Thursday, June 30, 2011

RIP Gnutella. Frostwire Goes BitTorrent Only


Before I started using Torrents, I used to get most of my stuff from the Gnutella network – old software abandoned by developers, music nobody sells and games nobody plays anymore. Between year 2000 and 2008, the Gnutella file sharing network had an explosive growth. By late 2007, it was the most popular file sharing network on the Internet.

After LimeWire was shut down in 2010, FrostWire - a fork of LimeWire made in 2004 - took over as the leading file-sharing application on the Gnutella network. Several other Gnutella based file sharing programs were also there to pick up the slack and LimeWire was resurrected by a secret team of developers and dubbed Limewire Pirate Edition, but there was already a significant drop in the size of the network after the LimeWire shutdown.

Today Frostwire announced that it will leave Gnutella entirely and focus on BitTorrent instead.


“We decided to go all out with BitTorrent and spend our time making FrostWire the best BitTorrent client out there, and not fighting the endless spam battle. There are many opportunities to take in the realm of legal file-sharing and social networking that you will see happen as FrostWire 5 keeps evolving,” the FrostWire team told TorrentFreak.

When FrostWire was first released in 2004 it was based on the Gnutella network. Not only it was identical to LimeWire but better as it offered several features of LimeWire Pro at no extra cost. In 2006 FrostWire added BitTorrent support, but the client’s core user base continued to mainly use the Gnutella network.

But a plaguing problem with the Gnutella network is the exchange of excessive amount of spam, malware, and worms among the file sharers. Unable to cope with this increasingly spam-ridden network, the FrostWire team eventually decided to focus entirely on BitTorrent. For Gnutella, it’s bad news as FrostWire is the only widely used Gnutella file sharing software today.

The upcoming release of FrostWire 5 will have an integrated BitTorrent search engine that can bring search results come from various BitTorrent sites including isoHunt, BTJunkie and Vertor. You can also filter results by number of seeders and file size. Even though BitTorrent was never rocket science, those coming from Gnutella will appreciate the ability to search and download files without leaving the client program.

Interested users can download the beta of FrostWire 5, from this page. But watch out for the Ask toolbar.


  1. "it’s bad news as FrostWire is the only widely used Gnutella file sharing software today."

    Don't forget Gtk-Gnutella, Shareaza en Limewire (that is still using a lot), there's an Limewire Pirate edition (more information about Limewire Pirate edition: and my favourite Gnutella client: Phex! ( There are a lot of other Gnutella clients, based on Lime/Frostwire like Lemonwire, Limezilla, Cabos, MP3 Rocket, Luckywire, MP3 Torpedo, Freefox, WinMX Music and more... so if Frostwire is leaving the Gnutella-network, there will be a lot of alternatives! And some of them are much better... specially Phex and Gtk-Gnutella!

  2. If you want to get the latest FrostWire 5 beta installer, they're available at

    cheers (in case you get lost with that link to the mailing list)

  3. Yes, there are lots of alternatives. But the thing is: is anybody using them? Some of the names you mentioned are new to me - Luckywire, WinMX Music, Freefox. Never heard about Phex, but I wasn't looking either.

    Gnutella might not be dead yet, but the size of the network is diminishing. And when major clients like Limewire and Frostwire starts to abandon the network, things can never be the same again.

  4. lol. i used gnutella for like 2 weeks back in 2003 or something.....good riddance :). plenty other good protocols, like ed2k, dc++, bt of course, and ftp and sad affair.


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