Montana State University


Montana State University
P.O. Box 172080
Bozeman, MT 59717-2080

Tel: (406) 994-1929
Fax: (406) 994-1918
Location: Room 1, North Hedges Hall



P2P File Sharing Guide

Information provided in part by ResNet, North Carolina State University, and ResNet, Kent State University.

It is ILLEGAL to download or share copyrighted files! These instructions are for the legal sharing of files! ResNet in no way endorses the use of file sharing software, which will not be supported by ResNet staff.

You Can Improve the Performance of the Network in the Following Ways:

1. Don't use filesharing software.

Don't use filesharing software to download or share copyrighted files such as music and movies. It is illegal, and the recording industry is prosecuting college students who share copyrighted materials. The RIAA has recently won lawsuits with students at other universities for sharing copyrighted music and movies, making college students pay $12,000-$17,000, and the lawsuits continue. When you get caught, will you be able to afford the legal fees, court time spent away from classes, and the fees imposed by the RIAA? The University cannot protect you if you are caught.

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. If you're not sure how to shut down your application completely, look at the information provided below for working with a number of the popular file sharing apps.

3. Limit the amount of bandwidth you use for sharing files, or don't share files at all.

We recommend allowing no more than two simultaneous uploads or downloads at a time. Here's how to limit the amount of bandwidth used for a number of the most popular applications.

Please note that MSU does not endorse the use of any of these applications. Some have very poorly written code, and most of them contain spyware/adware. Downloading files from unknown sources greatly increases the risk of receiving a file infected with a virus, worm, or Trojan. This puts your computer, your files, and your personal information (i.e. credit card numbers, bank account PINs, etc).

4. Read and follow the rules for computer and network use at MSU and the law regarding copyright.

Please refer to the ResNet AUP and the MSU AUP for more information.

Downloading or sharing copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder is against the law.

Make sure you are aware of exactly what you are sharing if you choose to share any files. With some programs, it is very easy for users to share portions of their hard drives that could expose them to intruders who could download password files, various cached files and other personal information.

5. Encourage your friends and hall mates to follow these guidelines.

The network is a shared resource. If your friends are sharing files, they're affecting your network connection too. Filesharing software affects everyone, and has been known to slow down the campus network, rendering it virtually unusable. Filesharing has also taken down entire residence hall floors and buildings.