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Ares review: Ares

  • 1

The Good Ares P2P installs easily, deposits virtually no spyware, displays tame ads, is easy to use, and provides unlimited searches.

The Bad Ares P2P is limited to use with Internet Explorer and launches lots of pop-ups. After uninstall, we found two suspicious files.

The Bottom Line Unrestricted searches, a relatively ad-free interface, and chat connectivity make Ares 1.88 a good choice for many users, but LimeWire offers a cleaner interface.

6.7 Overall
  • Setup 7
  • Features 8
  • Support 5

Review Sections

Ares P2P

Though it's not as attractive as LimeWire, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing application Ares 1.88 offers unrestricted searches, and it tested completely clean in our informal spyware tests. Still, the pop-up-ridden behavior of the main Web site and the discovery of two mysterious files after uninstalling the application left us wary. Ares is open source and available in a number of variations, such as Ares Gold, Ares P2P 2.1, and Ares Galaxy. Ares is the only P2P client we're aware of that includes online chat. Because it uses its own Gnutella network, Ares doesn't return as many search hits as some other clients we tested, but it produces fewer fake files. You can't beat the price, so give it a shot, but make sure your spyware protection is up-to-date.

Installing Ares is a simple two-click affair. When the program first runs, you must click through another couple of configuration dialogs, but all in all, the process is painless and easy. Spybot Search and Destroy found nothing amiss during the Ares installation, though we later discovered two remnants after uninstalling the program: tcpip_patcher.sys and tcpippatcherdll.dll. Whether this flotsam was simply an oversight or indicative of an unknown form of malware we can't say; left to guess, we'd say the former, since we didn't notice any aberrant behavior.

Navigating the Ares interface is easy for anyone who has used Kazaa or LimeWire. Ares follows the same basic format, placing navigation icons along the top for search, view, and the like. It isn't exactly what we'd call attractive; it's more on the utilitarian side. But since it's free, we're not complaining.

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