Easy, feature-rich BitTorrent client
FrostWire is a multi-platform app, which works as a combined BitTorrent client, search engine and media player. The software allows users to search for files, download them, share them, and play them, all within the same application. In essence, it is a peer-to-peer file sharing app, with similarities to the now defunct Limewire software.
The entire platform is completely free and open source.
As a stand-alone application, the software is safe to use. However, questions over the safety of the application stem from the fact that the files downloaded through the service are not regulated or scanned for viruses, and so could be infected. It is, therefore, recommended that users only download from trusted sources, have up-to-date virus protection software installed and scan any downloaded files before opening them.
The service and software itself is legal to own. Issues and concerns surrounding its legality centre around the fact that it can be used to download or share illegal content, such as copyrighted films, music, TV shows and games. While this practice is illegal, there are perfectly legitimate uses for FrostWire as a file-sharing service. Therefore, owning the software is perfectly legal, but using it to download copyrighted material is illegal.
Open source software is software that is supplied with its source code available. Users are free to inspect this source code, study it, modify it and and share their modifications or enhancements. The entire FrostWire platform is open source and provided under a GNU General Public License.
Seeding refers to the practice of leaving a BitTorrent client open after downloading a file, so that other users can download the file too. Technically, the distribution of a file begins while the download is still in progress, but seeding usually refers to allowing full files to be downloaded. It is considered good practice when using BitTorrent or P2P technology to leave files seeding for a period after downloading.
Leeching refers to the process of downloading a file through a BitTorrent client and then cutting the connection before others can download the file. It is considered poor practice when using BitTorrent or P2P technology, because it breaks the sharing chain and can make the file more difficult for other users to download in future.
The service is compatible with most major VPNs. To use a VPN with the service, open your VPN software, establish a connection and then simply launch FrostWire and use it as normal. The major benefit of using a VPN is that it keeps internet activity hidden, even from an ISP, meaning downloads cannot be tracked.
Since its initial release back in 2004, there have been six major versions of the software, each with their own updates throughout their life cycle. As such, this means the application tends to be updated several times a year, while major versions are released every two or three years, on average.