DC++

DC++ 0.7

Free
DC++ is a free and open source file-sharing program that uses DC and ADC
3.8  (83 votes)
2.2
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DC++ is a free and open source file-sharing program that uses Direct Connect and Advanced Direct Connect protocols. Direct Connect is among the oldest files-sharing protocols, and some of its first clients date as far as Napster itself (the first world wide known peer-to-peer client).

DC++ is a direct “descendent” of those first programs, but it has evolved a lot since then and is now able to download the same file from several sources, share larger files, connect to several different hubs, and search through them.

The interface is not hard to use, although you should know the basics about how peer-to-peer and Direct Connect protocol work. In brief, each DC++ client connects itself to one or more hubs. There are several lists of public hubs on the Internet, and DC++ can get several of them directly. Then, you should select a hub to connect. DC++ will open another tab with the main chat for that hub and all its online users. Select a promising user (each one can offer a small description), download the list of the files that peer is sharing, select what you want to download, and the file should begin downloading.

This hub concept is very interesting. In fact, the original idea seemed to be a mixture of IRC (a kind of chat rooms) and file sharing. People would connect to a central hub, chat, and exchange files. Today, however, with the decline in usage, you will be lucky if you find anyone to talk to (and some hubs do not even allow chatting in the general hub, only in private conversations amongst peers).

There are, however, some major issues. Direct Connect is an old protocol, which must rely on two peers to connect to the same hub in order to connect them. Advanced Direct Connect, although it brought some improvements, did not go as far as it could have. Downloads are usually slow, unless you can find several peers sharing the same file. The closer a hub is located to you, the better the connection will be, and so, if you try to connect to a far away hub (another country, for instance), your download speed will probably slow down severely, or even give place to “connection timeouts” and similar error messages. Even in hubs near you, the download speed will probably not be very high.

The search mechanism is another headache. If you manage to configure the program and your firewall correctly (even more difficult if you are behind a router), some hubs will help you with your search, but within the standard modus operandi it is up to you to connect to each hub, download all the file lists from each user, and select what you want. DC++ helps by alerting you to the files you are looking for, after you get the other peer’s shared file list. This is not a very efficient method and can be especially exasperating if you are not very patient. On top of that, some hubs will not even allow you to connect if you are not able to configure your client and firewall correctly. DC++ makes this even harder as many of the configurations that would simplify these tasks are not set by default.

Finally, although this is of great importance, you will have a hard time trying to find anything legal to download. Many hubs only allow you to connect if you share a minimum value of gigabytes yourself, but sharing free software is frowned upon. There is, however, an alternative, as DC++ allows you to connect to private hubs (these are not publicized online, something like a private party).

In conclusion, this is a great program if you have to use Direct Connect or Advanced Direct Connect protocols (and it is probably the most used of its genre), but if you are looking for fast and modern file-sharing, you should look somewhere else.

This new version does not come with any major changes. There are essentially lots of bug fixes, and many minor improvements – mostly in the background. However, you should update, as many small updates make for better stability and efficiency.

Fernando César
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Free and Open Source.
  • User friendly.
  • Intuitive interface.
  • Stable and works perfectly

Cons

  • Using old protocols.
  • You need to know about P2P and DC.
  • Majority of shared files are copyrighted (illegal to download)
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