Aviva Directory » Computers & Internet » Software » Internet & Intranet » Clients » File Sharing

File sharing software is used by businesses and individuals to send and receive files over a local network or through the Internet.

File sharing software uses distributed peer-to-peer networking, localized servers on computer networks, online-based hyperlinked documents, and manual sharing of movable data.

Most commonly, file sharing is done through peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, which is conducted through peer-to-peer software. Popularized by Napster in the late 1990s, P2P refers to the distribution and sharing of digital media using P2P networking technology, which allows users to download books, games, movies, music, and other files.

BitTorrent clients are a form of peer-to-peer file sharing using the BitTorrent protocol. Because BitTorrent is a P2P communications protocol that does not require a server, it differs from the conventional client-server model. Most BitTorrent programs are open-source, while others are freeware, adware, shareware, or commercial and proprietary.

While P2P networks are controversial due to copyright issues, there are legitimate uses for the technology. Microsoft Corporation uses P2P technology for updates of its operating system, and it is used by the online gaming industry for downloading large amounts of data. Although Napster was shut down in its original format due to lawsuits over the transfer of copyrighted materials, other P2P networks have been established.

While sites promoting illegal activities will not be accepted into the directory, legal P2P networks may be listed here.

File hosting services are another popular type of file-sharing network. Also known as a cloud storage service, online file storage provider, or a cyberlocker, a file hosting service is an online service designed to store files. Users upload files to their accounts, to be accessed over the Internet after a username and password are provided. File serving networks may use HTTP or FTP access.

File hosting services may be used by individuals as a form of network storage of files, for personal backup, or file distribution. Users may upload files for later access by themselves or to share with others, protected by a username and password. An advantage of using a file hosting service for personal use is that they can be accessed from any device, in which case they might be used for file syncing purposes. Dropbox is an example of a file hosting service.

A form of file hosting is known as a cyberlocker or one-click hosting. This is a web service in which a user is able to easily upload one or more files from his computer hard drive, or from a remote location, onto the cyberlocker host's server. Usually, the service returns a URL that can be given to other people, who can then download the file later. Generally, the service is free, with revenue coming from advertising. or by charging for premium services, such as an increased download capacity.

This type of technology is sometimes used by software distributors to distribute software applications after payment has been received.

Whatever the specific technology or business model, file-sharing software clients are appropriate topics for this category.

However, the focus of topics in this category is on the file-sharing or file-hosting clients, as in the software involved. File hosting or file-sharing services offered to end-users are listed in the File Hosting category, for which a link is provided below.


@File Hosting



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