Although it is not nearly as large as bittorrent, Kazaa, or Limewire networking, MUTE is an emerging P2P network with one important feature: MUTE conceals all of its users identities through virtual addressing, effectively building in the most anonymity of any P2P network in 2006. Especially for torrent downloaders, MUTE may be a good alternative means to share files.
Answer: In terms of speed and size, no...MUTE is 5 times slower. But in terms of anonymity, MUTE is clearly superior to torrent downloading.
How is MUTE different from torrents?
Answer: In a world of P2P lawsuits, digital eavesdropping, and ambiguous privacy, MUTE is special. Not only does it spell its name in all caps, but by using a special technology based on the behavior of ants in colonies, MUTE allows large file downloading through the Internet, while still concealing the identities of its P2P users from each other (and from prying authorities' eyes).
As of December, 2006, 930 thousand users currently belong to MUTE. Accordingly, MUTE files are not as plentiful as bittorrent files are at this time. Additionally, it does take longer to establish connections, find files, and download them through MUTE...up to three or four days. But this seemingly sluggish nature is an inherent downside to the privacy model, because users are purposely separated by many layers of connections - no direct connections are made between downloader and uploader.
But as more P2P users learn to use the MUTE network with patience, and as word of the MUTE P2P network spreads, you can expect P2P users to migrate to this safer and more anonymous community. MUTE will become a better source of files during later 2006 and early 2007... you can bet on it.
More on MUTE File Sharing:
FAQ: "What is 'MUTE' P2P Networking?"
FAQ: "How Does MUTE Work, Exactly?"
FAQ: "How Does MUTE Protect My Privacy?"
Download MUTE: Download the MUTE install here.
Get started here: Instructions on installing MUTE networking software
Configuring your router for MUTE: Instructions on how to make your router at home allow MUTE file sharing.