Fortunately I have recommended a number of free programs recently such as Spybot search and destroy and AVG anti virus that seem to have gone down well with my readers so thought that I wouldn’t break with tradition in recommending another piece of essential software.

I have spoken about Kazaa in the past; the free program used for sharing music and other files online but I personally found the adverts a bit of an annoyance. To rectify my problems I downloaded Kazaa Lite; essentially a rip off version of Kazaa with no built in advertising and since the program in general has matured somewhat since I first featured it in Click, I thought now would be a good time to re-review it.

By heading to the site, you are instantly greeted with a number of adverts but luckily once you break through this stage and download the program you will be left completely advert free. Simply uninstall your old version of Kazaa (if you had it in the first instance) and download the new version of Kazaa Lite which should take no more than around 10 minutes even on the most mediocre connections.

Kazaa/Kazaa Lite uses a technology known as peer to peer which basically means that the thousands of users using the program opt into a system whereby you select portions of your hard drive to share with other users. For example you could share all your music files which would enable anybody else using the program to do a search for that track which could then be copied straight off of your hard drive. Of course, anti-piracy groups are livid at programs such as this and I must stress that copying music or other programs is of course against the law unless you already own the original.

Anyway, by booting up Kazaa Lite I see that on this Thursday afternoon there are over 4 million users online sharing between them over 6,000,000 gigabytes worth of files and all I have to do to find something I would like is to click on search, select whether I am looking for a music clip, video clip, image, document or a piece of software and type a number of keywords; for example the name of a song. Kazaa Lite would then go off and does the donkey work for me to return a list of files which matched my criteria which I could then start downloading straight away.
The system often brings back hundreds of matches so you can download a file from a number of sources so if you’ve got a fast connection then you can download separate parts of the same file from a dozen users with a slower connection and once all of the separate downloads are complete Kazaa will piece all the bits together.

Nice features that weren’t present in the original that I reviewed sometime ago is the ability to rate files based on their quality which should help prevent you from wasting time downloading a poor quality song and a participation level monitor which lets other users see whether you are just leeching files from them or whether you are actually sharing and giving something back to the Internet community. The interface is a lot more slick and the program more stable than previous versions so if you downloaded the original when I first recommended it then you should download this update; for the sake of 10 minutes of Internet download time it is certainly worth it!

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