Any user who has been interested in downloading files from the Internet, especially in the early 2000s, surely knows eMule. This P2P exchange program marked a before and after when exchanging files over the Internet. And, despite having been very persecuted and carrying since 2010 without updates or new versions, it is one of the best programs from which to find all kinds of files.
When we talk about P2P downloads we can talk about many protocols. P2P is all that connection that is made between two users (two points) without using any centralized server. The point-to-point connection is direct. It connects, the information is exchanged and the session ends. Torrent download clients use this technology, as does eMule, both with its ed2k connection and through the KAD network .
Although everyone can use this program for free, and without any commitment, eMule has a credit system . These “credits” serve to benefit customers who upload more files. In this way, if we usually share many files through this program, we can move faster in the download queue and start downloading before those who do not pay. Credits cannot be purchased or impersonated (they carry an RSA code). They are only achieved by sharing files.
The main characteristics of the mule
The main purpose of eMule is to share files over the Internet with other people. Each user that connects to the same server as us will be able to see all the files marked for sharing from all the users that have connected to the same server. And if we connect to the KAD network , we can see all the shared files of all users without depending on a server.
One of the best features of the mule compared to other P2P exchange programs is its great ability to recover corrupt parts. While a corrupt part in another program, or in direct download, forces you to download the entire file again, eMule is able to download and replace the corrupt part, maintaining the integrity of the entire file.
Although this program is designed to download, it also has chat features. We can send messages to other users of the same network, and even use their integrated IRC client to search for information or any other help.
The key functions of downloads
eMule has always been persecuted by the industry. Therefore, its developers implemented over time a series of functions and features to ensure the proper functioning of the network and, in a way, the anonymity of users. All eMule connections travel obfuscated in a way that prevents them from being detected and blocked by operators.
In addition, it also has a reputation system based on comments that allows us to see if a file is reliable, can be dangerous or be a fake.
The transfers have an error detection system that guarantees a correct download. The downloads are compressed to save bandwidth, in addition to having built-in functions within the program, such as a media player , which allows us to preview the files while downloading.
Servers vs KAD
Originally eMule was designed to be used through a network of ed2k servers . The only thing we need to know is the server IP (there are lists of eMule servers) and, when connected to it, we will be directly connected to the other users within that same server. But not with users of other servers. We can explore the files of all users and download whatever we want.
Servers usually assign different grades to users based on certain aspects:
- High ID : everything works correctly and we will have maximum download speed.
- Low ID : connections do not work correctly. The server may be full or we have the ports closed on the router.
There are fake servers, usually created by companies in favor of copyright, dedicated to collecting user information and subsequently taking legal action. Therefore it is recommended to always use reliable servers.
KAD: a fully decentralized network
To end the problems of the servers (for example, before a shutdown or a crash) the KAD network was created. This is a fully decentralized network in which each user is a node, without relying on any server. All content shared by all users of the KAD network is available to everyone.
When we are going to download a file from this network, all other nodes that index it are searched, and the transfer automatically begins. At the search and download level, it is the same as the server network. Although it may be more complicated to find certain type of content on this network.
The latest version of eMule is the 0.50a. Although this version was launched 10 years ago, today it is still fully functional (even in Windows 10) and all users can use it without problems.
There are many websites that offer us the possibility to download eMule. But be very careful, since we do not know if these versions are reliable or may have been modified to hide malware or other threats. If we want to download eMule with total security, we must do it from their website .
The mule is an open source software. This has allowed other communities to create their own versions or mods of eMule by adding or removing features and functions according to their preferences. The condition, due to the GPL license, is that all of them are free, open source and share the same license (or a more permissive one).
One of the most popular eMule mods is the community officer. This mod is a version faithful to the original but maintained by the eMule project community itself, being today in version 0.51d . This version can also be downloaded from the main eMule website. Or from your repository on GitHub .
In addition to this mod, we can also find other very interesting ones, each with a series of features and improvements, such as:
- eMule Plus : a version faithful to the original, but focused on improving the interface, being more stable and consuming less resources.
- MorphXT: the main purpose of this mod is to improve and simplify the program interface.
- Stullemule: new mod created to improve and better organize the user interface.
- ScarAngel: this mod this mod unites the improvements of MorphXT and StulleMule in a new P2P client.
- Dreamule: mod created to improve the original version of eMule with new functions.
There are also versions of eMule designed for other operating systems, such as lMule, xMule or aMule, as eMule clients for Linux. These maintain more or less the same characteristics as the original client, but are compiled to work on other operating systems.