By Colin Stoner 6/06/01
Ease of Use:
This program starts out on the right foot. BearShare does all of my setup for the ever-confusing Gnutella network properly and promptly. All of your options are laid out near the top of the program with tabs separating your options, much like Napster. It seems as though BearShare is all about getting the user what they want, the files, and not the in-your-face design. You want ease of use for searching? I typed in Dave Matthews and was returned over 4,100 matches in under 30 seconds (on a cable modem at 2:30 in the am). This program looks unstoppable so far, and maybe thatís why it blew Lime Wire out of the water for total downloads in itís first week on C/Net downloads.
This is the only category where BearShare wonít score many points. Itís a very Napsteresque looking and bland. However, it does have some cool ideas at the same time. In the host section, as you connect to different networks around the world, the countryís flag will show up as an icon if itís available. Also, the Yogi-bearish icon is a nice little touch.
Speed of Download:
BearShare is run over the Gnutella network, which usually means itís a pain to connect to because there is no central server listing all the users and files like Napster uses. However, BearShare was able to connect quickly to the Gnutella network and I never once lost my connection. Once I began downloading files, speed was not a question. It has a very easy to read download speed bar that is green. If the whole bar is green, it should be a fast download, if the bar is partially green, download speeds may not be as fast. Pretty straightforward, donít you think?
Even though this one is kind of an ugly looking one, personality takes it to the top. I would recommend this program with the likes of Napster, and as soon as Napster starts charging, look for BearShare to be at the top of P2P software. Even if you do have Napster and arenít looking for another search program, give BearShare a try.
Colin Stoner is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Colin is also the editor of Experience-Mp3.com.
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