UPDATE: December 2012
DC++ is one of the old clients, and I’m personally amazed that it managed to survive. It’s probably because DC++ has always been different from other file-sharing clients. DC++’s latest version is 0.802, date release October 20th 2012. You can download it by accessing this link. The new client includes plenty of features, including automatic and manual download priorities, SSL encryption, plugin support, bandwidth limiting, magnet link support, and more.
Partly focusing on community and mainly on file sharing, DC++ has well established its own particular place on the P2P scene. DC++ is different both from torrents, these being direct peer connections, and centralized networks such as LimeWire, in that it handles connections to hubs. Typically, there’s a certain interest or topic around which such hubs get created, like for example documentaries or kung fu movies. Hubs enable you to chat and share files with other peers who connect to the same hub.
One of the major characteristics of many hubs is the restrictions they set on connections to make sure that users are directing their interest to the hub. Usually, the number of hubs you can connect to depends on how many Upload share slots you offer, and you seldom are able to connect to more than several hubs without breaking the rules of at least one of them. That means getting disconnected from that hub. Another characteristic of many hubs is the requirement of a minimum share which can range from 1GB to 30GB or perhaps even more(rarely).
Connecting is not at all complicated but some slight confusions might occur. Just create a nickname and set your share directory and the number of upload slots you want to make available. The application includes a built-in public hub directory list (searchable by keyword) to make easier for users to find those particular communities they’re interested in. Commands, like registering your nickname with the hub so no other user can use it, are typed into the main chat window.
However, if you stumble you can rely on many mouse-over labels to make clear for you what’s happening, and given that many of the communities are relatively small, people will most of the time gladly offer guidance. Additionally, hubs often provide a Help command to make it easier for users to accommodate with the rules and how-tos. Overall, DC++ is a very useful tool for sharing files and chatting, and provided you’re in the right hub you can find pretty much any file you’re searching for.
The Direct Connect network is a decentralized network, formed by individual servers (hubs) that users join to share files with other members connected to that hub. Each hub is individually run by a fellow user of the Direct Connect network, and may have certain themes to the content on the hub. Hub owners set up rules to regulate their hub as they see fit.
Open source software, code freely available under the GNU GPL
Joins multiple hubs simultaneously
List of bookmark-like favorite hubs and users
Shares large files and many files per your organization scheme
Tiger Tree Hashes (TTH) used for file integrity
Search across all (or selected) connected hub by type, size, or name
Logging options and configuration for chat, private messages, downloads, and uploads
Resume of downloads, with optional search for alternate sources
Autoconfiguration of UPnP routers
MAGNET link support for linking to specific content
Automatic and manual download priorities
Saving of users file lists for browsing and queuing
Translation into other languages by custom supplied XML language files.
Free of ads, spyware, or other malware
Screenshots of DC++