Shareaza is a peer-to-peer file sharing client which supports the Gnutella, Gnutella2, eDonkey Network, BitTorrent, FTP and HTTP network protocols and handles magnet links, ed2k links, Piolet links, and the now deprecated Gnutella links. It is available in 27 languages.
Shareaza was developed by Michael Stokes until June 1, 2004, and is now maintained by a group of volunteers. Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), Shareaza is free software.
- Main article: Gnutella2
In late 2002, Stokes introduced Gnutella2, a reworked version of the Gnutella protocol with many fundamental changes, and added support for it to Shareaza. This drew a lot of criticism from other Gnutella developers because Gnutella2 was developed without any outside help or conferral. However, the Gnutella2 network has done well despite this rift, and is now supported by Shareaza, MLDonkey, Adagio, Gnucleus, and Morpheus among others. Opponents of the name "Gnutella2" refer to it as 'Mike's Protocol', or 'MP' for short.
On 1 June 2004, Shareaza 2.0 was released, along with the source code, under the GNU GPL, making it free software. The latest release, released on 1 January 2008, is 18.104.22.168. It is the last stable version of Shareaza that will support Windows 9x.
Domain takeover / transferEdit
On 19 December 2007, the project's domain name, shareaza.com, was redirected to an unrelated site, promoting the download of an adware client known as ShareazaV4. As a result, the original project was forced to move their home page to SourceForge.net.
Since 1 January 2008, the new domain takes advantage of Shareaza's built-in automatic update feature to suggest to users that the ShareazaV4 application is an update to Shareaza. This vulnerability was fixed in Shareaza 22.214.171.124.
Attempted trademark takeoverEdit
On January 10 2008, the new owners of Shareaza.com, Discordia Ltd (iMesh Inc.), filed for trademark registration of the Shareaza name, claiming that the first-ever use of this name was on December 17 2007. The Shareaza Development Team urged users of the program to send Letters of Protest to the patent office and set up a legal defense fund.
Shareaza is able to connect to Gnutella, Gnutella2, eDonkey and BitTorrent. Next to that, it's also able to download one file from several networks at the same moment. It can do this because a Shareaza client hashes its files for all networks, and then distributes those hash values on G2. When another Shareaza client, connected to G2, finds such a file, it gets the knowledge of the hash values for all networks and will search on the networks with their respective hash values.
Shareaza contains an IP, keyword and hash security filter. The Shareaza client has some basic filters, like a forced childporn filter. Some optional filters, like a filter for files protected with DRM, can be used. The filters can be enhanced by using regular expressions . These filters increase the chances of getting the files the user wants and decreases the chance of getting a malicious or fake file. The filter is also able to be extended with user-defined keywords and/or IP addresses. The Shareaza Security Centre  maintains a list - the X-Ray Security Filter - which helps to protect from spamming clients which may distribute Spyware, etc.
Shareaza implements a framework for additional plugins. The Shareaza installer ships several plugins. Most of them are used to read and strip off built in metadata from the files being hashed and convert it to an external XML based format, or to decode multimedia files for making a preview for other G2 clients. Some others serve the need of a media player inside Shareaza, and enhancements of that media player. Third party plugins can also be used, for example, Sharemonkey, which will add a link inside Shareaza when downloading or searching copyrighted material. From that page, you would be able to legally download the item.
The client can have almost all parts of the GUI skinned. This includes bars and icons. In that way, Shareaza can be completely changed with colors, images, new buttons, etc. The skins are Zip archives, with the extension .sks for the images used and an XML file which binds the images and colors with the GUI. This feature is also used for localization. The language files are XML files, like the normal skins, but not zipped. The XML file contains the translations for a certain part of the program. This enable languages to be easily changed and tested without compiling an entire binary.
Shareaza contains 3 user modes. The first one is for normal users. This mode is the default mode and provides a clean, trimmed GUI. Users will not be able to heavily change the settings in this mode, but will be able to make use of the most essential functions, like searching and downloading. The second mode is for power users. It provides more access to network and advanced settings, but can also break your connection to the networks. The third mode is the windowed mode. In this mode, users can see different tabs at the same moment, providing a lot of control about the things happening.
Forks of Shareaza exist.
ShareazaPlus is a mod made by an ex-developer called CyberBob. He left the community due to internal disputes. He took over the already existing ShareazaPlus mod from SourceForge.net. Since then, his mod is called ShareazaPlus or Shareaza with CB core.
ShareazaLite is a modified version of Shareaza associated with the Flox P2P project. It only contains the G2 network, and discards the other networks. This is to test the Flox P2P technique on it. This mod is made by one of the current admins of Shareaza, Rolandas.
- Comparison of BitTorrent software
- Comparison of eDonkey software
- Comparison of Gnutella software
- Comparison of Gnutella2 software
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found