Tribler: BitTorrent Client that Doesn’t Need Tracker Sites, Can’t Be Shut Down

Tribler: BitTorrent Client that Doesn’t Need Tracker Sites, Can’t Be Shut Down

Tribler is, as the developers claim, “designed to keep BitTorrent alive, even when all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers are pulled offline,” and can only be shut down if you “take down the Internet” itself.

These days an air of uncertainty blankets the P2P world as torrent tracker sites like BTJunkie and others have decided to voluntarily close their doors in the wake of the MegaUpload raid by US authorities.

Sure a majority of remaining sites are safe, at least those in countries that smartly recognize the fact that torrent tracker sites don’t actually host any copyrighted material, but the question is for how long? Tribler is likely the answer.

Though not new to the scene, it’s been around for more than five years, reserachers at Delft University of Technology have been picking up the pace to make it a virtually bulletproof form of P2P data sharing. I first covered its creation back in 2006, and the researchers have been working tirelessly to perfect it ever since.

“Our key scientific quest is facilitating unbounded information sharing,” Dr. Johan Pouwelse told TorrentFreak in a recent interview. “We simply don’t like unreliable servers. With Tribler we have achieved zero-seconds downtime over the past six years, all because we don’t rely on shaky foundations such as DNS, web servers or search portals.”

And that’s the key to fighting back against legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and even the ACTA: Tribler doesn’t need torrent tracker sites. Downloading data is done independent of a centralized server. Tribler users enter a query into the built-in search engine, and it returns a list of results from other connected peers.

To weed out spam and fake files propagated by anti-P2P groups users can create “channels” of verified content that other users can “like.” The more “likes” a channel garners the further it rises in popularity.

When it comes to vulnerability to outside forces, govts and international entertainment conglomerates in particular, Dr. Pouweise says that “The only way to take it down is to take The Internet down.”

How’s that for one hell of a game of whac-a-mole?

It just goes to show that no matter what groups like the MPAA and RIAA try to do fight P2P in the end technology ALWAYS wins. It’s not the most popular BitTorrent client, and as result content selection is somewhat lacking, but that could all well change in the near future if legislation like SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA come to fruition.

Tribler runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux so nobody will feel left out.

Stay tuned.

[email protected] | @jaredmoya


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