Limewire turns up both popular and obscure results — whether searching for Francis Poulenc, Pink Floyd or Britney Spears, Limewire’s hit count is always higher than Warez’s.
Warez has plenty of results for popular search subjects, enough for the average user who just wants a song or two from an artist, rather than spend time sifting through an entire discography.
Of course, transfer rates are affected by many variables, so saying one or the other is faster isn’t a possibility. However, popular files generally come quickly on Limewire, while less common ones can demand a great deal of patience.
As most of the Warez search results are popular to begin with, they tend to download very quickly, making it all the more preferable for the average computer user.
Limewire’s interface can be overwhelming at first, but with some familiarity it becomes very powerful — the Album and Artist categories let the user find only covers of a song by a certain artist, for instance.
Much simpler and cleaner (minus the ads), Warez is more instantly accessible, and the default skin looks like a natural extension of Windows XP.
Limewire has no ads at all, save for a small text line asking for the user to upgrade to Limewire Pro.
A banner ad at the bottom of the Warez program runs those silly “(Verb) the (Noun) and win an iPod/PSP/Razr,” plus a pair of interface buttons for shopping and “special offers.”
Limewire comes without bundled spyware/adware, unfortunately a notable distinction from other P2P programs.
Many users have complained of particularly determined spyware applications bundled with Warez that, in some cases, have resisted even Ad-Aware’s removal attempts. When a new file becomes available, a pop-up message shows up in the bottom right-hand side of the screen, a dubious “service” that makes the reviewer particularly suspicious of Warez.
The core Limewire technology is free; for about $20, the user can upgrade his or her version of the product. The company promises higher transfer rates, though the difference seems negligible. Even when the sharing quality is at “Turbocharged,” some transfers can still lurch at one or two kilobytes per second.
If you don’t count the included advertising, Warez is a completely free P2P service.
While Warez is easier to become familiar with, Limewire is undeniably better in every other area. The lack of potentially crippling spyware is reason enough to wholeheartedly recommend it.