Most of you will say that the succesor to eMule is BitTorrent as it is the most widely used P2P network today, but there are some things that BitTorrent lacks and eMule provides. The most notorious for me are the following:
Built-in network-wide search Easy sharing Unique links
Maybe you don’t consider this features important, but the fact is that with the approach BitTorrent takes, we are highly dependent on central points that make the network vulnerable. With BitTorrent we depend on trackers and link listing websites to share content. A torrent client is useless on its own if we don’t have a link listing site to get torrents or magnet-links from. On the other side, with the built-in search eMule provides, one can start downloading without the need for a website to take links from.
Easy sharing is also very important, because it provides more peers to download files from. This is specially important on rare files, because with torrents the seeds to download a file can become scattered between different torrents and there can be 5 different torrents seeding the same data, yet they don’t share peers. It is clear that one torrent with multiple seeds is preferred that multiple torrents with one seed each, for example.
When there is one single way to identify a file on the network (like with ed2k hashlinks) even the less tech-savvy users are able to contribute. Sharing on eMule is as simple as dropping the file you want to share on your incoming folder (even if it is not the optimal way to do it). In BitTorrent, you must download an existing torrent file or magnet link, stop the download, replace the half downloaded files with the ones you already had downloaded, making sure that you use the same directory structure and filenames that are defined in the torrent, recheck the torrent and start it, all this in order to share files you had downloaded previously. Tell a noob user to do that to help you download some rare file…
And now imagine that you have an entire drive full of sharing material, but the directory structure and filenames differ from the ones used on the torrents (because you like to keep things ordered in your hard drive). This scenario makes it impossible to share those files on the torrent network without creating brand new torrents, so you can’t contribute and be one more seed on already existing torrents.
Why not use eMule then? Because it’s slow, inneficient, and there is practically only one client that is no longer actively developed. Searching for alternatives, the most similar program that has various clients and is multiplatform is Direct Connect, but it is not decentralized, and different servers don’t communicate with each other, so peers for the same file are not shared globally and instead are scattered around different hubs
Is there really no other program that works the way eMule does? Is there no true spiritual succesor to eMule nowadays?
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