Down to the wire

Loaded with new features and cementing its role as the quintessential Gnutella client, LimeWire continues to outperform the competition and remains one of the most trusted P2P applications available.

Note: Information on LimeWire is provided solely for reference. LimeWire is not available for downloading from Download.com. For similar products, please browse our P2P & File-Sharing Software categories.

From its start as a post-Napster clone to its leading role as the quintessential Gnutella client, LimeWire is the highest-profile P2P application. Version 5 re-envisions LimeWire for a Web 2.0 world, with an emphasis on sharing with friends, square buttons with rounded corners, and overall a cleaner interface.

Two search bars and two sidebars cap off the redesign. The uppermost search bar is the global search that scans what everybody is sharing over the P2P network, while the secondary one on the right searches your library. The sidebars are set up in a similar way. Both are on the left, with the outer one offering three options: your library, the global P2P network, and your friends. Click on My Library and your inner sidebar shows your collection of music, movies, and documents. The P2P Network option shows what you're uploading and downloading, while the Friends option lets you share your library specifically with your Google/Jabber contacts, which you can import. Search results can be presented in both the new Web 2.0-style that surfaces just the most relevant information, with an Information button to dive deeper or the "classic" spreadsheet view.

The Advanced Tools feature is also new, which lets power users drill down and get highly specific information about who they're connected to, similar to what's available from torrent clients. This data includes IP addresses, bandwidth, the program being used and its version. The new features and overall functionality make this by far the most mature version of LimeWire to date. Despite the typical performance flaws found in all file-sharing clients, this latest version continues to offer solid performance and good looks across the board.

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