Written by: Bogdan Patru
There’s been a lot of movement in the torrent world over the past couple of years. We’ve seen ThePirateBay come and go, along with KickAssTorrents, and more warnings and complaints of malware hidden in movies than ever before.
We decided to put this guide together for two reasons – to help newbs get started with torrents and provide our older generation comrades with some alternatives to ThePirateBay and KAT.
We are aware that some people use P2P networks/ torrents to share copyrighted material such as movies, which is illegal in some countries, and do not condone such behaviour. Please abide by the laws of your country.
That said, it can’t be denied that torrenting provides an excellent way to share large files quickly and efficiently by balancing the load over several machines. So if you are looking for some non-copyrighted movies, games, books, etc. You’ve come to the right place. Let’s jump right in.
Note: Many governments and ISPs track torrent traffic on your network, so to keep yourself off the radar, we strongly recommend using a quality VPN service. We’ve created a list of the Best VPNs that can help you choose. If you’re new to this whole idea, check out our beginners guide to VPNs.
Another precaution we strongly advise is up-to-date antimalware. An ever-present danger of torrents is that you’ll end up getting your computer infected, so make sure you scan all your downloads.
ThePirateBay is one of the oldest torrent trackers on the net. It has been shut down numerous times and its operators arrested, but it keeps popping back up. Accessing ThePirateBay from the UK can be a bit of a challenge as there’s a government imposed blanket block by all ISPs. NordVPN allows UK users to access ThePirateBay.
This is a torrent tracker that mostly focuses on movies, and is becoming very popular, therefore ranking second in our choice of the best torrent sites. The interface and usability of the site makes it an appealing and easy service to use, it also serves up content in High Definition 1080p, 720p, and 3D.
This service started out around ten years ago and has evolved tremendously and now serves over half a million users on a daily basis with magnet links and torrent files. It is an ideal service for those who are new to torrents and has a very active user community. At present, it is located in Amsterdam but originally started out as a Bulgarian-based operation.
Taking fourth place is 1337x. It was originally started in 2007 and following a total overhaul recently saw their traffic and user numbers skyrocket. It has a pristine index page and access to a huge range of games, movies, and TV shows. Many users claim this site simply ‘gets everything that matters right.’ While they are banned from showing up on Google search results, it is well worth taking the time to find them and paying a visit.
The only issue of contentment with some users is the volume of adverts that are served up on the site. However, once you use the service, you may well be quite happy to overlook that aspect.
PopcornTime is an intuitive app that enables users to stream the movies directly through the P2P network. One of the best features of this app is how easy it is to use – it’s been described as Netflix for pirates. It’s able to deliver a superb quality video streaming experience in either 1080p or 720p, with very little buffering. Even if your connection is sluggish, PopcornTime still works well!
ThePirateBay and KickAssTorrents were two of the most popular torrent sites of all time. Unfortunately neither of them has had it easy the past couple of years.
TBP has managed to remain active in one form or another but isn’t really the same as it was a few years ago – many popups and even the controversy of utilizing users’ computers to mine cryptocurrency.
KAT is pretty much gone completely. It occasionally pops back up but often not for very long.
Below are 13 of the best alternatives to ThePirateBay and KickAssTorrents that have a similar selection of available torrents.
ISOHunt – http://isohunts.to/
7TOR – http://7tor.org/
Sumo Torrents – http://www.sumotorrent.sx/
Zamunda – http://zamunda.net/
Extra Torrent – https://extratorrent.ag/
Fast Torrents – http://fast-torrent.ru/
Monova – https://monova.org/
Your Bittorrent – https://yourbittorrent.com/
Torrent Funk -https://www.torrentfunk.com/
BitTorrent – http://bittorrent.am/
LimeTorrents – https://www.limetorrents.info/
Torrentz2 – https://torrentz2eu.ooo/
If it’s PC games you’re after, then we have a few specialist sites for you to take a look at. It’s not only pirated games here either, there are plenty of games that are available to play for free. Check out the following:
Ocean of Games – http://oceanofgames.com/
Skidrow Games – https://www.skidrowreloaded.com/
OVA Games – http://www.ovagames.com/
Apun Ka Games – https://www.apunkagames.biz/
While there are lots of well-known torrent sites for Anime, there are also many lesser known sports for getting quality anime torrents. Below are the six best anime torrent sites we know about.
