Understanding Peer-to-Peer File Sharing
What is peer-to-peer file sharing? Shortened to P2P file sharing, this is the sharing and distribution of digital media via peer-to-peer networking technology. On P2P platforms, users can come together and share various digital media, such as pdfs, software, MP3s, videos, and more.
Normally, when it comes to P2P sharing, there are no centralised servers to upload, download or store data. Thus, each user system becomes a server. This might lead you to wonder how searching is done on P2P networks. Well, the answer to that is simple. When a specific file name is entered in the search field, the search covers the network system of connected computers and the download is done from whichever computer has the results. P2P file sharing is an easy-to-use platform that comes with a lot of downloadable data, hence making it a popular choice.
First introduced by Napster, the first P2P file-sharing software was MP3 file-sharing software originally. It became increasingly popular, and as the demand for file sharing got higher, more P2P software programs appeared and introduced means of sharing other types of digital media.
Security Concerns about P2P File Sharing
P2P file-sharing software comes with a lot of security risks, and most of them are publicly known. When one decides to use these file-sharing networks, they do so at their own discretion, knowing the associated threats and risks. Read on to recognise the security risks involved and get tips on sharing files safely online, and maybe even via P2P.
- Absence of Centralized Software to Monitor Downloads
Since there is no single server dedicated to P2P file-sharing software, such platforms are open to the general public. Anyone can upload or download files, and the software provider doesn’t have any responsibility for the shared content.
It’s easy for malware to be spread over P2P file-sharing software. A user can upload spyware or malware attached to a file or as a file. This will be downloaded and distributed over the network, and it creates a ripple effect whereby any computer that downloads the spyware or malware easily passes it on to others in the same network.
In most cases, users fail to do a proper check of files before downloading them. Other users might mistakenly upload viruses by not doing a thorough check before uploading their files. Anyway, computers with P2P file-sharing software can easily get infected.
- Risk of Sharing Private Data
In P2P file sharing, some directories are shared with other computers in the same network. The risk comes in the sense that at times, more than what is intended gets shared. Private data might be attached and sent, leaving the sender with the risk of having their sensitive details out in public. When such data falls in the wrong hands, it might be harmful to its owner.
- Revealing IP Address
Your IP address is your personal network address. Using it, anyone can physically locate you. When sharing or downloading media via P2P file-sharing software, there are chances that your real IP address will be revealed. Using your IP address, hackers and attackers can sniff your data, spoof your IP address or even perform attacks.
- Financial Gains by Hackers
Online criminals stand to gain a lot by posing as someone else online. This is one of the most expensive risks that come with P2P file-sharing software. Normally, anyone who distributes or provides means of accessing free digital media over any network must have some financial gain in their plans.
The financial gain is facilitated by adverts or adware. Thus, this adware can be downloaded to the user’s computer while downloading software. At times, adware also comes with malware and spyware. Whatever is downloaded with the adware gets distributed to users who download the software.
- Rogue Software
Software providers can get tempted to give a false sense of security to users, making them use their programs under false pretences. With such misinterpretations of information or wrong details, those users create a hole in their firewalls for P2P file-sharing software, which can present serious risks and threats to the security system and can affect all computers in the same network. Thus, to the question “Is peer-to-peer sharing safe?”, the answer is no. If you want to keep your system secure, then try, by all means, to keep away from P2P file-sharing software.
|Wait a Minute!
|Before joining the masses and using P2P file-sharing software like everyone else, you should consider the safety and security of all computers in the network. The best alternative that eliminates all risks and provides you with more protection is FileWhopper. Using this service, you can send and receive huge files or folders of data. You can check out the FileWhopper service and use the Beta version, which offers free file sharing. The emphasis is that files of unlimited size can be sent and received on this platform. There are no monthly subscriptions required when using FileWhopper. Simply select the data you want to share and upload it using the tool that helps you throughout the process. While still uploading, you get a link that is shared with the recipients. As soon as the receiver downloads your file or folder, the shared data gets deleted, leaving no trace online. Safe, efficient and convenient for all your file-sharing needs.