which is anonymity.
The original version of Gnutella, written by programmer Justin
Frankel and friends at Nullsoft, was
pulled by parent company AOL within
hours of being posted on the Net - but not before news of the application
hit Slashdot and thousands of copies were
downloaded by curious visitors.
Gnutella allows users to communicate independently, it is predicted that
the system will be far more difficult to control or shut down than Napster,
which could be put out of commission by a single court order targeting
of October 2000 use of Gnutella remains limited,
for the most part because the people most likely to use it are otherwise
occupied downloading files with Napster.
a growing group of hard core fans uses the program on a daily basis, Gnutella's
user base is relatively small in comparison to the thirty five million
or so registered users who had signed up with Napster by October.
This means both the number and variety of files to be found on GnutellaNet
at any given time is less than ideal.
is ample evidence, however to suggest that a court
ordered shutdown of Napster might cause a significant migration,
enough to turn Gnutella into what the RIAA might call a monster. Clearly,
if what advocates say about the network is true, Gnutella will prove very
difficult, if not impossible, for the recording industry or other authorities
to control. This assumes, however, that the open source team behind Gnutella
is capable of ironing out some fairly serious problems that have surfaced
over the past months.
For more on these obstacles. See: Are the users next?
- The Gnutella Paradox
paper, Gnutella is considered to be a much more versatile application
than earlier file sharing systems like Napster.
Napster, which limits users to searches for MP3 files, Gnutella allows
users to locate almost any type of type over the Internet. Audio files
of any format (including MP3), software, video clips and written documents
can all be easily transferred using a healthy Gnutella connection.
Gnutella requires a little more legwork than setting up most applications,
as users must manually enter the addresses of servers on the gnutellanet
in order to launch the program. With a little practice however, the process
becomes second nature as less technically minded users adjust to a complicated
vocabulary that can admittedly be confusing to a first timer.
no single authority has official control of Gnutella - (the whole point
in the minds of the open source programmers working on the various incarnations
of the project) - some critics have voiced concerns about security.
users have already had problems with at least one virus specifically designed
to corrupt the computers of gnutella users. The gnutella worm , unlike
other worms found in the wild recently, does little real damage and is
fairly - ahem - easy to remove. If
you plan on using Gnutella regularly it is probably a good idea to protect
yourself by downloading the appropriate virus
definition file. The Symantec
anti-virus research center has one they'll
let you have for free.
Although advocates have argued that Gnutella is
in many ways superior to Napster (which was after all Shawn Fanning's
first program), recent evidence suggests the system may have many underlying
complex legal issues raised by file-sharing applications like Gnutella
are by this point common knowledge. If you use gnutella these are issues
you should at the very least be aware of. Despite the popularity of file-sharing
applications like Gnutella and napster, downloading copyrighted material
without permission remains against the law.
gnutella.wego.com - review
sourceforge.net - review
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