Gnutella is an open protocol.
Unlike other file-sharing systems, such as Napster, Gnutella’s open protocol ensures that
the network is unconstrained, allowing enhancements to be implemented immediately.
Furthermore, anyone can create Gnutella-compatible software, a fact that has spurred
competition amongst developers and led to an ever-improving network. The result is a file-
sharing environment that is constantly changing and bettering itself.
Anyone can add content to the Gnutella network
Anyone who wants to share information utilizing the Gnutella Network can easily do so.
One just places the files they wish to share in a specific folder on their hard drive,
then shares that folder using Gnutella software. Because of the Network’s flexibility and
popularity, the user will enjoy the freedom to share and discover a vast array of
objects. LimeWire v1.0 recently implemented "Community" functionality, allowing the user
to choose their position on the Gnutella Network. Choosing one’s own placement in the
Gnutella community allows a user to be closest to people with similar file sharing
Gnutella is decentralized.
Unlike Napster, which uses centralized servers to keep a catalog of available files,
Gnutella allows users to speak directly to other Gnutella nodes with no intermediate, or
central, authority. Nobody owns the Gnutella Network, and nobody can shut it down or
monitor what anyone else is searching for. Any isolated node failure on the Gnutella
Network is quickly and automatically worked around.
Gnutella lets you share any kind of file, not just mp3’s.
Most file-sharing systems are focused on media files. For instance, Napster only supports
the sharing of mp3 audio files. The Gnutella Network supports the sharing of all file
types. Not only can users share--and search for--mp3’s and video files, but they can
share any kind of computer file, including word processing documents, recipes, games, and