This entry is a user-made guide and not verified by any eMule developer, but is still a helpfull addition for most users. You you can find questions and comments on this topic in a dedicated thread on our forum.
A Guide for Getting the Correct File.
Or: how to avoid fake files.
What is a “Fake”?
The problem with the term “Fake File” is that what you consider a fake might be the correct file to another user. For example: If you are downloading “The Video Guide for Installing a USB Key on Linux” which is a feature length video file and instead you find out you downloaded a home made film called “The Erotic Art of Nude Waffle Making” you would think “Hey it’s a fake!!!” But another user, who looked for a film about nude waffle making, would have downloaded the same file you downloaded and would not consider it to be a fake. So it’s all in the name, I consider a file to be a potential “fake” if it has two different common names that describe different content (like in the example above).
Setting Up eMule to Avoid Fake Files Spreaders.
Fake files are often spreaded by companies that want to hurt your P2P experience (like MPAA etc.) or by users who try to spread viruses etc. The best ways to avoid them is to keep your serverlist clean of fake servers and to keep an updated IP filter.
Fake servers are servers that spread fake sources and false search results. To make sure you don't have fake servers in your server list delete all servers in the "Servers" tab (Ctrl+A -> Delete). Go to the "Server" section in the options screen and disable the "Update serverlist when connecting to a server" and "Update serverlist when a client connects" options. Set the number of failed retries to 10 and enable the "Auto-update serverlist at start up" option, click the "List..." button and in the text file that opens paste this link: http://peerates.net/servers.php. Save the text file and close it.
Now to setup the IP filter. An IP filter is a tool that blocks communication from a list of IP addresses. eMule has a built in IP filter it just needs the user to supply the list of IP's to block. Go to the "Security" section in the options screen, in the "IP Filter" enable the "Filter servers too" option and paste this link in the "Update from URL" box: http://emulepawcio.sourceforge.net/ipfilter.zip or http://www.bluetack.co.uk/config/nipfilter.dat.gz
Then click on the "Load" button and let eMule download the updated IP address list. Try to remember to manually update the ipfilter weekly. Now all you have to do is restart eMule.
Avoiding Fakes in the Search Stage.
Generaly speaking there is a better chance a popular file is the correct file (As long as you have a clean server list). Sort the results by availability and if you reached the maximum results (300 if you are using global search) make your search term more specific. Another way of getting more relevant results is using the Max/Min size filter and the “Complete Sources” and “Availability” Filters, set the “Complete Sources” to 1 and the “Availability” to 2 (These are minimum values).
Once the client finish searching expand the first result (if possible) by clicking the “+” mark and check the filenames. If most of the filenames are the file you were searching for, start downloading the file.
Edit 1: If you are connected to KAD you can also search for comments on the file you are about to download by right clicking it, selecting "Comments..." from the context menu and clicking the "Search KAD" button.
Edit 4: Since eMule 0.47a you can see a "Ratings" icon next to some results. Read more about ratings here: Look at the bottom on the page.
Edit 5: If you encounter a search result that is definitely fake, right click on it as select "Mark as Spam".
Always check the length and bitrate with music and video files when searching. (Added by netfinity)
Althought inconsistencies in those fields doesn't neccessarily means the file is a fake, it is highly probable that it isn't what you where looking for. The absense of these fields for mp3's and avi's is a good warning that the file might be fake as other sources where not able to decode this information from the file. However if the number of complete sources is very few it might happen that this information has not been processed yet. It is a guess work but there is usually one file that appears less fake than the others.
When you download a you usually have an approximate knowledge about the actual playing time. By looking for this in the search window you can guess that an mp3 that is 15 minutes is probably fake aswell as a featured movie that is 5 minutes long.
A mp3 file is normaly 128 kbit/s or greater and a divx (avi) is greater than 1000 kbit/s. If the file is not you can be quite sure it's either fake or of poor quality.
Checking Comments and Filenames in the “Downloads” List.
Wait for eMule to connect to all the available sources for the file (takes from a few seconds to a couple of minutes usually) and then right click the file and select “Comments…”. Click the “Search Kad” button at the bottom of the comments screen and wait for a few seconds. If there are comments read them, they can reveal fake or damaged files. Also go to the “File Name” tab and recheck the file name to see if the most common names match the file you want to download. Don’t panic if you see that there is one or two other names for the file, they might be wrong.
Previewing Video Files.
You have to set up eMule to enable it to preview files with a video player that has a good support for playing partial files. The recommended player is "Media Player Classic” which you can get here MPC Download Page. After installing MPC you have to go to eMule’s Options screen, next go to the Files section and under video player browse for the mplayerc.exe executable, then uncheck the “Create Backup to Preview” option. I also recommend you check the “Try to Download Preview Chunks First” option. Once eMule is set up in that way you can preview any video file you download before you finish downloading it, you will have to wait until eMule downloads the first and last chunk of the file. Once eMule downloads these chunks the “Preview” option will be available (un-grayed) under the context menu of the downloading file.
Edit 3: If some video files doesn't display properly it might be a codec problem, I recommend installing this codec pack: K-Lite Codec Pack
Recognizing Strange Download Behavior.
There are files on the network that were created to fool users. These are true fake files since they are usually files full of binary zeros these files respond to eMule's built in compression in a very strange way. You will see the file either transferring unusually fast (sometimes at speeds higher then your limit) or you will see the file transferring at a normal speed but the progress bar will get full very fast. If you see one of these things happen to one of your files this file is most likely a fake.
Reporting Fake Files
Some users, after discovering a fake file, comment it as a fake and keep sharing it to warn other people who try to download it. If you choose to do that remember to set the file upload priority to low (in shared files section>right click the file>priority>low), that way your comment is shared but there is a lower chance you actually upload the fake file to someone. In order to add your comment to the file go to the shared files section, right click it and select "comments…".
Another thing you can do when you discover a fake is report it in the Donkey Fakes website: http://www.donkeyfakes.net/
Edit 2: Another good guide by xnorf
That’s about it, happy downloading