Rejoice, fans of ExtraTorrent, alternatives are out there. But, choosing the best one for your needs isn’t easy, which is why we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to the best torrent sites since the ExtraTorrent shutdown. Of course, no conversation on torrenting is complete without mention of VPNs, so read on for our top recommended VPNs for safer torrents.
The internet file-sharing community was shaken when the popular site ExtraTorrent was shut down earlier this year. The site had some problems with downtime in the weeks before it closed, and then the developers left a note on the domain stating that it had been shut down and would not be reopening. They also noted that there would be no official mirrors of the site available. This change was unexpected as it does not appear that the site had been targeted by legal agencies, like KickassTorrents had been earlier in the year. Rather, it seems that the developers of ExtraTorrent wanted to retire from running the site and decided to close it down themselves.
Users were hopeful when, in the days after ExtraTorrent was shut down, a new site purporting to be a replacement for it appeared at the domain ExtraTorrent.cd. However, this site is not endorsed by the original ExtraTorrent developers and seems to be merely a Pirate Bay clone. It’s best to stay away from clones of sites which are made by unknown developers as they can be potentially shady – some fake torrent sites can even inject malware onto your computer, so you should be careful when locating such sites.
However, torrents fans need not despair. If you’re looking for sites with similar content to ExtraTorrent, there are plenty of them out there. Today we’re going to list the best alternatives to ExtraTorrent for 2017 so we can recommend some safe and reliable torrent sites which will give you access to all of the content that you want. Read on for our recommendations.
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Torrent Users Must Have a VPN
If you’re a regular torrent user, then you already know that you need to be careful when downloading from torrents. The legal implications of using torrents to download copyrighted material can be severe, including steep fines and interrupted service by your ISP. This is because of how torrents work: when you are downloading a file in chunks using a torrent, you are simultaneously hosting those chunks for other users to download from you. This means that technically you are hosting a copyrighted file for download, which is a much more serious crime than just downloading something would be.
So you need to protect yourself if you’re going to use torrents by making sure that no one can observe or track your internet use. If you use torrents over an unsecured connection, your ISP will almost certainly notice and investigate you. And if they find that you’ve been downloading content illegally, this can be a big problem.
The best way to protect yourself and avoid being observed when torrenting is to use a VPN. This works by installing a small piece of software on your machine which encrypts all of the data you send across the internet so that no one can observe your internet usage. This is key to keeping you safe when you are torrenting.
Our Recommended VPNs
In order to pick a best VPN for torrent users, we consider a number of factors. First, we need to make sure that the VPN allows the use of torrents over their network, and that their connections are fast and reliable. Next, we look at security issues: what level of encryption is used and does the company have a no logging policy? Finally, we consider quality of life features like how many servers are available in how many different countries.
With all of that in mind, here are our top picks for VPNs for torrenting:
A strong choice of VPN for torrenters in NordVPN, which allows P2P downloads and has exceptional double encryption to ensure your privacy as much as possible. They have no data caps, fast connection speeds, and over 5,600 servers in 60 different countries. Incredible 256-bit AES encryption and an independently audited and verified zero-logs policy ensures no trace of your activity is available to be viewed by third-party snoops.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Works with Netflix, BBC iPlayer without breaking a sweat
- Extensive server park of over 5,400 different servers
- Tor over VPN, double VPN
- Based in Panama
- 24/7 Chat Support.
- Very little
- Apps can sometime be slow to connect.
Fast connection speeds, no restrictions on file types, unbreakable 256-bit AES encryption, and a strict no-logging policy make IPVanish a strong choice for any torrent user. They offer more than 1,300 servers in over 60 countries, and they have lightning-fast connections which will make your downloads fly.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Alternative Torrent Sources
Now that you have a VPN sorted, let’s talk about the torrent sources:
1. The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is the torrenting website that everyone knows, being infamous for its long and drawn-out legal battles which continue to this day. Legal wrangling aside, The Pirate Bay has lasted a long time because it has legions of passionate users who insist that it’s the best torrent site out there. It does have virtually all of the content you could want, with categories for movies, TV shows, adult content, games for a wide variety of platforms and devices, audio including both music and audio books, software for Windows, Mac, Linux and more, plus eBooks and comics. The categories are neatly organised which makes it easy to browse and find what you’re looking for.
It’s not just the wide range of content that makes The Pirate Bay so beloved. It also has a ton of extra features, like a blog and forum for community engagement, the ability to view the site in a number of different languages, an “I’m Feeling Lucky” search feature inspired by Google which takes you immediately to the top result for your search term, Top 100 lists of the most popular torrents in various categories, and a proxy list to help keep you safe.
