Hello and welcome! DC++ is a free, open-source client for Direct Connect file sharing networks. It is fully compatible with and supports connection to hubs using the earlier NeoModus Direct Connect (NMDC) protocol, but its primary purpose is to be a client for a new generation of file sharing using a protocol called Advanced Direct Connect (ADC).
The newest version of DC++ should work well on any officially supported Windows client operating system, including XP SP3, Vista SP2, Windows 7 and 8. Some older versions will run on Windows 2000 or Win9x/ME but using DC++ on these old, discontinued and vulnerable operating systems is neither recommended nor supported. As long as it downloaded from the official site, DC++ contains no viruses or adware of any kind. DC++ is free; if you paid for it, ask for a refund!
The Direct Connect (DC) network is a decentralized network, made up of individual servers (hubs) that users join to share files. Users can search for files and download them from other users connected to the same hub. A hub only helps to find files and connect users; it does not store any files. File transfers are done directly between clients, in peer-to-peer fashion.
Every hub also acts as an instant messaging server. Users can chat with other users of the same hub using the main chat (visible to every user on the hub) or, alternatively, start a private conversation with a particular user. Some hubs also have special chat rooms for groups of people, such as having a chat only for operators.
Each hub is individually administered, and some hubs are built around sharing a particular type of content. Rules vary from hub to hub, but most have a restriction on the minimum amount and type of content a user may share (for example, some hubs disallow sharing of pornography). Hubs typically have operators (or ops) appointed by the actual owner of the hub to police these rules and ban offenders, as well as help new users.
There are two basic kinds of hubs. Public hubs are available to anyone who adheres to the rules and require no registration for connecting. Some allow you to connect, but require registration to search or download - this is a grey area. In contrast, private hubs always require user authentication at login, using a username/password combination. To gain access to these hubs, one must get registered through other channels, such as a web forum or a public hub maintained by the same people.
There are Hublists hosted by individual hublist servers to allow users to find hubs that they might like. These lists contain the name, address and description of each hub along with other data. Some big hublists try to contain almost all available hubs while others contain only a list of hubs meeting certain criteria, such as hubs in a specific country.
DC++ has a few public hublist servers configured by default. They are the most popular and reliable ones so they are available most of the time. You can open up the Public Hublist window by using the View/Public Hubs menu item or by clicking on the appropriate icon in the Toolbar. You can add other hublist servers or manage a list of your own Favorite hubs. If you simply want to connect to a particular hub with a known address you can do it using File/Quick Connect.
However, before connecting to any hub you should familiarize yourself with the basic principles of the DC network and have your client set up correctly to enjoy all the possibilities and benefits of Direct Connect.
The DC++ Quick Start Tutorial is an easy to understand guide to newcomers. It contains plenty of screenshots as well as a video tutorial that explains basic DC++ usage and the minimum settings required to get things up and running. Make sure you gone through the tutorial and configured all the minimum required settings (eg. entered a unique nick in General settings, etc...) or you won't be able to connect to any hub.
In most cases, after concluding this basic setup you must be able to connect to hubs, search for files and download from any user. If you don't experience any issues then you can entirely skip the next section.
If you experience any connectivity problems after the required basic setup (eg. not able to connect to any hub, no search results, downloads don't start) then you may need to do some additional configuration. Beside some less frequent issues in most cases the possible source of the connectivity issues can be narrowed down to two reasons:
DC++ itself or its access to the Internet is blocked by some security software. Typical sympthoms of this problem are that you cannot connect to hubs and unable to download hublists or you cannot start DC++ itself at all.
In this case you have to allow (unblock) DC++ in all the installed security software (firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, etc..). For additional information and tips about how to unblock DC++ in the Windows firewall and other 3rd party security software follow this FAQ.
Misconfigured or incorrectly detected connectivity settings. The most obivious sign of this problem is that you are able to pull down the hublists and can connect to hubs without problems, even others can upload from you but searches and/or downloads are not working (no search results / connection timeouts).
In most cases DC++ should be able to configure connectivity settings on your behalf, provided the Automatic connectivity setup feature is enabled. If searches and/or downloads are not working, make sure that the Let DC++ determine the best connectivity settings option is enabled. If it doesn't help (or it forces you into passive mode and you want to improve your connectivity) then follow the FAQ that explains how to manually configure DC++ connectivity settings.
Need more help?
There is an online support forum and a bug & feature tracker also available. You can access these pages through the Help menu of DC++ or from the links page. Please go through all the documentation mentioned above before asking for support. Most of the questions asked in the support page are already answered in the FAQs or even in the built-in Help.
Important : before asking for support please keep in mind that DC++ is a client for connecting to a network and developers of DC++ have no connection to the owners of individual hubs or hublist servers. So when you have a problem with a particular hub or hublist server (and you can use others without problems) the DC++ support team is unable to help you in any way.