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Tribler icon
Tribler screenshot
Tribler 5.1.2
Developer(s) The Tribler Team: Delft University of Technology and Vrije Universiteit
Stable release 6.3.3 (September 11, 2014; 37 days ago (2014-09-11)) [±]
Preview release 6.3.0 RC4 (August 21, 2014; 58 days ago (2014-08-21)) [±]
Written in Python, C++
Operating system Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Android
Available in English
Type BitTorrent client
License LGPL[1] (free software)

Tribler is an open source peer-to-peer decentralized client with various features for watching videos online. The user interface of Tribler is very basic and focused on ease of use, instead of diversity of features.[2] Tribler is based on the BitTorrent protocol and uses an overlay network for content searching, which makes the program operate independent of external websites and renders it immune to limiting external action, for example, government restraint.[3][4] Due to this overlay network Tribler does not require an external website or indexing service to discover content.[5] Tribler features include: video-only searching, experimental video streaming, and an integrated video player. Tribler is available for Linux, Windows, OS X and Android.[6]

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)

In 2009 the development team behind Tribler stated that their efforts for the coming years are focused on integration of Tribler in television hardware.[citation needed]

In 2012 the lead researcher stated “we’re going to take Internet privacy to the next level” by releasing Tribler with a proxy layer.[7]


Tribler adds keyword search ability to the BitTorrent file download protocol using a gossip protocol, somewhat similar to the eXeem network which was shut down in 2005. The software includes the ability to recommend content. After a dozen downloads the Tribler software can roughly estimate the download taste of the user and recommends content.[8] This feature is based on collaborative filtering, also featured on websites such as and Another feature of Tribler is a limited form of social networking and donation of upload capacity. Tribler includes the ability to mark specific users as online friends. Such friends can be used to increase the download speed of files by using their upload capacity.[9] Due to these features Tribler differs from other popular BitTorrent clients such as Vuze and μTorrent.


The SwarmPlayer is a Python based BitTorrent Internet TV viewer. It allows one to watch BitTorrent-hosted peer-to-peer digital media distribution of video on demand and plays live Tribler streaming media. It is based on the same core as the Tribler TV application.

The core software is free and open source software based on the Tribler platform, licensed under the LGPL 2.1.


Tribler was created by university researchers trying to improve peer-to-peer technology.[10] Tribler is designed to enhance BitTorrent by removing the need for central elements such as the websites for finding content. The aim is to increase performance, reliability, and scalability.


After a news article on TorrentFreak in February 2012 mentioned Tribler's decentralization and the fact that its index is impossible to take down,[11] the website became hugely popular, causing it to be reduced to just the download page to satisfy demand.


The European Union's P2P-Next [1] project to develop an internet television distribution standard builds on Tribler technology under development at the Delft University of Technology.[12]

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