Ok, first off: If articles like this http://lifehacker.com/371653/caught-downloading-copyrighted-materialnow-what or this http://gizmodo.com/5066280/almost-half-of-net-traffic-is-not+so+legal-p2p-and-itll-really-take-off-soon scare you, you should probably stop right here, uninstall whatever P2P software you have and signup for online Blockbuster or something (there are better services, not to mention the online ones!) because actually downloading potentially illegal files will scare the socks off you. That's not to say it's scary, difficult or even illegal - if done RIGHT.
Secondly, I'm not advocating sharing illegal files. I pretty much subscribe to this 'manifesto', if you will: http://i.gizmodo.com/5202399/a-pirates-code-of-conduct-for-bittorrent. Personally, I do not intend to break copyright laws, rip-off artists or content producers and I certainly intend to actively help struggling industries, like the British movie industry, because I want movie makers like Simon Pegg and Ricky Gervais to keep me entertained. If the niche, intelligent and truly original creators are supported we will be kept wallowing in Shakespearian quality media for a long time to come!
Having read recently the following articles on LifeHacker and Gizmodo:
For starters, on the subject of P2P file sharing, there is the whole security thing, which LifeHacker and Gizmodo have neatly covered in a reader friendly way:
Amongst those articles, you'll find useful links for things such as:
- http://phoenixlabs.org/pg2/ - Blocks your computer from connecting to IP addresses which are suspect (ie: which collect information you might want kept private)
- http://btguard.com/ - Paid-for service which provides a proxy through which your connections can be passed, making your IP address sort-of invisible to those you connect to
- http://lifehacker.com/5213712/half+open-patcher-speeds-up-bittorrent-downloads - A patch to Windows allows more than the standard 10 connection attempts, but BE CAREFUL
- http://lifehacker.com/5214801/move-half+finished-bittorrent-downloads-to-another-drive - Move files to another drive and let uTorrent complete them later, saving your initial drive space, etc.
- http://lifehacker.com/350405/top-10-bittorrent-tools-and-tricks - How to get the most out of torrenting and things you probably didn't know you could do
And finally, good information comes in all forms, and on the internet this means the best way to find up-to-date links. I like tagged articles on well circulated sites, for example:
And some more interesting reading that doesn't fit neatly into the rest of this article:
And a handy little tool: