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Download: The Grouper

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Free Downloads

I was really excited about this download—it’s a typical Peer-to-Peer network, but safe. There are a few problems with traditional file sharing over the web:

(1) You don’t know who you’re getting these files from

(2) The files and the programs themselves are loaded with spyware/adware

(3) a lot of what goes on there is illegal and you don’t want to be part of that.

There are, however, legitimate reasons for P2P and it wasn’t conceived with ill intentions, but rather as a high-speed information trading avenue and one of the main original reasons for networking, which in turn lead to the internet.

Sometimes you want to send things along to people that are simply too big for your typical email provider. Not to mention you really have to watch your file types when sending files to someone because antivirus or other security features put in place to protect may destroy them, seeing them as pests. So what do you do with home movies or some massive pile of data you would like to send out across the Internet? There are a number of ways to do this, but most of them are a little complicated and can cost you money. If this is the boat you’re in, then you need a Grouper, or rather “The Grouper”.

The Grouper is fairly new, matter of fact it’s still in beta, but what it does is really cool. The Grouper allows you to share large files over the Internet using Windows.Net technology. Once installed you have to set up or start at least one group—from these groups you invite others to join, and they become part of it. These groups can almost be thought of as FTP servers, but they’re a little different and way more fun to use.

With the Grouper you literally can go through your hard drives with the ease of Windows Explorer and select folders you want to share with the group. Everyone in the group will be able to access the folder and share information in a totally encrypted and completely safe environment. You don’t need to worry about other people accessing your group. It’s RSVP—no invite no access: the members or your group are made up of people you specifically invite and that’s it. Also, the data is not replicated and stored on some server where others may possibly have access, it stays on your hard drive, and the members of the authorized group access it there directly.

The Grouper doesn’t have an integrated chat client, but it has something called a Glog, which is their version of a Blog. To elaborate, a Glob is basically a journal where you can easily post messages for members of your group to read whenever they get the opportunity. As long as you have your PC on, anyone from your group can log on and download any of the files you may have offered for your group users. You can unshare or stop the grouper if having unlimited access to files on your PC doesn’t sound like your cup of tea. Windows Media Player seamlessly plugs in to the interface, which allows you to view media without opening other windows.

Although the Grouper is in beta it is quite professional looking and has a ton of options. For now the Grouper only works on Windows XP, but the developer says they have plans to make the program work across multiple versions of Windows. I have pulled the system requirements and some other important information from their site you might want to look over as well:

Minimum System Requirements:

  • Download size is 1.9 MB.
  • Microsoft.Net 1.1. If necessary, it will be automatically installed. Click here for more information.
  • PC running Windows XP and 2000 (Windows 98 and ME are not supported).
  • 500 MHz Pentium III class processor or better, 256 MB RAM minimum.
  • Broadband Internet connection — DSL, cable modem, LAN, etc.
  • Latest Windows service packs recommended.

There is also a great list of FAQ’s that may help you decide if this is a program you could really get some enjoyment and use out of.

Download it here:

~ Chad

**Worldstart is not the developer of this software. Check out the Support section for additional information on how to get started using Grouper.

Chad Stelnicki

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