P2P software has come a long way since its inception back in 1999 with the birth of Napster. What began as Direct Connect-type P2P connections eventually evolved into distributed or swarm-type sharing to speed up the transfer of large files.

The BitTorrent protocol maximizes the connections of an unli8mited number of peers, joined together in a “swarm,” so that seeders (those with data) and leechers (those downloading data), can use the entire bandwidth of their upload and download Internet connections.

Tribler is an open source BitTorrent client that uses an overlay network for content searching. What this means is that it can still function even if all torrent search engines, indexes and trackers were pulled offline. Downloading data is done independent of a centralized server.

Tribler has various extensions such as integrated search, taste similarity recommendation and experimental video-on-demand. Tribler users enter a query into the built-in search engine, and it returns a list of results from other connected peers.

Users can create “channels” of content that others can follow and download content from. Only the creator can edit the channel, and so based on user “likes” and comments it can become a verified source of “legitimate” content (not spam or fake files) and gain popularity in the ranking of “Popular Channels.”

The name Tribler stems from the word Tribe, referring to the usage of social networks in this P2P client. The first version of Tribler was a small enhancement on the ABC (Yet Another BitTorrent Client).

Read a recent review about Tribler here.

Review by Jared Moya

Tribler has an average rating 3.0 out of 5 based on 24 user ratings.