A torrent file is a metadata file type that primarily stores the URLs of host servers that manage the communication, data transferring and other protocol-specific administration in the file-sharing and downloading process.
Advantages of Using Torrents:
- The decentralized process used by P2P means that the file you are downloading is not hosted on a main central server. If one download source is not active, you can rely on other sources to complete the download. For regular downloads, if the main server is down, you will not be able to finish the download process.
- Even if you suddenly are disconnected from the Internet or your PC shuts down/restarts, you will be able to complete the download once you’re back online. No need to restart from scratch.
- Even for users with slow Internet speeds, torrents can help you download a file faster than using the ‘traditional’ download process.
- Files are easy to find and download.
Disadvantages of Using Torrents:
- If the file you are after has no ‘seeds’, you will not be able to download it.
- You cannot tell for sure what the file you are downloading actually contains. You can verify whether the file is genuine by quickly scanning the comment section. Positive feedback generally means that the file is OK.
- The fact you are downloading and uploading at the same time may take its toll on your bandwidth. If you have a fast Internet connection, you should not be worried about that part.
- Everybody downloading the torrent file you are leeching or seeding can see your public IP address. That includes your ISP or digital copyright groups. To protect your privacy while using torrents, simply use VPN. More on that below.
1. The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is the “king of torrents” once again and also the oldest site in this list. The past year has been relatively quiet for the notorious torrent site, which is currently operating from its original .org domain name. The Pirate Bay is certainly the biggest torrent site in the world and one of the most controversial to ever exist. It has been blocked in at least 28 countries and has survived battles with some of the world’s most powerful governments. This site is over 15 years old, however, and as a result ranks high in terms of reliability. It allows users to torrent movies, TV series, books, applications, games and music. Our research shows that the majority of torrents on TPB are movies and TV shows.
RARBG is a popular torrent site that was established in 2008, that provides torrent files and magnet links to facilitate peer-to-peer file sharing using the BitTorrent protocol. .
1337x is a website that provides a directory of torrent files and magnet links used for peer-to-peer file sharing through the BitTorrent protocol. According to the TorrentFreak news blog, 1337x is the third most popular torrent website as of 2018. 1337X was founded in 2007 and saw increasing popularity in 2016 after the closure of KickassTorrents. In October 2016, it introduced a website redesign with new functionalities.
YourBittorrent has a somewhat controversial history. While founded in 2009, it really began operation in its original form in 2003 as a collaboration between two partners — the product of which was myBittorrent; one of the partners wanted the website eventually shut down while the other partner wanted it to become bigger. This led to a split, the product of which is YourBittorrent.
When it comes to reliability, you can count on Demonoid. The popular BitTorrent tracker was launched in 2003, the same year as The Pirate Bay, and it’s had its own fair share of downtime due to political pressure. The site with over 10 million users has over 800,000 torrent files and provides torrents for movies, TV series, music, books, applications, and games. Our research shows that Demonoid has more movies and TV series than other files, followed by music.
Many avid torrenters will know EZTV, a popular TV torrent distribution site that was founded in 2005. After experiencing a hostile takeover, EZTV was claimed by a new group operating at EZTV.AG. While many popular torrent sites ban releases from EZTV due to its history, many have found its torrents to be of great quality.
Torlock is a torrent index and search engine mainly focused on TV series and movies. Torlock is particular about ensuring that users have access to only genuine torrents, and it takes this so seriously that it once introduced a program that pays users $1 for every fake torrent they are able to find on its site.
Torrents.me is one of the torrent sites that enjoyed a meteoric rise in traffic this year. It’s a meta-search engine that links to torrent files and magnet links from other torrent sites.
The special 10.1 mention goes to iDope. Launched in 2016, the site is a relative newcomer to the torrent scene. The torrent indexer has steadily increased its audience over the past year. With similar traffic numbers to Zooqle, a listing is therefore warranted.
Zooqle is relatively younger compared to most of the other torrent sites featured on this list. It’s a torrent index specializing in verified torrents, and with a database of over 3 million torrents it certainly shouldn’t be taken for granted. While it features content in a variety of categories, movies and TV series are especially popular on the site.