P2P Software Review: IMesh, Ares and Limewire
iMesh has been my P2P software of choice for several years now, since shortly after the untimely death of Napster. Unlike Napster it had the capability to search for video, software, documents, etc.; not just audio. In the beginning it was a fairly popular system and had impressive databases to search from.
The major fault of iMesh as it developed over the years was its strong use of Adware. It eventually got to the point where it was severely damaging my internet use, and I got rid of the whole thing and for a while didn’t use any P2P software whatsoever.
Last year, however, iMesh came out with its 5.0 which removed all of the Adware. I downloaded it and low and behold they were correct: no Adware (unlike some other P2P software programs that made similar promises but did not follow through). This is not to say they don’t have ads, but at least there is no Adware on the system which is good thing.
That said, it is much harder to find anything of interest on iMesh these days, especially with the debut of version 6.0. They are more heavily pumping their paid services, and in my opinion this has severely damaged the primary client.
The new interface of 6.0 is far less inviting than in the past, and it seems that with the new software you continuously get less and less results for any search. If you do find what you’re looking for, most likely your download will be queued until kingdom come if not longer. When something does begin to download it is generally at a reasonable rate, the problem is finding what you want to download.
Ares is a little bit newer P2P than iMesh. When making a search, results are a little bit more reliable than iMesh’s, but not significantly. Actually being able to download what you find, however, is much more likely, making this a big improvement over iMesh.
Ares’s interface is cleaner than iMesh’s. Less jarring to the eye, although not exactly nice to look at. It is a simple white, clean and pure. Also, unlike iMesh Ares does not have any ads at all, a definite bonus.
Transfer rates are some improvement on iMesh. On average it takes me about Ã?Â¾ of the time to download a file on Ares than it would to download it on iMesh.
Limewire almost didn’t make it into this review. The first time I tried to download it my computer froze. Twice. Then when I went back to try to download it again I was cut off from the download twice and had to start all over again. Fortunately persistence won out over frustration, because Limewire is bar none the best P2P service I’ve seen.
Limewire has no ads or Adware, which is excellent. Its interface is nice, although more centralized than either iMesh or Ares. Searches and downloads are all shown on the same screen. This is nice as it allows you to monitor your downloads and continue searching without switching windows.
Another great improvement over either iMesh or Ares is the saving of searches. Each search is separated into its own tab. Both iMesh and Ares clear searches whenever you make a new search, but personally I find keeping the searches around to be a very useful tool. If you want to get rid of them all you have to do is x them off.
The real highlight of Limewire, however, is the massive amount of results you get when you make a search. The amount of data available to you through Limewire far and away exceeds anything you will find on either iMesh or Ares.
Downloads are also far more reliable. I am hardly ever queued, and if I am there is almost always another download source that will work. Because the networks are so much larger than either Ares or iMesh, the downloads are also significantly fast, up to twice as fast as with Ares.
Limewire is definitely the cream of the P2P crop. While both iMesh and Ares are both functional programs, they just can’t hold a candle to Limewire’s massive networks and impressive interface. I highly recommend it.
Notes on Downloading P2P Software
When downloading P2P software, it is always best (as when downloading anything) it is good to do it from a reputable source. This I believe was my problem when first trying to download Limewire, when I finally successfully downloaded it it was from the web site Download.com, an excellent resource for downloads.
There are many different places to download all of these programs. It is best either to download them from their main page, or to download them from Download.com. Either way is a good way to download the best P2P software there is out there.