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This page has been updated on 2010-08-06 for the release of Shareaza v2.5.3.0.


P2P links are an important part of filesharing, as they allow to directly link to a file within one or several P2P networks, without knowing the exact location of that file.


What is an URI?

URI stands for Uniform Resource Identifier and is a way to reference to a resource, in many cases a file. An URI can - but doesn't have to - contain information about the location(s) of the resource, the way it can be retrieved, a way to identify it, optionally uniquely, or other types of information about the resource. The most widely spread example for URIs are URLs. URIs are defined in RFC 2396.

In the world of P2P, URIs are often used to link to files on P2P networks. This allows users to easily trade links to a particular file with friends or to create collections of those links to put on websites. Those URIs typically contain some sort of file hash which uniquely identifies the file, which usually can be used to search for the file on a P2P network supporting searches for this type of hash. There are various types of URIs being used in the P2P world, of which Shareaza supports the most important ones, namely Magnet links and eD2k links. Shareaza also supports the only rarely used Piolet and gnutella links.

Note that URIs are text strings that can (for example) be included in any website at HTML level. .torrent files are therefore no URIs by definition, even if they do fulfill the same task: identifying files in a unique manner.

What is a Magnet link?

Magnet links are text tokens following the Magnet URI scheme that work as links in web browsers and other applications that allow to link to a file within various P2P networks by its hash. In general, Magnet links are networks independent, so you can find the linked to file on any P2P network that allows searching by the included hash tokens. Note however, if hashes necessary to search within a network (for example the eD2k hash on the eDonkey network) are not included in the link, the content can generally not be found in that network.

See Magnet link for a description how to use this link type.
See Magnet URI scheme for more detailed information on the link syntax.

What are eDonkey, gnutella and Piolet links?

  • An eDonkey link (or eD2k link) is similar to a Magnet link, but is much less flexible and limited to the use of the CMD4 hash, which only makes it suitable to be used together with the eDonkey2000 network. eD2k links are the first file link type that has been widely used among P2P users to link to files within a network. This link type was, together with the hashing system, one of the reasons for the fast growth of the eD2k network. However, Shareaza can use eD2k links on the G2 network in a limited way. eD2k links always start with ed2k://. Note that eD2k links can provide also other functionality related to the eD2k network, such as providing the IPs of eDonkey servers or links to server.met files.
See Wikipedia Icon.PNG eD2k URI scheme for more information about eD2k links.
  • Gnutella links were used with the gnutella network making use of the SHA-1 hash only. However, these links are now deprecated in favor of Magnet links. Shareaza has dropped support for creating such links, however, they are still supported to download files. Gnutella links started with gnutella://.
  • Piolet links are a link type once developed for the Piolet network, that is crippled to a minority of its former usership as of today. Piolet links are not anymore in usage, just the same as gnutella links.

Where can I find sites using P2P links?

There are a number of sites currently using P2P links to distribute files and more appear all the time.

Here's a small list of sites serving Magnet links:

As for eD2k links, there is only one bigger page active ATM:

Note that there might be content on these pages that is not legal in the country you are living in. Note also that we do not take responsibility for the content of linked to pages.

Why don't P2P links or .torrent files open up in Shareaza?

Other programs may "steal" priority for the links. To have Shareaza open up these links again, go to:

Menu Tools > Shareaza Settings > General > Web

There you can set a check mark for each link type that you want to have handled by Shareaza, as well as for the handling of .torrent files.

Why don't Magnet or eD2k links work with Opera?

Opera fixed a bug in their Magnet and eD2k link support in version v7.2.0 (Beta 2). Previous versions will have problems, so you should update your browser if you run into trouble.

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