File sharing

  • file sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. file sharing may be achieved in a number of ways. common methods of storage, transmission and dispersion include manual sharing utilizing removable media, centralized servers on computer networks, world wide web-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking.

  • history
  • public opinion of file sharing
  • economic impact
  • copyright issues
  • see also
  • references
  • further reading

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digital media, such as computer programs, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. File sharing may be achieved in a number of ways. Common methods of storage, transmission and dispersion include manual sharing utilizing removable media, centralized servers on computer networks, World Wide Web-based hyperlinked documents, and the use of distributed peer-to-peer networking.

Types

Peer-to-peer file sharing

Peer-to-peer file sharing is based on the peer-to-peer (P2P) application architecture. Shared files on the computers of other users are indexed on directory servers. P2P technology was used by popular services like Napster and LimeWire. The most popular protocol for P2P sharing is BitTorrent.

File sync and sharing services

Cloud-based file syncing and sharing services implement automated file transfers by updating files from a dedicated sharing directory on each user's networked devices. Files placed in this folder also are typically accessible through a website and mobile app, and can be easily shared with other users for viewing or collaboration. Such services have become popular via consumer-oriented file hosting services such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

rsync is a more traditional program released in 1996 which synchronizes files on a direct machine-to-machine basis.

Data synchronization in general can use other approaches to share files, such as distributed filesystems, version control, or mirrors.