Ganymede arrived and I wanted to download the release. I use a proxy server in Chicago, didn't feel like logging in as a friend, so I selected a U.S. mirror from the list. I can say that the download speed was terrible, probably due to the large amount of people downloading as it was just released.
I decided it was too slow to my liking and canceled my download. I logged into Friends of Eclipse and started the download from the Friends of Eclipse mirror. This time the speed was way better! I am currently downloading the modeling package, and decided to download from the Friends of Eclipse mirror straight away. And again, excellent download speed!
As a friend I also got a Friends of Eclipse email notifying me that I could download Ganymede the day before Ganymede became available to the general public. So as a friend I had early access as well.
So here's the benefits: faster download during busy times, early access to releases, notifications to let you know the release is there and the ability to carry the Friends of Eclipse logo. As an Eclipse fan, that logo of course is the best of 'em all ;-)
But besides that, I am able to give something back to the community, the foundation will be able to better their services, and who knows what other benefits friends may get in the future. If it is not for the benefits, you should still consider becoming a friend, just to give something back for the tremendous effort we have seen (Eclipse Zone)! So donate and become a Friend of Eclipse!
Aha, my download just finished! Off to doing more reviews of Ganymede!