Should you use P2P Applications on campus?

Reasons to Be Wary

  • The most common use of p2p applications is to download and distribute copyrighted material, including music, movies and software. Downloading and distributing copyrighted material without the explicit consent of the copyright holder is illegal and subject to federal prosecution Of course, it is also against university policy. Information about how the university responds to copyright infringement on ResNet is available here.
  • Running p2p applications makes your computer more visible on the Internet, and therefore more vulnerable to attack. Many files downloaded from p2p networks contain viruses and trojans. Downloading infected files can cause your computer to become unstable. Worse, trojans often give hackers complete control over your computer and the data stored on it.
  • Spyware is the number one problem on all students' computers on campus. Many p2p applications are bundled with spyware and adware that track your activities on the Internet. Spyware and adware may slow down your machine and even make it unusable.
  • As a result of the heavy use of peer-to-peer file sharing applications, the speed of network connections to and from off campus locations will deteriorate. To try to alleviate this problem, Network Services monitor the use of p2p applications on the University of Memphis networks. Residents found using p2p application will result in disconnection of network access and will require their system to be checked by ResNet Service Center.

Using P2P Applications

Peer-to-peer applications can be very useful for finding various files. While p2p applications have many legitimate purposes, most often they are used for illegal file sharing. P2P applications are not allowed on the University of Memphis network. If you decide to use these programs at home, please do with these guidelines.

  • Turn off the ability to upload from your computer to the Internet.
    • Inside of the configuration of your software there is some type of option to "disable uploading to others" or "disable file sharing." Please make sure that uploads/sharing are disabled. If you are having trouble doing this easily then you need to visit the P2P vendor's site for more instructions.
    • If you don't disable file sharing altogether, make sure to limit the bandwidth allowed for uploading to no more than 128 kbits/second. Also, make sure to limit the maximum number of simultaneous uploads to 2.
  • Disable your file sharing applications when you are not actively using them.
    • By keeping these applications running even when you're away from your computer, you limit the amount of bandwidth available in your home.
    • Many of these applications make it hard for you to fully shut them down, allowing file sharing to take place even after you think you have exited the program. Unless they are explicitly turned off (often from the System Tray) you may still be sharing files.
    • Some applications start automatically when you boot your computer. Make sure to find and disable the option to "start automatically when Windows starts" or "launch on boot."