12 Open-source P2P File transfer that were Popular 20 years ago, Yet some still Active.

12 Open-source P2P File transfer that were Popular 20 years ago, Yet some still Active.

What is a P2P File Sharing?

Before torrents became dominant in P2P file sharing, there were other networks and apps that facilitated P2P file sharing for years. While some are still active, they are not as popular as they were two decades ago.

What is a P2P Network?

A P2P (peer-to-peer) network is a decentralized network architecture where each participant (peer) shares a part of their resources (such as files, disk storage, or network bandwidth) directly with other participants without the need for centralized coordination by servers.

EDonkey2000, Gnutella, and Gnutella2 are examples of such networks, each supporting file sharing among users. EDonkey2000 is known for its large file transfers, Gnutella for its decentralized nature allowing peer discovery without central servers, and Gnutella2 (an evolution of Gnutella) for improved scalability and efficiency in search and file sharing.

What is a Gnutella Network?

Gnutella, a decentralized network protocol for P2P file sharing, remains operational in 2024. It served as a model for other P2P networks and introduced innovations like ultrapeers to enhance scalability. Despite the shutdown of LimeWire, the Gnutella community continues with forks like FrostWire, ensuring the protocol's persistence without compromising user experience.

This post provides a brief overview of these networks and apps.

1. Shareaza

Shareaza is a free, open-source peer-to-peer client for Windows that supports connecting to multiple P2P networks, including EDonkey2000, Gnutella, BitTorrent, and Gnutella2. It offers features like "Collections" for organizing files and has a customizable interface.

The Shareaza application is still usable. It is actively maintained and offers compatibility with various P2P networks, making it a viable option for users interested in file sharing through peer-to-peer networks.


  • Harnesses the power of up to four separate peer-to-peer networks
  • Completely free with no annoying ads or pop-ups
  • Fast downloads by utilizing multiple sources
  • Sophisticated file-hashing to detect and fix corruption
  • Global searching across the entire network
  • Multiple results tabs for organized searching
  • Previews, user comments, and ratings for authentic downloads
  • Customizable interface with different looks and skins
  • Translated into multiple languages with full Unicode support
  • Extensible with plug-in modules
  • Media player for playing various audio and video files
  • Preview filters for incomplete files
  • Chat functionality for one-on-one communication
  • Enhanced security with IP and client filtering to block malicious entities
Shareaza - Bringing P2P Together
Shareaza is a universal peer-to-peer file sharing client for Windows, free of spyware or bundled products. It’s feature-rich and won’t cost you a single penny. Yes, it’s free!

2. DC++

DC++ is a powerful open-source client for Windows that enables seamless file sharing over the Direct Connect and Advanced Direct Connect networks. With DC++, users can freely share files on the internet without any restrictions or limitations. It boasts a clean and intuitive interface, making it incredibly user-friendly.

Plus, it offers support for multi-hub connections, auto-connections, and the ability to resume downloads. DC++ is proudly licensed under the GNU GPL 3, ensuring its commitment to open-source principles. It is compatible with Windows 7 SP1 and newer versions.


  • No ads, spyware, or bundled software that you don't need
  • Open source software, code freely available under the GNU GPL
  • Joins multiple hubs at the same time
  • Multiple protocol support (ADC & NMDC)
  • List of bookmark-like favorite hubs and users
  • Shares large files and many files per your organization scheme
  • Tiger Tree Hashes (TTH) used for file integrity
  • Search across all (or selected) connected hubs by file type, size, name or hash
  • Resume of downloads, with optional automatic search for alternate sources by TTH
  • Logging options and configuration for chat, private messages, downloads, and uploads
  • Automatic connectivity setup with autoconfiguration of UPnP and NAT-PMP routers
  • MAGNET link support for linking to specific content
  • Automatic and manual download priorities
  • Saving of user's file lists for browsing and queueing
  • GUI is translated into many languages using community supplied Gettext .po language files
  • Segmented downloading
  • NAT-Traversal support
  • SSL encrypted secure hub-client communication, file transfers and direct private messages
  • Bandwidth limiting capabilities
  • Plugin support
DC++ your files, your way, no limits
DC++ announces the freedom to share! DC++ is an open source client for Windows for the Direct Connect/Advanced Direct Connect network.

3. Gimme P2P

Gimme P2P is an exceptionally powerful and efficient program for file sharing. With its robust support for both Gnutella 1 and Gnutella 2 networks, you can enjoy stable and secure downloads, along with highly comprehensive search results. It easily surpasses LimeWire and BearShare in every aspect!

Gimme P2P
Download Gimme P2P for free. Gimme P2P is a fully functional lightweight program for file sharing, with the support for Gnutella 1 and Gnutella 2 networks, you have stable downloads and safer and more packed search results. Beats LimeWire and BearShare hands down!

4. eMule

eMule is a free P2P file-sharing client for Windows, launched in 2002 as an alternative to eDonkey2000. It is known for its advanced search features, file checks, preview while downloading, and credit system. It also supports the Kad network and has a queue and credit system.


  • Kad network support
  • Queue and credit system
  • Intelligent corruption control
  • Simultaneous downloads with preview
  • Built in Web services/server
  • Advanced search
  • Messaging system
eMule-Project.net - Official eMule Homepage. Downloads, Help, Docu, News...
Official eMule Site. Downloads, Help, Docu, News,…
Download eMule for free. A free peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing client. eMule is a free peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing client for Microsoft Windows that was launched in 2002 as an alternative to eDonkey2000. To date, eMule is one of the world’s largest and most trustworthy P2P file-sharing clients.

