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Downloading With Direct Connect

Jun 27, 2008
When Direct connect (DC) was originally created it became unpopular due to its downloading limitations and built in adware, so was soon superseded by DC++ which solved these issues. It isn't known exactly what proportion of people connected to DC hubs use DC++, but it is believed to be the majority.

Many hubs have strict requirements on the minimum amount you need to share before you can join. The more you have, the more exclusive the hubs you can access, but if you're new to Direct Connect and don't have much to share, don't worry there are plenty of quality hubs out there that have no restrictions or share limits.
How it works

When you first run your DC++ client it will display an online public hub-list from which you choose the ones you want to connect to. To help you do this, the list gives you a description of the type of files being shared on each hub, how many people are connected, and any restrictions such as a minimum share size.

There is no limit to the number of hubs you can physically connect to, but some will refuse your connection if you have already joined more than a certain amount. After you have chosen some suitable hubs, you can add them to your favourites and the client will automatically connect to them each time it is started.

The hub server maintains an index of all the users that are connected and the files they have made available so you can either manually search through a particular individual's shared folder, or you can run an automatic search which will cover every user on every hub you are connected to.

The file searches and download requests are routed through the hub to the host, and subsequent file transfers are then carried out directly between the clients.

Direct Connect download terminology

Like all systems, the Direct Connect download technique has a fair amount of terminology that will prove very useful in understanding how to use it properly.

Hub:
An online server that users connect to, so they can search for, and download files. A public hub is one that has a published address and can be accessed by anyone, while a private hub can only be joined by people who have been invited.

Minimum Share:
The combined size of all the files you have in your shared folder must be equal to or greater than this before you can connect to a particular hub.

Connection mode:
'Active mode' allows other users to connect to you through your firewall and allows for much faster and broader searches.

'Passive mode' does not allow incoming connections, and may be required for network security reasons. It will result in very slow and restricted searches.

Operator:
This is a hub caretaker or moderator who is in charge of running the hub, and controls kicking, banning and user registration etc.

Ban:
A forced disconnection from a hub by an operator. Reconnection will not be permitted until the ban has been lifted.

Kick:
A temporary disconnection from a hub by an operator. Unlike a ban, you are allowed to reconnect immediately.

File List:
A listing of all the files contained within your shared folders.

Download Slot:
The number of simultaneous downloads offered by a host. If the person with a file you want has no empty slots, you will not be able to connect to them.

Hashing:
A hash value is a unique identifying code which is calculated from the contents of the file itself. This ensures you can always find an alternate source, even if the file names have been changed. There are many different forms of hashing, but Tiger Tree Hashing (TTH) is the type used in DC++.

Rollback checking:
If you resume a download, DC++ will check that the beginning of the transfer matches with the end of the incomplete file you already have. This prevents corruption, and ensures the file is the correct one.

Any discrepancy with your Direct Connect download will cause a 'rollback inconsistency', resulting in that source being removed and another one being found.

Search Spam:
An excessively high number of search requests sent to a hub within too short a period of time.

Tag:
Information about your current Direct Connect download session, which includes client version, connection mode, number of hub connections and upload slots provided.
About the Author
Jon Mills has created the TotalDownloader website which provides information on downloading techniques, increasing your speeds, maintaining anonymity, and much more. So get started now with your free 6 part course at TotalDownloader.com
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