What is Gnutella?
Gnutella is a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) network that allows users to exchange files over the Internet without having to use a central server.

Users search for a file and with this software they find others to share it. You then join a peer-to-peer network of those sharing that file and download portions of the file from another peer until the full file is obtained.

Gnutella wird weder verkauft noch von irgendjemandem unterstützt, sondern verfügt über Nachfahren von Public Domain-Software wie LimeWire.

With peer-to-peer networking, the next person who wants to download them can download some pieces from the originator at the same time, and some from the peer who now has some after the first person has downloaded parts of a file. Peer-to-peer file sharing software preserves various pieces from all users who share a file and then recreates the pieces back into the original file.

As more people join the group who want the file, the number of places from which parts of the file will be obtained increases. This persistence of sharing by users can result in very rapid file distribution, as the parts can be downloaded at the same time by anyone on the network sharing that file. Because files are shared as they are downloaded, downloads for common files can be very quick.

Gnutella is installed on every file sharer computer, so there is no central server.

Copyright infringement caused a large number of problems for AOL, the ordinal publisher of this technology under the name Nullsoft. AOL quickly withdrew development and support for the program, but not before thousands had shared it. Developers revised the protocol and republished it to the public.

In 2001, LimeWire Basic became the first Gnutella open source client. This drove the network to success, but in 2010 the US courts shut down LimeWire due to lobbying by the music industry and opposition to peer-to-peer music exchanges. The legal battle between LimeWire and the Recording Industry Association of America lasted four long years.

It was believed that LimeWire downloads resulted in massive copyright infringement. Additionally, LimeWire was avoided due to the number of viruses transmitted over the network as attachments.

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