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File Sharing - Internet/Network File Sharing

Definition: Filesharing in computer networking involves copying files from one computer to another using a live network connection. File sharing is sometimes called "file swapping."

Peer to peer (P2P) file sharing is the most popular form of swapping files. P2P file sharing involves downloads of music, video and other files over the Internet. Numerous free P2P software "client" programs exist to enable this kind of file sharing (see sidebar). File sharing is legal on the Internet as long as copyright laws are obeyed.

Microsoft Windows also supports a form of P2P file sharing. The operating system contains built-in features specific to file sharing on a Windows LAN. Home network users often use Windows file sharing to copy pictures or documents between home computers.

Other file sharing technologies exist.

For example, allows files to be obtained from a central server computer by any client computer having security access. Several free FTP client programs are also available for download on the Internet.

Also Known As: file swapping

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