UPDATE: December 2012
An arduous ten years have passed since eMule was born, ten years which brought the best out of its community. Although this cute client is not as often updated as other popular ones, it remained the choice of many; maybe out of gratitude, loyalty, or simply because eMule is something different. We wish them “Happy Holidays” and ten more years to go!
eMule is definitely the most popular and most worthy of that name of all eDonkey network clients and one of the most appreciated clients in the world.
One thing that distinguishes eMule from the other ED2K clients is Kad (similarly to Overnet, Kad’s purpose is to find extra sources to support downloads. However, different from Overnet, Kad still depends on ED2K servers).
An additional characteristic of eMule is its a credit system : it actually keeps tracks on how much you download and upload so that it can take your download upload ratio and assign you credits. Starting a download places you in queue, pending your amount of credits you can be bump to the top of the line.
In terms of customization eMule is flexible starting with the user interface (as functional as it gets but not disregarding a few bright well placed colours) to the details of the connections and the securities. If necessary you can use the help which is rather wide and also very comprehensible.
Another thing that makes eMule stand in the crowd is its GUI which is IMO actually. Basically, whatever is it that you’re looking for the eD2K/Kad networks will have it for you provided that you let the software run 24/7 (still, initial download is slow then progressively increasing in speed).
The program also includes an instant messaging option. Being connected to a compatible user, regardless of the action – downloading or uploading with him/her you have the possibility to choose him/her as friend being thus able to chat with your new pal online.
On the down side we could say that it’s rather difficult to filter the bogus files out (especially that eMule network is sometimes crowded with that). This however has more to do with the sharers themselves than with the network.
Screenshots of Emule:
eMule is available for free at http://www.emule-project.net.