Smarter P2P with FrostWire

FrostWire is a free, open source multiplatform Gnutella and Bittorrent P2P client. It’s based on LimeWire, and includes many features from LimeWire’s Pro version. It includes such features as live chat, encrypted transfers, iTunes compatibility, and even built-in content through FrostWire’s 100% legal content site – FrostClick.com.

Getting FrostWire

Windows, Mac, and Linux packages are available from the FrostWire download page. Depending on your platform, the package may include the Java runtime as well.

Linux users can run the package by double-clicking the .deb file from within your file manager.

Configuring FrostWire

Once installed, FrostWire should show up in the appropriate menu location. On first run, you’ll be asked to set the locations for incoming files and outgoing shares.

frostwire-setshares

Downloaded files do not necessarily need to be shared to everyone else, and incoming files are often in an incomplete state, so it’s recommended to use two separate locations.

Next we have a few additional settings to get things tweaked just right.

frostwire-misc

Most people should be fine leaving the connection type at Broadband. The nickname section near the bottom will come into play if you decide to participate in the community chat feature.

Next, we choose exactly which type of files FrostWire will include and which to ignore when creating shares. This is an important feature, as it allows you to only share things like audio and video files while keeping documents, programs, and other potentially sensitive files private.

frostwire-filetypes

After a checkbox agreement that you will not use FrostWire for copyright infringement, you’ll get the main screen.

frostwire-newmain

Getting Content

Chances are, the first thing you’ll want to do is get some files. The Search tab will perform a standard Gnutella network search, and results will trickle in as they’re found.

frostwire-search

You can search for specific types of files (including torrents) and you’ve got plenty of filtering and sorting options to choose from. The panes on the left side will allow you to filter the results by different sets of criteria, based on what you’re searching for.

If you’re not in to the Gnutella side of things, Bittorrent is fully supported in FrostWire. While LimeWire may be the Gnutella backend, Azureus is the core of FrostWire’s torrent capabilities. The program itself shows little difference between the two download methods as they show up more or less identically in searches and the download pane.

FrostClick

FrostWire’s content site, FrostClick.com, doesn’t so much host content as collect it. Of the multiple categories available (audio, video, software, e-books, etc) you’ll find the most content in Audio. That’s not to say there’s a whole lot there, but the current count of 287 legal, DRM-free music torrents could make for a nice treasure for those who like to experiment with their music.

The software section is full of a fair amount of games, as well as a lot of free (open and closed source) applications like Hydrogen, GNU Solfege, and Paint.NET. All of which are, of course, available elsewhere. All this seems to make FrostClick less about providing something unique and more about having a single place to browse for interesting content. This would be better if there was more content overall, but as the popularity grows, the content usually comes along with it.

Have you ever used FrostWire? How does it stack up to LimeWire or other GNutella or Bittorrent clients? Let us know in the comments below.