RIP Mininova. With the demise of one of the most popular torrenting sites, P2P aficionados have been sent searching for a safe alternative. Today, we look at some of the best confirmed-working torrenting sites, and spare a few brief words to help you stay safe while downloading with a VPN.
Mininova was one of the first big sites which brought torrents into the mainstream. The site did not actually host any files to download, but rather hosted .torrent files. These files allowed users to download files from each other in a process called peer-to-peer (P2P) downloading, which is faster than other download methods and does not require expensive hosting.
However, Mininova was forced to delete all of the torrent files that they hosted by an order of the Dutch courts in November 2009. This was because some of these torrent files could be used to download copyrighted content illegally, such as movies or music albums. Since then, the site has not hosted any torrent files, and the site was finally closed for good earlier this year.
So what is a torrent user to do? If you’re looking for a new source of torrents, this article is for you. Below we’ll go through some sites you can use to find torrents and which are the best alternatives to Mininova.
The Trouble with Torrents
If you’re a regular torrent user, you’ll know that using torrents can cause you many legal issues. Even though torrents can be used for fully legal purposes such as downloading open source software or large data sets, torrents have become synonymous with illegal downloading in many people’s minds.
This means that it is highly inadvisable to use torrents over an unsecured internet connection. When your ISP sees torrent traffic on their network, they are highly likely to investigate it and dig into your internet usage and history. If your ISP finds that you have illegally downloaded files, they could kick you off their network. Or worse yet, the ISP may inform lawyers or law enforcement and you could be liable for prosecution or a fine.
Fairly or not, torrenting is treated much more seriously than streaming or direct downloads of copyrighted content. This is because of how torrents work: when you are downloading a file using a torrent, you are simultaneously hosting the part of the file that you have already downloaded for other users to download from you. This is the advantage of peer to peer downloading–that the burden of hosting files is shared between all users–but it means that technically, when you use a torrent you are not only downloading a file but are also hosting that file. Hosting copyrighted content for other people to download is a much more serious offence than just downloading the same content would be.
Don’t Torrent without a VPN!
For the reasons above, it is essential that you take steps to protect yourself if you are going to use torrents. The easiest way to keep your web use private it to encrypt your web traffic using a VPN. A Virtual Private Network works by installing a small piece of software onto your device which encrypts all of your data before it is sent over your network. This data is then sent to a server in another location, where it is decrypted and sent on its way. This encryption means that it is impossible for your ISP to see what you are viewing or downloading on the internet – your ISP can see how much data you are using, but not what the content of that data is.
NordVPN – Best VPN for Torrenting Safely
NordVPN is a must-have tool in any serious P2P user’s arsenal. ISPs, governments, and copyright trolls take a dim view of torrenting, even if you’re just downloading legally available content. Thus, your torrent traffic raises a bright red flag, inviting throttling, service interruptions, and even cease and desist warnings.
But with NordVPN, your torrent traffic is completely obscured behind an impenetrable layer of encryption, courtesy of the cutting-edge NordLynx protocol. Where once you had to choose between privacy and performance, NordVPN offers both across its entire massive network, currently numbering more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries.
Among this network are a scattering of P2P-optimized servers, which further boost download speeds of even the largest torrent files. There are other specialty nodes as well, for use cases such as anti-DDoS, browsing Tor, double encryption, and much more. Torrent in peace with your Mininova alternative of choice, knowing NordVPN never keeps logs of your activity which could be used to identify you.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Very fast speeds make this a strong choice for 4K streaming
- GooglePlay users rating: 4.3/5.0
- No IP/DNS leaks found
- No logs and encrypted connections for total privacy
- 24/7 Customer Service.
- Sometimes slow in procesing refunds (but always do).
Top 7 Alternatives to Mininova
Now that you have a VPN, we can move on to the recommendations for torrent sites.
Mininova Alternative #1: Kickasstorrents
One of the biggest and most popular torrent sites on the net is Kickass Torrents. The site was shut down last year, to the consternation of fans everywhere. But fortunately, the people who ran the original site got back together to relaunch the site at a new URL.
Now you can find the site at https://kickass.onl/. (Editor’s note: the site is currently experiencing downtime due to an issue with their hosting provider. Admins are working on it, so be sure to check back in the coming days). It has the same great content as before, indexing torrents for downloading movies TV shows, games, music, and more. The site has a clean and simple layout, with a front page featuring just a search box and a few key links. But if you’d like to see the traditional style layout with a list of recent and popular torrents, you can head to the alternative index page at https://ww3.kickass.how. Here you can see the most recently added torrents with information about the file size, the age of the torrent, and the number of seeders and leechers.
There’s also an active Kickass Torrents community, with a busy forum where you can chat about favourite movies and shows, or get tips on hot new downloads.