For a well-organised selection of torrents for accessing almost every type of content you could wish for, The Pirate Bay is as great as ever. The current URL for the site is http://knaben.tk/ThePirateBay.php
Another much-loved veteran torrent site is RARBG, which is one of the oldest torrent sites on the internet. It is a fairly minimal site, focusing on a smaller number of categories like movies, TV shows, adult content, games, music, and software, so it doesn’t have some of the more esoteric content like eBooks, audiobooks, or comics. But if you love to stream movies and shows, then this is a fantastic source for video torrents.
A nice feature of RARBG is that beneath the search box on the main page is a list of recommended torrents, which are links to high-quality versions of films which are popular but overlooked. If you’re a bit of a cinephile, then you may well find a recommendation for a new and interesting movie here. Other than this, the site has linked to Top 10 most popular torrents in various categories and a news section, however, this isn’t updated much. What you see on the front page of this site is pretty much what you get.
The selection of content on RARBG isn’t the largest, but for those with a special interest in video and cinema, it’s worth trying out. You can access the site at https://rarbg.to/index8.php
A favourite torrent site among frequent torrent users is LimeTorrents. It is a very useful site with the same kind of breadth of content and feature-rich interface as ExtraTorrent. One reason that LimeTorrent isn’t that well known outside of power users is that it isn’t indexed on search pages, so you won’t find information about the site by Googling it. Instead, you need to go directly to the LimeTorrents URL.
Once you get to the site, however, it’s very easy to use. Like other torrent sites it has a search bar on the front page with the ability to filter by categories like anime, applications, games, movies, music, or TV shows. Also on the front page is a list of the top torrents by category, with links to the top 50 torrents in that category for each month. Next to the name of each torrent you’ll see the file size, the number of seeders and leechers, and a scoring of the health of the torrent. There’s also a verification system, where torrents which have been checked and found to contain the file that they are labelled with and no extra malware are marked with a green star. This means that you can very quickly see which torrents are reputable so you can find a safe source for your downloads.
A neat feature of LimeTorrents is its RSS section, where you can find feeds which list all of the recent torrent additions to a category in XML format. You can add these RSS feeds to your torrent client and automate your downloads which is great if you’re a heavy torrent user.
Find the LimeTorrents site at https://www.limetorrents.cc/
1337x is a torrent site which really grew in popularity after KickassTorrents was shut down, as many former users of that site moved over to 1337x instead. Like LimeTorrents, 1337x isn’t indexed by Google so you won’t find the site by searching–you have to go directly to the URL instead. The site used to be located at 1337x.pl but moved over to a .to domain instead back in 2015.
One of the things that makes using 1337x pleasant is that the site has a user interface which is nicely designed, with care put into the choices of icons and colours. It’s just a small thing, but it makes using the site feel less dodgy and more professional than other torrent sites. It has categories for movies, TV shows, games, music, applications, anime, documentaries, and adult content, along with the expected search bar on the main page.
The full home page available at https://www.1337x.to/home/ has more information like the most popular torrents of the week in all categories and for the categories of movies, foreign movies, TV show episodes, and more. Next to each torrent is listed information on the number of seeders and leechers, the time it was posted, the size of the file, and the uploader. There is also a function which lets users comment on torrents, which is often useful to see if a file is good quality and safe before you download it.
You can find the 1337x site at https://www.1337x.to/
5. Popcorn Time
Finally, there’s a different sort of resource which you can use for torrents, and that’s Popcorn Time. Rather than you finding torrents from a meta search engine, you downloading the torrent files using a client, and then watching the files from your computer, Popcorn Time is a streaming client which uses torrents. It’s been called the Netflix of torrenting thanks to its Netflix-inspired interface and its large selection of movies and shows.
To use Popcorn Time, first you need to download the program. When you run it, you’ll find a selection of thumbnails representing different movies or other video content that you can watch. When you click on a thumbnail, the program will begin downloading that file via torrents, and you can stream the file as it downloads. When you’ve finished watching the movie and you close the program, the file on your computer is deleted so that you’re no longer hosting it. This means that Popcorn Time is a mixture between torrent technology and the streaming format.
The Popcorn Time software is available for Linux, Mac OS, Windows, and Android, so there are plenty of options for different platforms. If you’re looking for a streaming-type service but you prefer the speed of torrents, then we recommend that you try the out as an interesting alternative to ExtraTorrent.
You can download the Popcorn Time software from https://popcorntime.sh/
These five alternatives to ExtraTorrent should keep you happy and up to date with all the content you need. It’s an unfortunate reality of torrenting that sites will shut down or have to move as they become popular and run into legal troubles or if the developers don’t have the time to put into the projects any more. But there are always other sites to try when you’re looking for torrents.
Do you have a favourite torrent site that we didn’t mention? Then tell us about it in the comments below!
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