What Are The Best Torrent Sites Today?

The question of torrents is bound to come up sooner or later, and it is a tricky question.

It is a tricky question because it involves a lot of ethical and moral dilemmas, but probably most of us reading this have downloaded something via torrent at some point.

These ethical and moral dilemmas stem from the fact that torrenting today is still largely illegal, but resides in a strange gray zone on the global scale. A significant chunk of internet users, especially those who are tech-savvy, will without a doubt have heard of, or used torrents. The popularity of torrenting is unquestionable, and torrents are alive and well and have been for decades.

What is Torrenting?

Torrenting, as it is affectionately called, is an extremely popular way of online file-sharing that lies on the P2P file sharing foundation (Peer-to-Peer.) Files are downloaded with a torrent client via a website that hosts torrent files. These are files shared by people, or ‘seeders’, all over the world. Gone are the days of pirated CDs and DVDs being sold by shady dealers on the street corner. Almost everything you can imagine is available online with the click of a few buttons.

The process of torrenting is unlike a direct download because you are downloading from these seeders that are sharing (uploading) bits and pieces of the file, while you upload back to others. These files can be either small or enormous. The process is also unlike a direct download because it can be paused, and sometimes a torrent can be dead because it is either old or is not being shared anymore.

The elephant in the room, when it comes to torrents, is that this concept is notorious for piracy of copyrighted material. It is well known that torrent websites include a vast amount of pirated material e.g. media like films and music, cracked applications (even entire operating systems), cracked games, etc.

Torrenting is such an incredible phenomenon that, even when administrators and personnel that run pirated websites have gone to jail, torrent material can always be found online and the demand for it seemingly never ends. People love free stuff.

However, torrent technology is not only used for pirated material, because websites that do not promote pirated material but also host torrents do exist and, essentially, it is a very practical way to download big chunks of data in the background.

Should You be Torrenting?

The answer to this question would be very relative. If you are talking about pirated material, it is like asking whether you should be stealing a CD from the store without anybody noticing. By downloading pirated material, you are not supporting the creator of that material by not paying for it.

However, since this is a phenomenon that has been around for a long time, a lot of countries around the world still do not have any regulations for torrenting and do not seem to care about pirated copyrighted material. This is simply because it is not easy to crack down on websites that host torrent material as they simply move to another domain, or go dark for a few days and come back again.

In countries that do treat downloading pirated material as a criminal offense, it is very possible to get charged for this. This is why many people who do torrent either do this via an anonymous browser like Tor, via a VPN or combine the two.

Either than the risk of criminal charges and copyright infringement (depending on where you live), torrenting is not a ‘monitored’ environment which means you also risk downloading malware or inviting hackers onto your computer or device.

What Are The Best Torrent Clients Today?

As far as the best BitTorrent sites go, this will also be a relative answer and one you should take with a pinch of salt. This needs to be said because we are not trying to encourage anyone to download pirate material. First of all, let’s talk about downloading a torrent client that is worth its salt and is free from viruses.

In the case of torrent clients, most people will either use; BitTorrent (the original), qBittorrent (non-profit), and uTorrent which is the smoothest one to use (and includes a web app too.) All of these are very simple to set up. Keep in mind that you use a Virtual Private Network or VPN before installing software like torrent clients to keep your connection safe. Do not go at it unprotected (some sites will even tell you this on the home page.)

Which Torrent Portals Are Popular?

Now, onto the websites. A quick online search for ‘torrent’ will reveal millions of pages. There are just way too many torrent websites to list. But, we can list the ones that are highly popular and serve their purpose (illegal or not.) These websites make money through donations, ads, and of course word-of-mouth. These are recognized by the community to be;

  • The Pirate Bay (TPB)
  • 1337x
  • YTS (Yify)
  • Kickass (KAT)

The most legendary one of all is of course The Pirate Bay. With its iconic pirate ship and black flag logo, with a simple search bar below it, The Pirate Bay has served happy ‘torrenters’ since 2003 and has never been down for a substantial amount of time (even if some people are in jail because of it.) With up to 60 million active visitors each month and an endless catalog of things to download, TPB is still the king.

RARBG is known for its quality control to weed out bad torrents and was established in 2008 not too long after TPB. It is quite similar to The Pirate Bay in how resilient it is to authorities, albeit it hosts a much smaller library of files. A good alternative, nonetheless.

1337x is another website that has stood the test of time and has become a bit of a cult item. Established in 2007, 1337x is known for its media content most and does not contain many ads.

Speaking of media content like movies, one of the most iconic names in the industry is YIFY, a legendary uploader and a household name in the pirating world for many years now. His portals, YTS, are often visited by film and series lovers.

Finally,  Kickass torrents or KAT is also a well-known torrent portal similar to but not as popular as the others known more for games and ebooks. They are also known for hosting ‘magnet’ links.