Mininova Alternative #2: isoHunt
Another huge name in online torrent sites is isoHunt. This site has also been shut down and had to move to several new URLs over the years, and has now landed at its new home of https://isohunts.to. Despite the legal issues which have precipitated the changes in URL, the site remains an active and helpful source for torrents, offering one of the broadest catalogues of torrents on any site.
A feature which puts isoHunt ahead of other torrent sites is how quickly new torrents are added. If you’re watching a currently running TV show, for example, you’ll often find that torrents for new episodes of the show are available within an hour of the episode airing. This means that it’s great for those users who don’t have cable TV but who still want to keep up to date with the latest shows.
Like Kickass Torrents, isoHunt has a minimalist front page with just a search box and links to the most popular categories (like Anime, Software, Games, Movies, Music, Series & TV, Books, and Other). There’s also an alternative front page at https://isohunt2.net/full which has a list of popular recent torrents in each category, along with information about each file like file size, age of the torrents, and the number of seeders and leechers.
Mininova Alternative #3: Torrentz2.eu
Editor’s note Feb 7, 2021: Torrentz2.eu is dead, use YTS at https://yts.mx instead
The big advantage of Torrentz is the massive range of torrents that it has available. At time of writing, the site indexes an incredible 61,107,660 torrents from 261,750,999 pages on 82 domains. This means that you’ll have a great chance to find what you’re looking for, even if it’s obscure. The categories available include movies, TV shows, music, and games, and if you’re looking for inspiration then you can browse lists of fresh new torrents and the week’s top torrents. One helpful feature of Torrentz is that is vets its torrent files for quality. Some torrents are marked as verified, meaning that they have been confirmed to contain the correct content which matches the file name and have been checked to not contain any malicious files. There is also indication for good torrents, which are those which are fast and reliable and contain links to a decent quality file.
Mininova Alternative #4: iDope.se
A more recently created torrent site that has been growing in popularity is iDope. This site, which is found at https://idope.se/, has an emphasis on security by not tracking the IP address of its users. Not only does it have this security feature to protect your privacy, but the site is also free from annoying popup ads. The creator of the site has resolved to never have popup ads, to make the site as useable as possible.
The site itself has a clean and modern look, without lots of clutter on the front page. As well as the search bar which lets you search for the torrent you are looking for, there are links to list of recent torrents and the most popular torrents. One neat feature is the rotation of torrent collections which are featured on the front page: collections which let you download many related files all from one torrent. For example, currently featured on the front page are torrent collections of hot TV shows in 2016, Indian dialect movies, and IMDB’s top 250 movies. These are an easy way to download a whole set of new movies from just one torrent file.
Mininova Alternative #5: LimeTorrents
Some torrents sites are not indexed by Google, either because they have chosen not to be for security reasons or because Google has decided against supporting the site because it hosts illegal content. LimeTorrents is one such site–despite being a popular torrent site among users in the know, you won’t find the site by Googling for it. Fortunately, we have the URL so you can use this helpful site too: it’s at https://limetorrent.ws.
The site has torrents for a wide range of content including the usual TV shows, movies, and music, but it also has specialist categories like foreign films for more niche content. Another advantage of this site is its verification system, where green stars are shown next to those torrents which have been confirmed to be safe and correctly labelled, so you can be sure that the file you are downloading is safe to use. There are also RSS feeds which list the most recent torrents added to various categories, so you can add the RSS feed to your torrent client and automatically download the newest files.
Mininova Alternative #6: The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is probably the most famous torrent site on the net, and therefore the one which has attracted the most legal attention. The site has been involved with ongoing and high-profile legal battles from its home country of Sweden, which has led to the site being shut down on multiple occasions.
Fortunately for users, the site has been mirrored to alternative URLs so that it can still be accessed. Currently, the site can be found at https://thepiratebay.org/. Here you’ll find options to search, to browse torrents, to see recent torrents, and to see the most popular top 100 torrents. The categories include the usual TV shows, movies, and music, but there are also extra categories like software, eBooks, games, and comics.
Mininova Alternative #7: RARBG
A final site to be aware of is RARBG, which is located at https://rarbg.to/. The design of the site is rather dated and it is not that often updated, however, the content is still good and the site has support from some long term fans. The strength of the site is that it is simple, with just the essential torrents and no extra frills. There’s also a recommended torrents section which has tips for interesting and underrated movies, which is worth checking out for any movie fan.
Mininova was important as one of the first big sites to make torrents commonly available. However, after serious legal troubles forced the site to stop hosting torrents in 2009, the status of the site declined until it shut for good last year.
Fortunately, there are plenty of other torrent sites out there to fill the void left by Mininova. From the famous sites like The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents to newer and less well-known sites like iDope and LimeTorrents, you’ll find many other sites where you can get your torrents.
What’s your favourite alternative to Mininova? Do you use one of the sites that we mentioned, or is there another site which you love? Let us know about it in the comments below!