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Old July 9th, 2007
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Default A few methods of detecting bogus files

I have been using limewire for a few years, but this is my first post. I wanted to share what I had learned about fake files at least in the software and video categories.

First of all, Peer Guardian is a must have. Their lists are upgraded daily, and they block about 966 million IPs. That puts a dent in who gets thru to your machine.

Using Bitzi for movie downloads is an excellent way to prove your file is legitimate. And that's even before you choose the file to download. The size of a standard 2 hr movie is around 700 MGs. Some are lower, but anything below 690 MG isn't going to be good quailty. Many movies exceed 1 Gig, because the ripper did a quality job. They're going to look real good on your screen, and reencoding to DVD will produce excellent results.

A standard 1 hour TV show is usually around 350 to 400 MGs Again, check it with Bitzi. Also study your search results... after a while, you'll get a decent hunch what is real and what is fake, just by looking at the file name, and other clues. If you see comments like "the real thing", "not a cam", "excellent quality", and other such phrases, it's a good bet that they are fakes.

The overwhelming majority of movies and TV shows are AVIs. (99.99%) They could be encoded in DIVX, XVID, or the like, but they end up as AVI file, usually. A movie in MPG format is likely not going to be of good quailty, or might be a fake. just stay away from them. (on the other hand, little snippet videos, usually under 100 MGs, will be in MPG format. I usually don't have a need for these little files, so I can't really speak for them.

As far as software is concerned, picking out the fakes may seem daunting, but it's not really that hard. Just a little common sense, observation, and detective work will improve your chances of getting the real thing. A rule of thumb: DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY SOFTWARE FILE UNDER 1 MG. Your chances of avoiding trojans and other baddies planted there by anti P2P groups will vastly improve. Dead giveaways: file sizes of 228KB, 197.7KB, 750KB (+ or -), 851KB (+ or -), are obvious hoaxes. Even files over 1 MG can be hoaxes. Look for a variation of the software title. Good bet it's a hoax. A ridiculous version number is a pretty good giveaway, too.

As for the file size, go to the software's homepage (actually their download page), and see what size the real file is. Compare that to the file sizes in you search results, and that should help you make an educated guess. There is no guarantee that you'll get the real thing, but at least your choices are narrowed down.

A word of advice: If you are looking for licensed software, save yourself the legal and guessing hassles; there are hundreds of freeware titles out there (that you can get legally from software sites), that are comparable or better than commercial versions. Why put a commercial over-bloated resource hog on your machine (ie, norton, ms office, macafee, Adobe, Macromedia, and other "suites" when you can get free apps that actually perform as good if not better. Yes, there is bogus freeware out there, but there are a number of sites that advise you what is good and bad. The vast majority of my software is freeware. There are a few paid programs, such as windows, limewire, and a few others, but I do just fine with freeware. is an excellent site for freeware; they are the kings of open source software. But I'm getting off topic. For every piece of commercial software, I could mention a freeware app that would match it. For the most part.

I have tried many P2P apps, in addition to limewire, but either I'm too stupid, or they are too confusing to use. I always come back to limewire, even though over the past year or two, it seems as if quality downloads have shrunk, while bogus stuff has increased. That's not the fault of limewire - it is the result of a@#$holes out there who don't have a life, and distribute malicious apps. But there is a growing turn-around of business types who see a real future in P2P, and eventually, the danger will decrease.

Anyway, good luck in your P2P activities, and I hope I may have helped a little in my advice.
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