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Reviews and free software downloads for Windows, Mac, Palm, Pocket PC, and Mobile Phones. The best programs and games. Buy software directly online.

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    BitTorrent is the official client for the eponymous protocol, peer-to-peer, and it's lightweight and full of features.

    Download any type of file

    BitTorrent features a search engine to find torrent files – you can also use Bit Che as an alternative – and it incorporates RSS technology, which is used to alert the user to the presence of a new torrent online. For each torrent, the program shows the general download data and information about peers, seeds, and trackers, as well as charts on download and upload speeds.

    BitTorrent isn't just used for downloading files (movies, games, documents, videos, MP3 music and other material not covered by copyright), but also for sharing them, letting new torrents be created.

    BitTorrent offers several other features, borrowed from uTorrent, including:

    • Remote Control Downloads: The software can be configured to allow you to remotely monitor your downloads via browser or via the Android app, BitTorrent Remote 

    • Drop files to send: dragging a file onto the interface of the program will create a link that you can then send and share with friends, which means they can immediately download the archive materials that are available.

    • Apps: a downloadable plugin interface can be installed with one click, allowing you to expand the capabilities of the software.

    • Speed Guide: determines the actual upload and download speed of the connection being used and automatically chooses the optimal setting in the program so that downloads are carried out as quickly as possible.

    A clear and configurable interface

    The interface is intuitive, well organized, and has a modern design. From the main screen, you can see theactive and inactive torrents, and the completed downloads, as well as the ability to access the options menu where you can configure all of the settings at the bottom of BitTorrent.

    Powerful and lightweight – one of the best pieces of P2P software

    BitTorrent, like uTorrent, is among the most popular pieces of file sharing software. It consumes few resources, doesn't weigh your PC down, and rarely freezes.

    Ultimately, it's ideal for anyone who is looking for a quality torrent client that's very configurable and can be used for free P2P downloads.

    Download BitTorrent in Softonic

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    Download ExoSee 1.0.0 in Softonic

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    Download DC++ 0.831 in Softonic

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    Download Piolet 1.99 in Softonic

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    eMule Plus is a spin-off of the highly successful eMule project and mainly aims to improve both its interface and efficiency. Based on the eDonkey 2000 P2P network, the developer slogan for the project is, “The eye candy eMule client, feel the boogie.” So we got down with the boogie to see if it lives up to the hype.

    As far as the eye candy goes, the main interface is almost identical to the original eMule so don’t expect any big surprises there. The main changes involve the way the program handles downloads. In a nutshell this means one thing – your downloads should be more stable. The way it verifies files as well means that you should also end-up with fewer corrupt or false files. In terms of speed, we noticed very little difference between eMule and eMule Plus although the latter is supposed to be a little bit slower. This is because it aims to increase the number of other seeds available to avoid the problem in eMule where people seek the fastest download and then switch-off. The result is that although you may not experience quite the same download speeds, you should get a more consistent download which could mean you eventually download the file quicker.

    Whether eMule Plus is more stable is still unclear. Over prolonged use, users report differing experiences although this will also depend on what other programs you are running alongside it. As with the original program, you are more likely to experience instability issues if you have multiple downloads of big files left running over an extended period of time.

    eMule Plus seems to have pretty much all the benefits of eMule – except that it doesn't seem to be updated as often as the original. However, if you’ve experienced persistent problems with the original eMule, then eMule Plus is definitely worth a go. You should certainly experience more stable downloads if nothing else.

    Download eMule Plus 1.2e in Softonic

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    eMule is a free open source P2P client used for downloading movies, music and many other media file types.

    It works by using ed2k (eDonkey) and Kad (Kademlia) protocols. The search results are consistent and the download speed is often high, although it's not always easy to find secure servers and the software doesn't support the use of torrent files.

    Connect to the server and download

    To use eMule, just connect to a server or the Kad network, search for the file you want to download, and wait for the download to complete.

    Generally, you get lots of results from eMule: you can search for a file name, but also filter the search by type (audio, video, program, image or software).

    Allocating priority when downloading is based on a scoring system that awards credits based on the amount of data exchanged and shared, which in turn determines your position in the queue.

    With eMule, you can also view user comments about the file you're downloading so that you know if it's corrupted or if it's a fake.

    The presence of fake files, corrupt files, or files saved under a false name is one of the main problems with eMule. To prevent this problem, consider the option of using SafeMule– this is a modified version of eMule that has a spam filter and is useful for identifying (and avoiding) fake files.

    Unfortunately, eMule does not support torrent files, but BitTorrent protocols have proven to be faster if you're downloading large files.

    Ideal for beginners

    Where eMule excels most is with its ease of use and the ability to download files from the browser, without having to search for them and get lost in the maze of the network. It's for precisely this reason that it's recommended for less experienced users who want to avoid any complications while they're downloading.

