The growth in the number of people who participate in P2P file sharing has surged in recent years, with as many as seventy five percent of college-aged people having downloaded files from various P2P networks.
In P2P, or peer-to-peer, file sharing networks, users download software from the network that allows them to log on and then download for free songs, videos, movies, software, and a wide range of media files.
Many times, people who download files also share their own files as well. This means hundreds and maybe even thousands of people will log onto your computer every day and download your music and other media files. Sometimes this even occurs without the knowledge of the owner.
However, this can adversely affect your computer in a number of ways, one of which is the speed of your computer. The following are a few ways that P2P file sharing affects the speed of your computer:
•Slowed Internet connection. With so many people connecting to your computer and downloading files from it in a single day, there is a good chance your Internet connection will perform more slowly than normal by taking up bandwidth space.
•Spyware. Many P2P file sharing networks have bundles of spyware and adware on them. These applications get onto your computer, allowing third parties to track your Internet activity and then send ads to your computer whether you’re on the P2P network or not. This can significantly slowdown your computer as well.
•Viruses. Even if the network you are using claims to be free of adware and spyware, the people who log onto your computer might not be. For that reason, there is a chance that you could contract computer viruses that could slow down, damage, or destroy your computer’s files and information.
•Slow performance overall. Because of the constant traffic and advertisements that stream in and out of your computer, the overall speed of your computer can be affected as well. This isn’t just Internet connections, either.
What you can do
If you are concerned that file sharing is affecting the speed of your performance, there are a number of things you can do to improve the speed, including:
•Always use anti-virus software. If you frequent P2P networks as a sharer or a downloader, you should always use an up to date antivirus software and make sure you update it on a regular basis. You should also run checks on your computer weekly, as they will catch spyware and adware and remove them from your computer.
•Close any applications you’re not using. Sometimes, P2P network applications run on your computer even when you’re not using them. Make sure you close out of them completely, so your computer can’t be accessed while you are unaware of it.
•Uninstall all P2P network software. As a last resort, if your computer still is not functioning properly, uninstall on your computer all of the P2P programs you have downloaded. This will get them off of your computer entirely and you should see an improvement in speed afterwards.
While P2P file sharing is very popular, it can also be harmful to your computer and can, in the very least, slow it down quite a bit. The above steps will help you know what to do to keep your computer performing well even if you do use file sharing networks.