Anime Tosho – https://animetosho.org/
AniRena – https://www.anirena.com/
Animetorrents – http://animetorrents.me/
AnimeUltime – http://www.anime-ultime.net/
HorribleSubs – https://horriblesubs.info/
Nyaa – https://nyaa.si/
If you’re more in the mood to sit back and get engrossed in a new book, look no further than these ten awesome sites that provide free ebooks. Most of these aren’t actually torrents, but are free nonetheless, sometimes because the copyright has expired, other times because the site has made a deal with publishers. Either way, they have some wonderful books available.
Planet ebook – https://www.planetebook.com/
Manybooks – https://manybooks.net/
Free-Ebooks – https://www.free-ebooks.net/
Project Gutenberg – https://www.gutenberg.org/
Feedbooks – http://www.feedbooks.com/
Bookyards – https://www.bookyards.com/
PDF Books World – http://www.pdfbooksworld.com/
Ebookee – http://ebookee.cc/
Wikibooks – https://www.wikibooks.org/
To access P2P networks, you’ll need a bittorrent client. Now, if you’ve been torrenting for a while, you’ve probably got your favourite software to actually load up the torrents and download the target files, but this guide wouldn’t be complete without looking at the pros and cons of some of the more popular bittorrent clients.
Here are our top 5 bittorrent clients:
qBittorrent is one of the most popular torrent clients out there, with many claiming it to be the absolute best in the business.
It’s straightforward to use, and it requires an insignificant RAM to function. You won’t even notice it’s working in the background. Also, in spite of the somewhat ragged interface, you can be sure that beneath the rough façade, tons of features and functions will make your torrenting a whole lot easier.
It’s free, and there are no ads, adware or malware to be found.
All in all, qBitTorrent is the closest thing we have to the reigning torrenting king that is uTorrent. On the plus side, when compared to uTorrent, qBittorent is ad-free, and this is always an advantage.
uTorrent is one of the oldest and most used bittorrent clients around. It’s one of the easiest to use torrent clients out there. It requires very little memory and is extremely light on other resources.
The other reason why there is still a sky-high number of people who use it is that of the scheduling feature. With it, you can program which torrent to start at a time of your choosing, and when it should stop as well if you so desire.
Deluge is another extremely easy-to-use app when downloading files from the internet. It’s seamless, clean, and has plenty of functions and features to allow for customization. It’s also open-source.
Vuze, previously known as Azureus, is a free open-source torrent client with plenty of attractive features and functions not unlike uTorrent. In this sense, they come pretty close.
It was released in 2003, so it’s not a newcomer on the market by any means.
The installation process is pretty straightforward, even more, when considering that you can choose between three levels of “difficulty,” so to speak. You can choose between the beginner, intermediate or expert options. You can modify these even further in the settings menu.
IP filtering is supported, as are magnet links.
There is also a premium version, but most people opt for the free version rather than annual subscription.
One of the most exciting features is the Vuze Remote. With it, you can create, delete, modify, start or pause torrents without even being connected to the same computer. You can also use it from a phone just as easily.
A word of advice – during the installation process, watch out for any additional programs that you might have overlooked. They are there, in the same package, unfortunately.
Yes, In most countries simply using P2P networks to share files is completely legal. It’s what’s actually being shared, however, that could get you in trouble. Downloading the latest series of Game of Thrones, for example, would be illegal in most countries as copyright holders frown upon such acts (and have expensive lawyers).
There are several countries that specifically allow torrenting of copyrighted works such as games or movies, so long as they’re for personal enjoyment and not profit. This is true of Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
In India, however, you can go to jail just for visiting a torrent site!
So what does this cover? Pretty much every commercially available song, movie, game, etc. (i.e. you can buy it in a store or on Amazon) is copyrighted, and so falls under the copyright laws of the country you’re in.
