The premier solution for preventing illegal Peer-to-Peer downloads.
What is “Peer-to-Peer” (P2P) Networking?
A Peer-to-Peer (P2P) service is a network that enables computers to connect directly to each other over the Internet in order to distribute and copy files. Software programs, called “file-sharing clients”, utilize these networks to search for and trade every kind of file; many software companies and others use file-sharing networks to distribute products and other digital material over the Internet.
However, when a P2P network is used to illegally distribute copyrighted material and intellectual property such as movies, television, games and software, this file-sharing practice then becomes “Internet Piracy”. This means that a file sharing client program can turn the computer of an Internet “Pirate” into a directory and distributor of an unlimited variety of illegal material, viruses and worms. BitTorrent is the most famous example of such a P2P network: clients using the BitTorrent protocol automatically download the user’s desired material from the computers of its “Peers” on the BitTorrent network, while simultaneously allowing those Peers to download material from the user’s own hard drive.
Why is Internet Piracy a threat?
Illegal P2P activity poses a very real threat to HotSpot Operators for several reasons:
- P2P software applications run automatically and are designed to utilise ALL the available bandwidth of their host’s Internet connection. This means that a P2P user can seriously degrade the user experience and performance of other using the HotSpot.
- P2P users can transfer huge amounts of data in a small amount of time. In places where Internet data transfer is controlled or capped, this could result in a suspension of Internet service halfway through the month. Even a so-called “flat rate” broadband connection may be “throttled” to limit the amount of data that is downloaded or uploaded if the ISP notices heavy data use.
- Last but certainly not least: DOWNLOADING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL WITHOUT AUTHORIZATION IS ILLEGAL. The authorities and the media companies (studios) that own the copyrighted material have become very adept in tracking P2P users and identifying the IP (Internet) address from which the illegal downloads occur. In the case of a HotSpot, the illegal downloads are tracked to the wireless gateway of the HotSpot itself, and the owner of the Internet line connecting to that HotSpot is then identified as the violator (or criminal).
What is free-hotspot.com’s Pirate Blocker™?
We developed our Pirate Blocker to prevent illegal downloads through Peer-to-Peer services. In developing this solution, we have coordinated our approach with the media companies and studios that own the copyrighted material, and we deploy our solution in the same way that the media agencies hunt down and prosecute illegal downloads.
The free-hotspot.com engineers in California, USA have worked with the media companies and film studios to develop a list of P2P “Pirate Networks” that are targeted by the media industry and the authorities for the monitoring and prosecution of illegal downloads. Pirate Blocker monitors and blocks the nodes used by these targeted P2P services to coordinate the connections of their Peers over the Internet. The blacklist of these blocked “trackers” is updated and amended on a regular basis to include the latest nodes used by the P2P “pirates”.
Does the Pirate Blocker block all the P2P networks?
As mentioned above, neither P2P technology nor the use of P2P software is in itself illegal, and indeed many legitimate software distributors and other entities use P2P legally and safely. The violation only occurs when a person uses P2P to download copyrighted material illegally.
In respect of the legitimate P2P users, and according to our belief in a free and open Internet, we block only those networks that the media industry and others have targeted as “Pirate Networks”.
What happens when a user tries to access a blocked P2P network?
If a user tries to download illegal content from a targeted P2P network, his client software will report that the network is not available. No warning bells or alarms are delivered; the user is simply prevented from connecting to the pirate network. This user experience is the most effective because it does not suggest to the user that there is anything wrong with his PC, the HotSpot or the Internet connection, but rather a failure on the part of the P2P network itself.
How effective is free-hotspot.com’s Pirate Blocker?
Pirate Blocker is 100% effective in blocking the tracker sites that we monitor.