Peer To Peer Information

Reasons to Be Wary of Using P2P Applications

  • The most common use of p2p applications is to download and distribute copyrighted material, including music, movies and software. Downloading and distributing copyrighted material without the explicit consent of the copyright holder is illegal and subject to federal prosecution. Of course, it is also against university policy. Information about how the university responds to copyright infringement on ResNet is available here.

  • Running p2p applications makes your computer more visible on the Internet, and therefore more vulnerable to attack. Many files downloaded from p2p networks contain viruses and trojans. Downloading infected files can cause your computer to become unstable. Worse, trojans often give hackers complete control over your computer and the data stored on it.

  • Spyware is the number one problem on all students’ computers on campus. Many p2p applications are bundled with spyware and adware that track your activities on the Internet. Spyware and adware may slow down your machine and even make it unusable.

  • As a result of the heavy use of peer-to-peer file sharing applications, the speed of network connections to and from off campus locations has deteriorated. To try to alleviate this problem, ResNet and ComTech have put in place a limit to the total amount of outbound bandwidth ResNet can use. Individuals using excessive amounts of bandwidth for non-academic purposes may be asked to reduce their consumption.

Using P2P Applications

Peer-to-peer applications can be very useful for finding various files. While p2p applications have many legitimate purposes, most often they are used for illegal file sharing. If you decide to use file sharing applications, please do so within these guidelines.

1 Turn off the ability to upload from your computer to the Internet.

  • Inside of the configuration of your software there is some type of option to "disable uploading to others" or "disable file sharing."  Please make sure that uploads/sharing are disabled. If you are having trouble doing this easily then you need to visit the P2P vendor’s site for more instructions.

  • If you don't disable file sharing altogether, make sure to limit the bandwidth allowed for uploading to no more than 128 kbits/second. Also, make sure to limit the maximum number of simultaneous uploads to 2.

2 Disable your file sharing applications when you are not actively using them.

  • By keeping these applications running even when you're away from your computer, you limit the amount of bandwidth available to your friends and neighbors.

  • Many of these applications make it hard for you to fully shut them down, allowing file sharing to take place even after you think you have exited the program. Unless they are explicitly turned off (often from the System Tray) you may still be sharing files.

  • Some applications start automatically when you boot your computer. Make sure to find and disable the option to "start automatically when Windows starts" or "launch on boot."

Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures