Review: Gnucleus

By Tom 4/22/02


In recent weeks, spyware and adware have become the hot topic in the P2P world. With the Brilliant Digital intrusion plaguing the FastTrack network, many in the P2P community are realizing the value of spyware free applications, as witnessed by the popularity of KaZaA Lite and Gnucleus.

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Gnucleus is a spyware and adware free open-source Gnutella project. This Gnutella client also represents the next generation of Gnutella clients by implementing advanced features such as multi-source downloading and superpeers.

Ease of Use:

Gnucleus is built around simplicity. All major features are clearly displayed on the tool bar, allowing easy access to the search window, transfer window, etc.


The main features of this Gnutella client; the search window, transfer window, chat window, all operate under independent windows rather than flipping through tabs. The end user can resize the windows, allowing the individual to witness the activity on multiple windows. This is a convenient feature that should be considered by other P2P applications.

Speed of Download:

Slow downloads were one of the many complaints about the Gnutella network. This situation is rapidly improving as all major Gnutella clients are utilizing multi-source downloading. With popular files, we were able to take advantage of this feature with a 740K ADSL line. If the file isn't available from multiple hosts, the individual's line speed is displayed, allowing the end user to sort the fast from the slow.

File Availability:

Recent uncertainty with the FastTrack network, coupled by the increasing reliability of Gnutella has brought renewed vigor to this once middling network. With next generation clients ensuring the stability of the Gnutella network, hordes of users have been filtering in. Accompanying this onrush of users is a wide variety of files, making the Gntuella network an excellent and reliable resource of information.

Network Architecture:

The Gnutella network architecture has changed radically since the days of version .56. Today, Gnutella is taking on a look that is similar to FastTrack, as all major clients are implementing supernode technology. This design feature has benefited the Gnutella network immensely, as witnessed by the 300,000 plus individuals that maintain this community.


Gnucleus is the oldest actively maintained Gnutella client as it has been under development for a little over 2 years. As an open-source client, Gnucleus has a bright future even if the current developers abandon the project. Until that day, the current development team has some big plans in store for this popular Gnutella client. From the developer John Marshall:

"I've just finished file hashing which will boost finding alternate locations and multi-source downloading. Next on the list is implementing a system called QRP which will enable LimeWire, BearShare, and Gnucleus supernodes to all be compatible with one another. After that I am looking to create international versions of Gnucleus."

Gnucleus is a reliable, stable client that offers a fulfilling adventure into the Gnutella network. We definitely recommended this download for any Gnutella fan. Check out Gnucleus at

Tom from is a regular contributer to MP3 Newswire. Tom's insights on other digital music issues can be read on his site and we encourage you to check it out.

Other MP3 Reviews:
Review: eDonkey2000
Review: Blubster
Review: AudioGalaxy
Review: BearShare
Review: Newtella
Review: LimeWire
Review: Imesh


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