So, if you’re at all unsure, we strongly recommend getting yourself set up with a VPN such as NordVPN. For just a few dollars/ month you can keep your internet activity private.
When torrenting, your IP lights up like a Christmas tree. This can lead to leaks or even attract some unwanted visitors, and I assume you don’t want spies in your cyber-backyard. To avoid any unnecessary complications, it would be a good idea to secure it because the BitTorrent clients don’t do that automatically.
So this section of the guide is about encrypting your connection using a VPN and making sure your real IP address isn’t leaking.
All you have to do is to download a Magnet link from either one of the following four sites: CBCDN – IPMagnet, DoILeak, AirVPN, or TorGuard. We’ll talk about them later on.
Open the link with a torrent client and, in a matter of seconds, your torrent and browser IP will both show up on the webpage. Also, to avoid wasting time in the future, just keep the tracking link in the download list.
If you ever want to check your torrent IP again, just go in the Trackers section of your torrenting client.
That wasn’t so hard now, was it?
Now that you’re one step ahead in the race for impeccable security and top privacy, let’s see what those four websites are all about.
This website is run by a college student who does this out of pure pleasure and genuine interest. So, you shouldn’t worry about intrusive ads, malware or even viruses – it would be counter-intuitive for him to screw over his own clients. Even more, IPMagnet’s code is also available on GitHub where it can be audited and checked for any inconsistencies.
The steps are basically the same. Click on the download link, and then just check for your IP either on the webpage itself or in the torrent client. It’s also good to know that nothing will be downloaded per se, for those of you who were still suspicious.
What’s great about CBCDN is that, when checking your IP on the website, you’ll also gain access to a precise history of your IP. This way, you can look up any problems, issues, any differences in the code, or, why not, if your VPN has suffered any malfunctions.
Fun fact – IPMagnet will also see what torrent client you’re using.
AirVPN is another great choice if you want to check your IP quickly and without problems. The procedure is identical to IPMagnet’s, so I’ll skip the explanations for this one.
After clicking on the download link though, you’ll get a notification about the port you’re using. Moreover, there is a lot of information about the exact details that other websites can dig up on you, from the basic IP to possible DNS leaks, and more.
However, the downside is that AirVPN is not open-source. Talking from experience, this is often the point where most people will frown upon. Admittedly, it would be a lot more comfortable to know what you’re dealing with from the very beginning, to be certain that there is no hidden agenda in the making behind the curtains.
But then again, there have been no complaints until now, so I think it’s safe to assume that it’s reliable and trustworthy.
The name speaks for itself.
This website will check for potential DNS leaks when browsing. It’s also compatible with phones, and this is quite an advantage for a lot of people. Leaks are generally the traces you leave after visiting web pages, breadcrumbs that can be picked up by anyone with an internet connection and the sufficient know-how.
It performs constant check-ups and tests to notice if there are any leaks, and, if there are, it will cough up a few pieces of advice on how to deal with them. Really handy, right?
Hold on, it doesn’t stop there.
The report is made up of:
And there are various other details that will surely come in handy.
Now, as I mentioned, we don’t advise you to break the law, but you may well want to encrypt your internet connection whilst legally torrenting non-copyrighted material so your ISP can’t see that you’re sending and receiving such data (many ISPs actually throttle the connection of people who torrent).
It’s easy to stay on the right side though, by simply encrypting your traffic with a VPN and connecting to a country, such as Switzerland, Spain, or Mexico, that doesn’t care if you’re sharing files through P2P networks.
There are several free VPN options available, but I really don’t recommend those. To learn a bit more about why they can be dangerous, check our beginners’ guide to VPN and scroll down to the section about free VPNs. Essentially, many supposedly free VPNs sell your data or even allow other users to connect to your computer as an exit node!
So which VPNs do we suggest for torrenting?
Well we’ve done extensive tests on all the main players, and created this comparison of the best VPNs for torrenting, that will keep your connection private and stop your ISP or copyright holders from tracking you down.