Review: eDonkey2000

By Tom 1/30/02

Introduction
eDonkey2000 has become an unlikely hero in the P2P world. Few anticipated this once humble network would achieve a userbase in excess of 100,000 users. eDonkey has been able to grow at a substantial rate and avoid legal wranglings with the RIAA due to its unique, OpenNap/DirectConnect style network. The developers create the server and client software, however it's up to the people to maintain the network. By allowing multisource-segmented downloading, the ability to search and download any file type, and access to the global resources of over 100,000 concurrent users, eDonkey has become one of the largest and most valued P2P networks.


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Ease of Use:

Setting up eDonkey2000 is a bit more tricky then most P2P applications. However, it's a piece of cake when compared to the likes of DirectConnect. To successfully search the network, it's important to maintain a current list of public servers. eDonkey2000, Maurice's Server List and eDonkey2000-France maintain current server lists. Why is this important? Initially, when a search is done, eDonkey only searches one server. If you can't find the file you want, using the "extend search" feature will send your query to the next server. If your server list is out dated, you may not get an accurate representation of available files. Keeping a current list of available servers is the only bit of maintenance that eDonkey requires.

Layout/Design:

eDonkey's default skin may be a bit confusing for the beginner. However, for a seasoned P2P enthusiast who chooses content over cosmetics, eDonkey's appearance is mere semantics. Most options are accessible through the tool bar, allowing for easy navigation. If you don't like the interface, hundreds of skins are available. Future versions should consider adding additional search options. Refining the search by a specific bitrate would help substantially.

Speed of Download:

eDonkey2000 stands out from 1st generation P2P networks due to its ability to download from multiple sources. From eDonkey2000.com: "The client will connect to and ask any other servers it knows about to ask if they have clients with the file. Once it finds other clients with the file it then asks each client for a different piece of the file. It keeps doing this until the whole file is assembled." We tested eDonkey on a 740KB ADSL line and were able to achieve full download capacity. Once the multisource feature kicks in, blazing download speeds are common place.

File Availability:

From MP3's to videos, there's little the eDonkey2000 network doesn't have. Although many files are available for immediate download, some are placed on queue. While this feature represents false hope on some networks, eDonkey almost always delivers. The segmented downloading feature works well in this capacity as eDonkey will take bits and pieces of the requested file from various sources until the download is complete. Although download times for rare files may take some time, every MP3 file we requested downloaded successfully.

Overall:

If you're looking to engage in the full P2P experience, eDonkey2000 offers its users just about anything the end user could want. eDonkey's strength comes from its global resource of users that take the responsibility of maintaining this network seriously. With an expanding userbase and no impeding danger from the music or movie industry, eDonkey should continue to play a dominant role in the P2P community.

We would like to welcome Tom from Slyck.com as a new contributer to MP3 Newswire. Tom's insights on other digital music issues can be read on his site and we encourage you to check it out.

Other MP3 Reviews:
Review: Blubster
Review: SongSpy
Review: AudioGalaxy
Review: BearShare
Review: Newtella
Review: LimeWire
Review: Imesh


 

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