5. Envy

Envy is an incredibly powerful multi-network p2p filesharing and torrent client for Windows or Wine. It is a well-established mainstream fork of Shareaza.

Envy is highly customizable with the ability to change its appearance, and it supports various protocols including BitTorrent/DHT, G2/Gnutella², Gnutella, ED2K/eMule, DC++, and http/ftp.

Additionally, Envy has built-in support for blacklisting. Share your public files and allow others to easily browse them.

Download Envy for free. Refined P2P Filesharing + BitTorrent. Envy is a powerful multi-network p2p filesharing and torrent client for Windows or Wine. A mature mainstream fork of Shareaza.

6. Ares Galaxy

Ares Galaxy is a free, open-source BitTorrent and chat program with its own decentralized network. It has a user-friendly interface, supports various file types, and allows publishing and downloading files through its peer-to-peer network.

It also supports the BitTorrent protocol and Shoutcast radio stations. Additional features include advanced search functionality.

The app has not been updated for years, and the official website is also down. However, the app is still receiving approximately 1,500 downloads per week.


  • Advanced search
  • Quick downloads
  • Built in audio/video player
  • Chat rooms
  • Powerful library organizer
Ares Galaxy
Download Ares Galaxy for free. A free peer-to-peer (P2P) BitTorrent file sharing client. Ares Galaxy is a free, open source BitTorrent and chat program that uses its own decentralized supernode/leaf network. Ares Galaxy has a simple, quick access interface with a built in audio/video viewer.

7. Phex

Phex is a multi-platform P2P file sharing client that connects to the Gnutella network. It is malware-free and offers advanced functionalities such as multi-source downloads and advanced search features. It also provides advanced configuration options.

Phex - Home
Phex is a peer-to-peer file sharing client for the Gnutella network. It is free software and without spyware or adware. Phex is released under the GNU General Public License. Phex is based on Java technology and therefore available for many different systems that offer a Java 1.4 runtime environment, such as Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and others.
Phex - P2P Gnutella filesharing program
Download Phex - P2P Gnutella filesharing program for free. A P2P filesharing client which connects to the Gnutella network. Phex is a P2P filesharing client which connects to the Gnutella network. It is multi-plattform and malware-free.

8. Alliance

Alliance is a free and secure platform for sharing files and communicating with people you know. Simply download and run Alliance, invite your coworkers or friends, and start sharing files and communicating with them easily.

It works for Windows, Linux and macOS.

Alliance P2P - Safe file sharing
Alliance P2P
Download Alliance P2P for free. Alliance takes the best from BitTorrent, Direct Connect and Waste and creates a decentralized and secure p2p network. It is a private and secure environment to share files and communicate with people you know.

9. PeerProject

PeerProject is a peer-to-peer file-sharing client and file manager that supports various networks and features, including BitTorrent, G2, Gnutella, eDonkey, DC++, IRC, and http/ftp.

It is a mainstream fork of Shareaza p2p designed for Windows and WINE. Note that the project is currently idle, and further development can be found in the Envy fork.

Download PeerProject for free. Diverse P2P Filesharing. PeerProject is a versatile peer-to-peer filesharing client and file manager. Intuitive and aesthetic while supporting many networks and features.

10. EiskaltDC++

EiskaltDC++ is a cross-platform program that supports the Direct Connect and ADC protocols, allowing file sharing and peer-to-peer communication.

It is compatible with various DC clients and hub software.

Download EiskaltDC++ for free. Program for filesharing using Direct Connect and ADC protocols. EiskaltDC++ is a cross-platform program that uses the Direct Connect and ADC protocols. It is compatible with DC++, FlylinkDC++, LinuxDC++ and other DC clients.

11- ANts P2P 

ANts P2P is a third generation P2P network that prioritizes privacy by hiding your identity and encrypting all communication. It is an open-source Java implementation with features like multiple sources download.


  • Multiple sources download
  • Swarming from partial files
  • Automatic resume and sources research over the net
  • Search by hash, string and structured query
  • Completely Object-Oriented routing protocol
  • Point to Point secured communication: DH(512)-AES(128)
  • EndPoint to EndPoint secured communication: DH(512)-AES(128)
  • Serverless GWebCache-based peer discovery procedure
  • IRC based peer discovery system
  • IRC embeded chat system
  • Full text search of indexed documents (pdf, html, txt, doc etc)
  • Distributed/Decentralized Search engine
  • HTTP tunneling
  • ANts allow P2P communications through any kind of HTTP Proxy
  • ANts allow P2P communications through any kind of NAT or traffic filtering system
  • Fully automated NAT detection and setup via UPnP
  • Full-Text indexing of shared documents using Lucene indexing engine
ANts P2P
ANts P2P realizes a third generation P2P net. It protects your privacy while you are connected and makes you not trackable, hiding your identity (ip) and crypting everything you are sending/receiving from others.
ANts P2P
Download ANts P2P for free. ANts P2P realizes a third generation P2P net. It protects your privacy while you are connected and makes you not trackable, hiding your identity (ip) and crypting everything you are sending/receiving from others.

12- LimeWire

LimeWire was a popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing application that allowed users to share and download files over the internet. It operated on the Gnutella network and was known for its easy-to-use interface and wide range of shared content.

However, due to legal issues, LimeWire's services were shut down in 2010 following a court injunction. While the original LimeWire service is no longer usable, various unofficial forks and versions appeared afterward.

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