Kazaa 2.0 review: Kazaa 2.0

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Kazaa returns decent results; lets you download groups of files; offers a comprehensive set of search tools; new integrity-rating features help filter bogus files; skinnable; includes antivirus protection.

The Bad Kazaa installs piggyback software; no Macintosh version.

The Bottom Line Kazaa has a decent set of file-swapping tools, but watch out for adware, paid listings, and for-fee downloads.

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Sharman Networks just threw another coal onto the file-swapping fire. Despite legal wrangling, the company released a leaner version of its superpopular music-sharing application. The latest Kazaa allows you to download groups of songs as a single item, search the Web from within the program, and includes a new rating feature that keeps you from downloading corrupt files--a move that counters efforts by record companies and movie studios to dilute networks with subpar records. Plus, Kazaa offers customizable skins (we couldn't wait to get rid of its default neon-green interface) and integrated antivirus protection. Even though you'll have to contend with the ick-ware that plagued earlier versions, you'll still definitely be able to swap to your heart's content. Sharman Networks just threw another coal onto the file-swapping fire. Despite legal wrangling, the company released a leaner version of its superpopular music-sharing application. The new Kazaa allows you to download groups of songs as a single item, search the Web from within the program, and includes a new rating feature that keeps you from downloading corrupt files--a move that counters efforts by record companies and movie studios to dilute networks with subpar records. Plus, Kazaa offers customizable skins (we couldn't wait to get rid of its default neon-green interface) and integrated antivirus protection. Even though you'll have to contend with the ick-ware that plagued earlier versions, you'll still definitely be able to swap to your heart's content.

Watch the install
Downloading Kazaa is simple, but just as you should be cautious when you grab a rare bootleg from a user named Jack the Knife, don't speed through the installation wizard, or you could wind up with trouble. The install wizard lists an optional piece of software called SaveNow that doesn't have anything to do with Kazaa, so if you don't want to mess with a third party, opt out now.

Kazaa also installs Cydoor, a program that delivers targeted ads, which unfortunately, you'll have to live with. Take comfort in the fact that Kazaa isn't the only file-sharing program that drops these types of annoying programs onto your machine. During installation, you can also customize Kazaa's filters (select the Family Filter if yours is a G-rated household) and choose whether you want additional icons.

Impressive search
Once you get past the gaudy installation screens, you're welcomed by an easy-to-navigate Windows XP-like interface. Just like the--er--kazoo, Kazaa is a truly democratic instrument: anyone can play it. Plug in an artist or a software title in the left-hand search window, and you're on your way.

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Where to Buy

Kazaa 2.0

Part Number: CNETKAZAA2
Pricing is currently unavailable.