If you are looking to get free music downloads legally through P2P download sites, it is best that you be knowledgeable of the process so as to fully understand and accept the risks involved.  Given our present economic state, free anything are come-ons especially if these would contribute to the improvement of our well-being.  Entertainment in the form of free music downloads falls in this category.  But the saying goes “nothing comes for free”, and the same is true with P2P downloads.  Although money may not be involved here, there could be a cost associated with the risks accompanying these downloads.

P2P or peer-to-peer is a transient Internet network which allows computer users to connect with each other.  This necessitates the use of an identical networking program for them to link and directly access each other’s files.   Napster and Gnutella are examples of this kind of peer-to-peer software.  The user must first download and launch a peer-to-peer networking program.   He then enters the IP address of another computer belonging to the network.  When the computer finds another network member on-line, it will connect with that computer thereby accessing its files.

Definitely there are risks associated with getting free music downloads legally through P2P, and you should be aware of these.  You will be exposing your computer system to viruses, Trojans and spywares.  So it is wise to have an effective anti-virus installed and make sure that it is up to date.  Your system will be susceptible to adware, spoofing and possibly pornography.  Although these will not pose a threat to your system, these unwanted pop-ups will definitely try your patience.

Of course the biggest threat is being “shared” illegally downloaded files.  And since there is no filtering mechanism to block these, there is a possibility that these illegally downloaded music files could end up in your computer.  So as not to attract attention from the RIAA, it is best to keep the music collection in your shared folder small.  To achieve this, move your files to an unshared folder.  You may also activate the privacy protection feature of your P2P program.  This means that your files will not be automatically available to others.

Getting free music downloads legally through the P2P route will not entail any cash out on your part, and it is relatively simple.  But you should be aware of the risks involved and prepare for them before you venture into P2P downloads.  As they say, “a pound of prevention is better than an ounce of cure”.

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