Wednesday, November 30, 2005

eDonkey / eMule sucks.

I recently had to get a file from the eDonkey (eD2K) network and can honestly say that it sucks.

First, for those of you who will be confused when I start throwing around terms like eDonkey, eMule and eD2k, you may want to know the differences between them..

eDonkey / eDonkey2000
I use it to refer to network that software such as eMule uses. However, there is also a eDonkey client made by the original creators of the network called eDonkey2000. It's generally not that popular, since you either must pay for it or use an ad-supported version.
An open-source eDonkey client. The most popular client used on the eDonkey network. Download it here.
Most people use this to mean an eD2k link, which is sort of like a .torrent file in BitTorrent terms.

Anyway, back to why eDonkey sucks donkey balls (har har). First, a disclaimer; yes, I have used it before, and have all my settings right. I used to use eDonkey on a more regular basis until I discovered BitTorrent and even then I thought it sucked. Sorry, but even Kazaa is better, IMO.

Why do I think eDonkey sucks? Well, I'll do a pros and cons chart, because it certainly has its pros as well. I'll throw in a few comparisons to BitTorrent, too, and Kazaa, although when I speak of Kazaa I'm technically referring to the FastTrack network it uses.

  • eD2k links, which function by embedding the hash of a file into a URL so that someone can spawn an eDonkey download with their client by clicking a link on a website. (They're typically prefixed by 'ed2k://'.) This functionality is available in BitTorrent as a .torrent file, and in Kazaa as a Sig2Dat link, although Kazaa requires an external addon to utilize these.
  • 'Chunk distribution', which is basically a way of redistributing a download before you actually have the complete file. I'm not 100% sure how, technically, eDonkey achieves this, but it doesn't seem to work as well as the equivalent feature in BitTorrent, which is essentially the same concept but chunks are called 'pieces' instead. There's no such feature in Kazaa.
  • Many ways of searching. You can search via the server you're connected to, distributed search over several servers and the Kademlia decentralized network it uses, or using a number of web-based solutions like FileDonkey.

  • It's slow as hell. Typically it takes around an hour to get anything to even start downloading, and I'm really not sure why, although I personally attribute it to lack of policing...
  • ...because eDonkey doesn't really have a big 'sharing community' any more, nor a way of preventing leechers. For example, private BitTorrent sites use BitTorrent's trackers to monitor the amount uploaded or downloaded by a given user and in this way prevent users from abusing the network with leecher modifications. I think there are quite a lot of people using such mods on eDonkey. For example, once I'd downloaded over 0.5% of the file I was looking for, I had already started maxing out my upload speed allocated to eDonkey (~100KiB/s). I limited this to 30KiB/s since my download speed was less than 15KiB/s. By the time I had finished downloading the file, my share ratio was over 6.5. Seriously. That's how many people were leeching the file off me, and I wasn't even leaving it open for that purpose.

So, screw eDonkey. The other thing is that the whole thing seems to be a more seedy affair than BitTorrent. For example, consider when I set eMule to automatically connect to both the Kad network and a server. (eMule supports a hybrid of P2P, similar to latest versions of BitTorrent clients with DHT - you connect to a server, similar to a tracker, which was the original method of distribution, but you can also connect to the Kademlia - or Kad - network at the same time, which is decentralized, and works basically the same as DHT in BitTorrent.)

Screenshot of the server connection status
"Sexy-sex-o-sex? Gotta get me some of that."

Yes, that is the server I was automatically connected to.

Screenshot of the wide selections of servers I can join
5.98 + 8.03 = 14.01. There are more than 14 thousand users on a server called 'zoo sex'. I think I'll pass.

Here's the wide selection of servers I could have picked. Go eDonkey!

Oh well, I don't have much more to complain about. Just stay away from this crap network, except as a last resort. Look for stuff on BitTorrent instead.


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Anonymous said...

Fifteen minutes of research on the support forums could have told you the reason for all your perceived grievances. If you were expecting the ED2K network to be yet another Kazaa, prepare to be thoroughly disappointed (or relieved, depending on your prior experiences). Apparently, you've never bothered to learn about the upload queue, the credit system, or the fact that the majority of servers you had in your server list were hostile fake servers. I can understand your frustration if you were more informed, but you're just ranting out of ignorance. Please take the time to RTFM next time, kay?

J Paul said...

Haha, it's funny to look back at old comments. So, "Anonymous" basically said that ed2k still sucks donkey balls, and if most, it's easy to understand, but still more complicated to *use* than torrents. Thanks, but no thanks. I'll take torrents.

Anonymous said...

So, kids, look at the 2yrd old response and be smart!

Anonymous said...

I'm Agree on your point, I test some P2P and analyze the connections arquitecture and I found some lacks on eDonkey, however some guys talk about it but this guys lacks of knowledge on networking, (eDonkey is a past) Now is time to give a space to the future. ""Seed""

AK47 said...

eMule, I don't understand why it's the most used p2p client in Europe. C'mon people, please go support Direct Connect and OpenNap networks! We need peers. Just test some other clients, you'll not be disapointed. The ed2k network is the shittiest one ever. Most a file exchange system than a filesharing system. Try "ApexDC++" then you'll know what high-speed filesharing is. Just my opinion.
Nice blog BTW.

Anonymous said...

im so friggin pissed off. i mean i had 20kb/s from 2 sources and right nou at the last moment when i have only 200kb to download of some 2gb, a nother source appeared and i sown from him with 188 b/s. and btw the other 2 sources dissapeared. emule sux bigtime!!