Tribler delivers a decentralized BitTorrent client
Tribbler, a BitTorrent client that has actually been around for a number of years, has just released the latest version of their software which uses a “zero server” approach to deliver downloads to end users.
The new structure of the Tribbler client allows it to overcome the issues that go along with many BitTorrent applications by not relying on central servers which are vulnerable to legal action, crashes and other problems that can disrupt downloads.
Dr. Johan Pouwelse, top researcher on Peer-to-Peer technology at Delft University of Technology and head of the Tribbler project, has been working with a team of researchers since 2006 to continually improve the client.
“22 scientists are working full time in the P2P research team I’m coordinating at Delft University of Technology. A lot of the algorithms and Open Source code we write ends up in Tribler. Roughly 6 other universities or organizations contribute code regularly to Tribler. It’s by far the largest science-driven P2P effort around,” Pouwelse told TorrentFreak.
Unfortunately, the Tribbler user base is currently rather low, with only around 20,000 users, which can make it difficult to track down content. However, as word gets out about the new client, those user numbers are likely to increase which will make more torrents available.
One issue that could put a damper on the project is the fact that the client has been funded since the beginning with millions of euros in grants that come from taxpayers. The mere mention of the word “torrent” recently has been associated with piracy. However, Pouwelse is quick to defend his team’s research.
“Tax payer money is going into Internet research, which happens to use a very powerful technology called BitTorrent. That’s different. On a wider scale a few hundred million euros of research money is being spent on making computer networks more robust and improving video streaming. I think that is money well spent,” Pouwelse explains.
Tribbler likely won’t be the only decentralized BitTorrent client for long. As we reported last week, Dot-P2P founders are also working on a free decentralized open DNS system to combat censoring that can take place with central servers.
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