File sharing

File sharing has been one of the most controversial topics of the time. The computer age we are breathing now, is comprised of, among many parts, file sharing. How would it have been without the file sharing system? Probably not as efficient as it truly is now. From large corporation to small business to friendly sharing, a large part of the computer and Internet culture is built on it.

Advent of file sharing

Modern file sharing system popped up in the 90s which was consist of bunch of computers running the same program for instance then Napster. File sharing is the process of distributing digital media like computer programs, multimedia, documents and various other files of different formats.

File sharing medium has gone through noticeable changes in periods. The very first file sharing medium was removable media. We are talking about as early of late 1970s. The way those computers would have access to remote files was by using BBS (Bulletin Board System), Usenet, FTP servers, file system mounting. The tide was begin to turn in the early 1990s, when the mp3 encoded format was launched. New laws and legislation was launched like Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Networking methods behind file sharing

File sharing is generally a multipurpose service which evolved from removable media to network protocols like FTP (File Transfer Protocol), hotline, Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Operating systems also by default support file sharing method like NFS (Network File Sharing).

File sharing tasks most commonly use two of the basic networking methods.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P)

This is the one of the top used and most controversial file sharing method out there. Since this a peer-to-peer file sharing method, computers on the network locate data which is shared with the third-party software. This method of file sharing allows the user to directly get access, download and edit files. There are third-party software which allows P2P sharing by gathering and breaking down the large files into smaller chunks for efficiency and speed. The most popular was Napster, Kazaa, LimeWire, eMule etc. Now there are various other torrent client you can find online.

File hosting services

One other alternative to P2P file sharing alternative is file hosting services, which provides a wide range of selection of popular online material. These services are often used with other internet collaboration methods like email, blogs, forums etc. where a direct downloadable link can be hosted. These kind of services websites allow the users to download the files hosted.