    One of the advantages of eMule, compared to other P2P clients, is the ability to use a media player like VLC to play a preview of the video or MP3 files that you're downloading.

    The design of eMule has changed very little over the years, and as a result, now seems a little dated. A redesign of the interface to make it more modern would be a definite improvement.

    A really well-known P2P client

    eMule is a file sharing program that's suitable for less experienced users, thanks to its ease of use and the large number of files found in the search results. It's among the best known and highly rated pieces of P2P software.

    Download eMule 0.50a in Softonic

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    Download SlavaNap 3.1.0 in Softonic

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    Shareaza started out life as the legendary Gnutella network but today is one of the most realistic competitors to eMule.

    Shareaza is a completely free peer to peer (P2P) file sharing system. The program features Multi-Network Support which basically means it can connect up to 4 separate Peer-to-Peer networks at the same time meaning more hits and faster downloads.

    You can download and upload from the EDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent and Gnutella2 (G2) networks. The latest release features something called "Collections" too. Collections basically group previews of album covers, descriptions, and song lists all in one complete package. It's designed to help you discover similar music to that you already like although in reality, it's not that useful.

    The interface is very simple to use - very much like eMule. All the search results are displayed clearly including file type, size and estimated download time. You can also choose to filter searches by file type such as picture, video or software. Searches return a huge number of results although there's no way to preview files before they download which is frustrating as many files are fakes.

    Shareaza is one of the best P2P networks out there although it still pales in comparison to eMule in terms of results and download speeds.

    Download Shareaza in Softonic

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    This download is temporarily unavailable.

    Ares is a great P2P client for file sharing. It supports the downloading of torrent files, includes a multimedia player, and best of all, is free.

    Ares functions 

    Just like eMule, BitTorrent or uTorrent, Ares helps you download movies, music, programs, games, images and other files (provided they're not covered by copyright). 

    The application supports the download of Torrent files, letting you preview files before downloading. It includes a player to play media files (audio and video) in the shared folder, as well as letting you surf the web directly from the client. 

    With Ares, you can download a file from multiple sources, which improves the download speed. When it comes to speed, there is software out there that promises to speed up your Ares downloads, like Ares Galaxy SpeedUp or Turbo Booster, but we're skeptical about their effectiveness.

    Intuitive and adapted to all

    The interface of Ares is easy to use. With just one click, you can access all the client's main features (search, download, chat, settings, library and Internet browsing) from the main screen. 

    Take full advantage of the search engine, which allows you to filter content by type.

    Download speed

    Ares is suitable for those looking for file sharing software that's intuitive and uncomplicated. The waiting time for downloads to start is minimal, and the download speed is excellent

    On occasion (although pretty rarely), you might have trouble connecting, but using the Ares Fix tool will solve this quickly.

    Download Ares 2.3.0 in Softonic

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    Download NeoNapster 4.0 in Softonic

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    Blubster claims to not only offer you the ability to find just about any Mp3 song out there, but it also offers you the possibility to find professional quality streaming files. Once your client program connects to a gateway, you can search and download Mp3 music files from the MANOLITO protocol community. The secret behind the huge amount of Mp3's is that it allows an unlimited number of peers to connect. You've also got the option of “voice chat” to get in touch with other music lovers with the same tastes which you can keep track of in a "Hot List".

    The interface is clean and simple with clear buttons and a navigation toolbar on top which makes it very simple to access your shared folder, searches and file transfers. The media player is located at the bottom and you have full control of how your music sounds without much complexity. The download speeds are quite impressive too which again, is partly due to the large number of users connected at one time. Probably the coolest feature is the ability to post web links of your music files which can be sent by email to be shared via Blubster. A fresh new way to share Mp3's.

    Download Blubster 3.1.1 in Softonic

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    Morpheus is an age-old P2P application and, with support for Gnutella, eDonkey, Bittorrent and many others, probably the most versatile you can find on the market

    Morpheus (support has now been discontinued) once aimed to turn the P2P client into the ultimate multimedia application. The application window is divided into 4 tabs: search results, my files, podcasts and Morpheus Online. A pane on the left side allows you to create playlists or keep track of searches and videos. Morpheus also lets you sync all your downloaded files to import them automatically to iTunes. Oddly enough, the chat tool is hidden at the top of the interface, next to help and preferences.

    Morpheus wants to be a multifaceted app, not just a simple P2P program. It includes an embedded browser, Morpheus Online, from which you can check out the internet or find new files to share while you’re downloading. This is particularly useful when you’re looking for new podcasts. By clicking on the podcast page button in the podcasts tab, you will be taken to Morpheus’ own podcast library. While it’s not as star-studded as the iTunes library, it’s full of varied and original content.

    Morpheus' podcast tab is wisely divided into podcast and episodes, so you can browse through what you’ve downloaded. However we were quite confused by the podcast downloading procedure, as the progress bar is hidden in the file window of the My Files tab.

