Editors' reviewAlthough the bigger names in the P2P world still maintain the lion's share of users, several smaller entities have popped up. These programs appeal to those fed up with the fluff and third-party software often found in the more popular applications.
Shareaza is focused and lean, with a gorgeous interface and connections to the Gnutella2, Gnutella, eDonkey, and BitTorrent networks. It's also handsome and easy to use; we had no trouble quickly figuring out how to search, check our network status, and customize the interface through a healthy choice of skins. Search results were extremely fast, although we wish each new search automatically spawned a new tab. Shareaza also has a decent built-in media player for common audio and video formats. Other features include a chat client and the ability to schedule transfers.
The file-management system, with a slew of folders divided and subdivided into all sorts of categories, may overwhelm novices, though seasoned file-sharers probably won't have that much trouble. Overall, though, Shareaza's design, performance, and trim size provide make it a nice choice for peer-to-peer users.
Shareaza has unique features, including ghost ratings, a completely user-configurable queue area, and multinetwork support. The program started as a Gnutella client but recently branched out and developed Gnutella2, a completely open and documented network. Shareaza's interface is easy to use, yet powerful and fully skinnable. Shareaza's download core was built to provide optimum performance from any number of sources. Shareaza can manage your download queue automatically, or you can take charge and modify the status of files or even individual physical transfers and sources.
Version 2.2.5 has multiple fixes on all supported networks, providing vastly improved multi-network, peer-to-peer file-sharing capabilities. There also are several new features, including a scheduler, a review viewer, enhanced translations, and improved metadata support. Help facilities and documentation have been improved to make the application easier to use.