Tribler - Torrent Download Client for Seeders

Tribler is a research project of Delft University of Technology. Tribler was created over nine years ago as a new open source Peer-to-Peer file sharing program. During this time over one million users have installed it successfully and three generations of Ph.D. students tested their algorithms in the real world.

Tribler is the first client which continuously improves upon the aging BitTorrent protocol from 2001 and addresses its flaws. We expanded it with, amongst others, streaming from magnet links, keyword search for content, channels and reputation-management. All these features are implemented in a completely distributed manner, not relying on any centralized component. Still, Tribler manages to remain fully backwards compatible with BitTorrent.

Work on Tribler has been supported by multiple Internet research European grants. In total we received 3,538,609 Euro in funding for our open source self-organising systems research.

Roughly 10 to 15 scientists and engineers work on it full-time. Our ambition is to make darknet technology, security and privacy the default for all Internet users. As of 2017 we have received code from 56 contributors and 146.003 lines of code.

Vision & Mission
"Push the boundaries of self-organising systems, robust reputation systems and craft collaborative systems with millions of active participants under continuous attack from spammers and other adversarial entities."

Anonymity :

Tribler offers anonymous downloading. Bittorrent is fast, but has no privacy. We do NOT use the normal Tor network, but created a dedicated Tor-like onion routing network exclusively for torrent downloading. Tribler follows the Tor wire protocol specification and hidden services spec quite closely, but is enhanced to need no central (directory) server.

Disclaimer :

Do not put yourself in danger. Our anonymous download feature is not yet broadly tested.
Anonymous downloading is a new feature, barely a year old. We are sharing the design and code so that the community can test and evaluate it. This helps us make sure that it’s as secure as it needs to be before people start relying on it.

How it works :

1. Bittorrent Swarm :

Bittorrent offers no privacy protection. It is easily traced that you are downloading certain (controversial) content. Content is offered openly and everybody can see who is doing what. Dissidents and unpopular opinions can be easily discovered and subsequently stopped.

2. One proxy layer :

All downloads now go through other computers. All direct contact with the Bittorrent swarm is gone. The proxy layer is simply a set of computers that relay messages between you and the Bittorrent swarm. However, you need to fully trust all these selected proxies, they can see exactly what you download. The proxies encrypt the data, only you can read it.

3. Three proxy layers :

Adding three layers of proxies gives you more privacy. Three layers of protection make it difficult to trace you. Proxies no longer need to be fully trusted. A single bad proxy can not see exactly what is going on. The first proxy layer encrypts the data for you and each next proxy adds another layer of encryption. You are the only one who can decrypt these three layers correctly. Tribler uses three proxy layers to make sure bad proxies that are spying on people can do little damage.

4. The hidden seeder :

Seeders are unprotected in the above steps. This version of Tribler includes experimental support for hidden seeding. Uploading is just as anonymous as downloading with hidden seeding. We now automatically add proxy layers for seeders, similar to steps 2 and 3 above. The beauty of hidden seeding is that it can encrypt the content already in such a manner that only the downloader can read it (end-to-end encryption). This creates a darknet that is quite safe. However, we still need to enhance hidden seeding with features to improve the traversal of NAT boxes, now they lower the speeds significantly.

Thanks for reading .