    Morpheus has also beefed up its security. You can now select your antivirus application to automatically scan downloaded files. The program also includes solid parental control. You can also add a password to make sure you control who has access to Morpheus. The application also introduces UDP technology to improve the performance of downloads and allow secure file sharing between 2 firewall protected PCs.

    Morpheus comes with interesting enhancements, but not enough to get us overexcited. Add to that the many drawbacks we found in the application. The interface is way too clunky. The My Files tab has an additional file window at the bottom, which adds to the confusion on the interface. The one-click burning function is something we were eager to try out, but it was nowhere to be seen.

    However hard Morpheus tries at integrating cool features like web browsing or podcasting, we figure the application should only be used for what it’s good at i.e. P2P downloading. The program gives access to all the P2P networks, even Bittorrent, and the new version introduces safer and quicker transfer thanks to UDP technology. The other extra features in the application like the library structure or web browser feel a bit awkward, and therefore failed at turning the program into a true multimedia application.

    Morpheus is a solid P2P application, but doesn't make the jump to multimedia super-app.

    Download Morpheus Basic 5.5.1 in Softonic

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    Download Gnucleus 1.8.6 in Softonic

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    BearShare is a free, all-legal file sharing app, specializing in music and videos, and with a strong social component.

    Unlike similar apps where you can find all sorts of stuff – including adult material and viruses – BearShare only allows video and music file formats to be shared, and has done an excellent job in protecting users from viruses and other possible threats.

    The program's installation changes your browser homepage and installs a toolbar unless you select the custom installation option. On the upside, BearShare features a clean, easy-to-use interface that you’ll immediately get to grips with. There’s a top tab bar with access to the program’s main functions and a handy built-in player to preview the files you’re looking for. As an extra, BearShare is fully compatible with iPod and other MP3 devices.

    But BearShare is not just about browsing audio and video files; you can also use the Discover tool to play music genres according to your mood, or discover new artists and bands you didn’t know. BearShare’s social side lets you make friends with other people who share similar musical tastes, and includes a personal profile page, a contacts list and even a built-in messaging system.

    BearShare has become a powerful, reliable LimeWire alternative since its shutdown. Good proof of this is that all LimeWire users can easily import their music library into BearShare and continue sharing music and video files – all legal, free and without risks.

    BearShare is an excellent free application to legally share songs and videos, without the usual risks associated with such programs.

    Download BearShare in Softonic

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    Limewire is no longer available, due to a court-ordered injunction requiring it to cease all operations.

    Limewire is a very popular peer to peer filesharing application. Users of the latest release will notice the radical redesign, bringing it aesthetically up to date.

    Like Vuze before it, LimeWire appears to be encouraging legal downloads with the LimeWire Store. The library is so far a little limited compared to competitor download stores, but we expect this will expand.

    Otherwise it's business as usual on LimeWire, but with a much simplified and cleaner interface. Because it's a new release, there are still some bugs, but the basic file sharing functions as well as ever. The new design makes scanning your search results much easier, and downloading files is totally intuitive.

    The built-in player is still unintrusive and useful for checking audio and video files, but no more. LimeWire goes out of its way to check you are aware of the legal implications of illegal filesharing, on installation you have to agree not to infringe copyright, and if you download a file for which LimeWire can't find a license you will be warned and can stop or continue at your discretion.

    The Friends function has been much improved. You can sign in with your Gmail, Jabber or LiveJournal accounts, and share files between any of your friends there who are also on LimeWire. This is much easier than tapping out IP addresses, and if enough of your friends use LimeWire, it could become great community sharing tool.

    LimeWire searches remain within the P2P network, but you can open torrent files with it, and it functions very well as a torrent download client. This is not the most advertised feature of LimeWire, which may a way of keeping legal challenges at bay, but it's a shame that you can't search for torrents within the program.

    The official release of LimeWire 5.0 makes for a much improved P2P experience.

    Download LimeWire Basic 5.5.14 in Softonic

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    iMesh is a classic P2P client – classic in terms of interface design and usability, like eMule or Limewire – that has adapted to the new times by doing a complete interface overhaul and including an important social side.

    On the surface, iMesh looks polished and easy to use. The program features a tab bar that gives you access to different areas: Library, with all the media stored on your computer; Home, which is the main screen on iMesh; Search, where you can find, download and buy music and video; Discover, a tool do find new artists and music genres; and finally DJ, which plays music you may like based on a song or band of your choice.

    The iMesh community is a great place to make friends, exchange messages and also share media libraries. You can also upload photos to your profile, and send songs over to friends. On the downside, we missed a bit more integration with other social services such as Twitter or Facebook.

    iMesh also includes a powerful built-in player for audio and video – featuring a 10-band equalizer – plus a built-in CD burner to create custom media CD and DVD on the spot.

    iMesh is a complete P2P client with which you can discover new bands, buy the music you like and make new friends.

    Download iMesh in Softonic

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