In my spare time (which I have a lot of thanks to my recent lay off) I fix computers for regular users.  Every now and then I come across someone’s PC that has decent virus and spyware protection on it and I let out a little sigh of relief.  But for every computer I see with good protection, I see many others with little or no protection, and even worse, I see Limewire.

Limewire is a program that allows users to download music and other files and it is probably one of the most virus infected programs I’ve ever come across.  The viruses aren’t in the Limewire program itself but rather the files that are downloaded from other users of the program.  Limewire is what’s known as a P2P or peer to peer program.  This means that people upload and share their files for other people to download.  This is what makes the RIAA very angry because usually this means someone is pirating music or software.

Now I don’t condone piracy in any way. I’ve worked in the software industry and seen the sweat and tears that get put into a good product and when someone pirates it, the people that worked on it don’t get paid properly.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way there is a program that you can use to download music and files so that you can SAMPLE them.  If you like what you hear then you can go out and buy the program or cd or even download the song on iTunes.  Having a P2P program can be a great help when you’re in college or just looking for a specific file that you may be missing.  You can find anything you want with these programs and sometimes it works out that you find something so great that you wouldn’t have found in your normal daily routine.

Frsotwire LogoThe program in question is Frostwire.  Now I know it sounds like Limewire and I think that’s what they were going for when they names this program.  Frostwire is an open source program which means it is developed by the community, which 99% of the time means the program itself doesn’t contain spyware, adware, or viruses of any kind.

The good thing about Frostwire is that it is free to use and sets up within minutes.  The thing to beware of, as with any P2P program is what files you are actually downloading.  Make sure you check the file type of what you’re downloading and that it matches the type you’re looking for.  For example, if you are going to download a new song in mp3 format, make sure the file type is mp3 and not wma or any other type.

As I said before I DO NOT promote piracy in any way, but if you are going to download a song to hear if you like it or try a program out before you buy it, make sure you’re using a P2P program that isn’t loaded with virus infected files like Limwire.

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