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By J. Miller
LimeWire is a file sharing program developed as an Internet service for sharing and acquiring music files. It functions as a peer-to-peer network allowing subscribers to acquire from and share files with other users on the network. The system is hosted on the Gnutella network and so it continues to exist and operate even though its developer was closed down by a court injunction in 2010. LimeWire came in two versions – a free download with limited functionality and a purchased version with enhanced functionality. The purchased version was called LimeWire Pro. The system is billed as easy to install and easy to use. Music searches are quick and effective because of the search filters and also because of the massive library of music available on the network. Users are able to browse hosts through firewalls (this was the first peer-to-peer network with this feature) and the system articulates seamlessly with iTunes. Local searches are treated separately and are lightning fast. A huge strength of the system is the efficiency and economy with which downloads are handled. Power requirements are minimised and speed is maximised. The media and users have had a lot to say over the years regarding LimeWire Pro. Most of the comments confirm the above points. Reviewers enjoyed features such as the “Browse Host” tool which allows you to find more files that a particular person is sharing. The interactivity between users makes it possible to find others with similar interests to your own and the browse host feature lets you share more effectively with these people. Another useful strength admired by reviewers is the swarm feature which allows for the download of many small pieces of a file from multiple sources. This speeds up downloads significantly. Gripes about the system include a concern that viruses are easily imported when you are sharing files with hundreds of people on the net. Reviewers advise you to mouse over a selection list before selecting one to download. If a file gives a description tag, the chances are that it is not infected or illegal. Items with no description tag are often evil. The Gnutella network itself is criticised for generating unwanted ads and pop-ups when a search is being conducted on LimeWire Pro. The feeling is that if you contract a virus or malware in the course of your searches, the chances are that some of these will have come from Gnutella. This is unfortunate but since it is part of the LimeWire experience, it needs to be noted. A really significant concern revolves around how the program is used. An account was given by a web contributor who relates the story of an acquaintance being jailed after the FBI found child pornography on his machine. He claims to have downloaded this erroneously from a peer on the network. This highlights an important reality regarding peer-to-peer networks. The system allows remote users to monitor what you are downloading and if you are involved in illegal actions then you can be caught without even knowing about it. Illegal downloads can land you in big trouble. This is not really a fault of the system but can be a major concern for anyone involved in copyrighted downloads.
A website that does offer limewire pro is here. They have a friendly customer service and good tehnical expertise.