Where is the true succesor to eMule?

Most of you will say that the succesor to eMule is BitTorrent as it is the most widely used P2P network today, but there are some things that BitTorrent lacks and eMule provides. The most notorious for me are the following:

Built-in network-wide search
Easy sharing
Unique links

Maybe you don’t consider this features important, but the fact is that with the approach BitTorrent takes, we are highly dependent on central points that make the network vulnerable. With BitTorrent we depend on trackers and link listing websites to share content. A torrent client is useless on its own if we don’t have a link listing site to get torrents or magnet-links from. On the other side, with the built-in search eMule provides, one can start downloading without the need for a website to take links from.

Easy sharing is also very important, because it provides more peers to download files from. This is specially important on rare files, because with torrents the seeds to download a file can become scattered between different torrents and there can be 5 different torrents seeding the same data, yet they don’t share peers. It is clear that one torrent with multiple seeds is preferred that multiple torrents with one seed each, for example.

When there is one single way to identify a file on the network (like with ed2k hashlinks) even the less tech-savvy users are able to contribute. Sharing on eMule is as simple as dropping the file you want to share on your incoming folder (even if it is not the optimal way to do it). In BitTorrent, you must download an existing torrent file or magnet link, stop the download, replace the half downloaded files with the ones you already had downloaded, making sure that you use the same directory structure and filenames that are defined in the torrent, recheck the torrent and start it, all this in order to share files you had downloaded previously. Tell a noob user to do that to help you download some rare file…

And now imagine that you have an entire drive full of sharing material, but the directory structure and filenames differ from the ones used on the torrents (because you like to keep things ordered in your hard drive). This scenario makes it impossible to share those files on the torrent network without creating brand new torrents, so you can’t contribute and be one more seed on already existing torrents.

Why not use eMule then? Because it’s slow, inneficient, and there is practically only one client that is no longer actively developed. Searching for alternatives, the most similar program that has various clients and is multiplatform is Direct Connect, but it is not decentralized, and different servers don’t communicate with each other, so peers for the same file are not shared globally and instead are scattered around different hubs

Is there really no other program that works the way eMule does? Is there no true spiritual succesor to eMule nowadays?

I can confirm that for Italian and Spanish users, eMule/aMule is very active still.

Italian user here and yes, I confirm eMule is still active. Not as 5 or 10 years ago, but it’s still active


Those are some memories! I don’t really have an answer to your question but thought I would share some of my own experiences.

I remember toying around with edonkey 2000 back in the day, but it was slow and I had dial up. I don’t believe I ever tried emule.

Direct Connect was really interesting, but as you said, search was somewhat limited.

I think I enjoyed Direct Connect because it was like the thrill of the hunt. You never really knew what you were going to find. I remember spending hours just combing through people’s share folders and finding all sorts of crazy things.

I also remember there was a decent anime community on there. I remember downloading tons of it.

I personally had better results with Kazaa. I used it for a couple of years and then moved to Sharaza and Ares.

Sharaza was a good catchall that searched or utilized multiple networks like Gnutella, Gnutella 2, bit torrent etc. It replaced multiple p2p programs for me.

Ares had its own network, I believe. I remember being able to find tons of stuff on there that I could not find on other networks. I also liked the fact that it could have irc style rooms that you could set up, join, and share.

Ares was really unique and I would probably still be using it if Bit torrent did not fulfill my needs.

Having said all that. Emule sounds like it had some great ideas and it’s sad to see they were not developed further.

I think https://ipfs.io/ is just a killer app away from becoming the ultimate in file sharing.


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