With the popularity of downloading MP3s nowadays, you have a full range of options for software that will let you download MP3 music for free. Although that might sound like a good thing, it also bears another question: how do you choose the one that’s best for you? After all, it’s not like you could sensibly use five different P2P clients at the same time.

Networking Needs

The modern P2P model relies entirely on peers, users who’ve made some of the files on their respective computers available for sharing. You and your peers all have to be connected to the same network in order for file sharing to be possible. It’s not going to happen if you’re connected to an entirely different network from your sources.

Given that, you’ll get the most number of free MP3 music to download when you connect to the biggest networks. Right now, that means a network like Gnutella, which links up the files of users from all over the planet. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better selection.

Now, not all P2P file sharing clients connect to Gnutella. There are applications like BearShare that use a proprietary network so that no outsiders can share in the group’s files. While that situation might sound like a bad one because of the narrower selection, you also get some assurance that most of your downloads are safe and virus-free.

Personal Preferences

When considering something like this, it’s also a good idea to look at something that’s a little more subjective. When considering P2P clients nowadays, most people just consider their personal preferences to make the choice for them.

Interface and designs are two areas where P2P clients can vary very widely. True, they’ll still give you the same free MP3 music downloads, no matter what their menu bars look like. However, the appearance of their menu bars will be a big factor if you intend to use the program for the next several months or so.

The best way to choose a P2P client based on interface and appearance will be to actually test your candidates. Ask your friends who are already using P2P clients themselves. You could also download all the clients that you’re considering and then install them one by one on your computer. The latter method is more tedious, but it gives you a more hands-on experience with the program that you’ll be using.

Simpler is better when it comes to P2P clients. The technology and the protocols at work in P2P sharing are far from simple, so it really pays to have a program that’ll do the dirty work for you. Essentially, the better programs are the ones that don’t ask you so much about technical things like port settings, IP addresses or UPnP preferences.


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