eMule

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Description

eMule is a mature software application designed for peer to peer file transfers. It is an open source project, that has been running for more than 10 years now. It is also a reliable method for transferring files to other people over the Internet. It was developed in 2002, as an alternative to eDonkey, which was lacking features people in the file sharing community wanted. After all this time, the program is still thriving and being added to on a yearly basis.

Features

eMule relies on three different network technologies, ED2K, Kad, and Source Exchange to make file transfers extremely reliable. While files are being downloaded they are checked for any problems to reduce corrupt file downloads, and avoid wasting time downloading a file that does not work. An auto priority system makes it possible to have several file downloads running at once, without the need to monitor any of them. There is also a preview function that makes it possible to look at some video files and archive folders before they are finished being downloaded.
An aspect of community is built within the software, thanks to a variety of community features. There is a credit system, that allows users to reward one another for providing a good steady file upload. There is also an IRC client built in, and a friend system that allows you to add users as your friends. eMule also helps reduce the amount of bandwidth used while transferring files, because it automatically compresses the files into the zlib format before beginning a file transfer between users.

There isn’t an official company behind eMule, because it is an open source project, but there is a large team of developers that work on the project in their spare time. Since it isn’t funded by anything other than donations, eMule is developed sporadically, and only receives updates a few times a year. The developers are committed to releasing a stable product, and because of all the community members who are willing to take the time to work on the project and test it out. Each of the versions of eMule are stable, and the software is updated to run on the latest Windows operating system.

Comparison

When eMule first came out it was one of the main P2P file sharing programs out there next to eDonkey, but now it is one option among many, as file sharing has continued to grow more popular. A few well-known programs that are used to share files are BitTorrent and uTorrent, which are now owned by the same company. Both of these programs offer you the capability to speed up or slow down downloads, to select specific files that you want to download, and to rate the different files that are downloaded.
Even though they have most of the key features required to send and receive files, they lack many of the community features that eMule has. For instance there is no IRC channel included with the software, and there isn’t a reward system in place either. Both of these features help to form a community around the software, and make it more helpful. They also don’t compress each of the files that are sent from one user to another, and that means that transfers are going to need more bandwidth to be completed using one of these two options.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a more community centered file sharing experience, eMule may be the way to go. The reward system is great for encouraging people to upload often, and it’s not surprising to get better upload speeds while using the program. The program is very stable, and has plenty of development time to make it a mature platform, but it doesn’t receive the level of updates that many other programs out today do.

Even though it isn’t behind on features yet, it could lag behind programs like uTorrent in the future, as their developers outpace the smaller group of developers at eMule. At the moment it is an excellent file sharing solution though. It is certainly worth considering as a current solution, and anyone with an interest in sharing files could benefit from eMule.

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