A leech is a person who takes resources from a website or network in an unethical manner, such as consuming bandwidth or data without giving anything back. In peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, a leech is someone who downloads files without uploading anything in return.
The term “leech” originated from an annoying animal that attaches to its host and sucks blood. While leeching is not always illegal, excessive use of resources without contributing anything is considered unethical.
On USENET newsgroups, downloading files without sharing them with other users is acceptable; however, in a P2P network, there’s an unwritten rule that if you download something, you should also share your resources so that others can access the data as well.
Examples of leechers include those who connect to open Wi-Fi networks without permission and use bandwidth leeching to display content from a third-party server on their own website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is bandwidth leeching?
Bandwidth leeching is a practice where a leecher creates a direct link to an object on a third-party server and displays it on their website, consuming the third-party’s bandwidth without their permission or compensation.
Is leeching illegal?
Leeching can be legal or illegal, depending on the specific circumstances. While accessing an open Wi-Fi network without permission is illegal, downloading files from USENET newsgroups is generally acceptable.
Can leeching harm a network or website?
Excessive leeching can harm a network or website by consuming valuable resources needed for other users. It can also slow down the network’s performance, making it difficult for others to access data.
Leeching is an unethical practice of taking resources from a network or website without giving anything back. While it’s not always illegal, excessive leeching can harm the network’s performance and hinder others from accessing data. In P2P networks, downloading files without contributing resources is considered unethical. It’s important to respect ethical norms and contribute to the network’s sustainability.