Step One: Client
First things first, you'll want to download the DC++ client. This is available at http://dcplusplus.sourceforge.net.
Step Two: Configuration
Load up the DC++ client. What you're going to do is configure DC++ to your specific properties.
Check the icon in Figure 1.0 that looks like a clipboard. This will bring up the Settings window.
Fill out your nickname, select your type of internet connection, and then your Connection Settings. If you are within a LAN/router/firewall or a restrictive ISP and cannot open any incoming ports, select Passive Mode, this mode will always work. If you have a SOCKS5 proxy and know how to use it you can fill that out but it isn't recommended. And finally (recommended) if you can open a port in your router/firewall and point it to your computer; or if you are not behind any kind of router or firewall at all, then select Active mode and fill in your internet IP and the port you've just opened. Being connected in Active mode will enable you to receive more search results and it puts less strain on the hub you are in.
Move onto the Downloads tab (Figure 1.2), and fill out the directories. The download directory is where all downloaded media will go when completed, and the Unfinished Downloads Directory is, as named, where your incomplete downloads go until they are finished.
I suggest you set the limits on downloads to 0 for both figures, as this will allow you to download an unlimited amount of files at one time. Life is great being a leech.
The public hub list url seen in the picture above is what I recommend you use, as it is stable and is usually up and running. The hub list is the huge list of hubs you see when you press the Public Hubs icon on the DC++ interface. For copy and pasting purposes, here is the hublist URL: http://www.dc-resources.com/downloads/hublist.config.bz2
In the Sharing tab, you will select which directories you want accessible to others connected on the same hubs as you. Most hubs have sharing minimums, and you may be kicked or even banned if you connect and fail to observe their minimum rule. So try to share AT LEAST that much or prepare to face consequences. Most hubs also have slot-per-hub ratios. Average hub-slot ratio is 3 upload slots for every hub you connect to.
And that's it! You're done with configuring your DC++ client. Now on to actually joining some hubs...
Step Three: Joining Hubs
Assuming you've followed my suggestions about slot rules and hub minimums, you are now ready to join some hubs.
Click the icon that looks like a star on the DC++ client at the top. This will take you to the Favorite Hubs window. Here is where you can store the addresses of your favorite hubs just like an address book to quickly connect to them without having to type in their addresses everytime you want to connect.
I made it real simple and easy for you. Just fill out the window with the following details:
Name: DJCENTER2004 Address: djcenter.no-ip.org:550 Description: (leave blank) Nick: (leave blank to use your default nick) Password: (leave blank) Description: (describe what you are sharing in as few words as possible)
In the Favorite Hubs window, double click the hub you've just added you will connect to it. A window like this will appear:
On the upper half, to the left there is a chat window. It isn't really important unless you plan on talking with people, but screw socializing - you want mp3s don't you?! To the right, is a long list of users connected to the hub. I can explain what the user descriptions mean but I'll leave that up to you. We're going to learn how to search for files first. And at the bottom, spanning across the two on top is a window that will display the status of running downloads and uploads.
Let's get to some searching.
Step Four: Searching for Media
Click the magnifying glass button - this will take you to the Search window.
It's very simple, in the Search For box, you enter the title of whatever you are looking for, or artist, maker... anything you believe will help lead you to what you are looking for. The file size business we can ignore, you can learn about that later. In the File Type box you can specify the type of file you are you looking for to help narrow down search results. Next, check the button that says Only users with free slots. This will narrow down your results to people who can immediately upload to you, as opposed to you waiting in their upload queue list forever. However, if you can't find the file you are looking for with this option checked then uncheck it and see if you can find someone who has it. You can also try searching at a different time since someone who has it may log on later.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: I cannot stress enough that it is very rude to make multiple searches within a short period of time. Please keep your searches about a minute apart, otherwise the hubs get jammed up (every time you search it goes to every user connected to the hub and they will be looking through their file list and then send you the result, now multiply that with the amount of users currently searching and you can see how this is bad for the overall performance of the hub). If you fail to obey this rule of courtesy you might as well be asking to be kicked and/or banned. Many hubs have an automatic search limiter; usually around 60 seconds, which means you won't even see any results unless you are patient and wait a while before your next search.
Step Five: Downloading
Once you have queued files to download, they will appear at the bottom spanning window that shows your downloads and uploads. It will look a lot like this:
It shows you who you're downloading from, the speed, progress percentage and other useful information.
If you wish to view all downloads you have queued, you can press the icon that shows a folder and a little clock on it. This will display all downloads you've queued regardless of whether they are currently running or not. This window displays useful information such as if you are in queue for that file or if the download source is simply not online at the moment. Newer versions of DC++ allow you to right click queued entries and search for different sources.
Epilogue: Final Thoughts
I hope this tutorial has helped you better use and understand DC++. I am in no way responsible for you getting in trouble with whoever or whatever, so tough luck if something unfortunate happens to you. But by simply following the directions in this tutorial, you will at least not get into much trouble from the hub-folk (not saying anything about your network admins, you little highschooler punks!). Be polite, keep some time between those searches, upload as much as you can and ALWAYS check up on hub rules (usually seen in the chat window when you connect).