Torrents are files containing metadata, which is a data set containing information on other data. Therefore, a torrent does contain the content file. Instead, it helps torrent software search for “peers” or “seeds” that share the data. The program then extracts data from those shared files, producing a finished version of the data.
Think of it as using the torrent software to collect whatever movies, TV shows, music, or other content files you want from other people’s computers all around the world. That doesn’t mean that you need to give up your drive and all your information when you download a torrent, either.
The program collects pieces of data from shared files and puts them together on your computer or device. No-one has access to your information at any stage. The speed of the data transfer depends on the number of peers hosting the content for transfer. The seeds or peers, the faster the data transfer.
How Does a Torrent Work?
When you browse online, the browser sends multiple requests to servers every second to download information related to your browsing session. If the server can’t handle the request load from users on its network, it ends up crashing.
When browsing, the browser in use sends multiple requests to a server so that it can download the information.
However, this server can have too much traffic from users who are trying to access the same information. As a result, the servers crash, and everyone on the network loses their connection. Torrents work on “Peer-to-Peer” technology described above, by transferring data between systems. However, with P2P transfers, it’s possible to move large volumes of data on a platform, without experiencing any difficulties of overloading servers and networks. P2P transfers can occur on the BitTorrent protocol, a system used to transfer files online.
By installing a BitTorrent client on your device or computer, you can access these P2P networks, allowing you to download torrent files that contain all your favorite entertainment. You capture small pieces of information from all the seeds on the system, piecing together the data to allow you to host it on your device or PC.
The trackers in the torrent file make it easy for the protocol to identify the relevant data in the transfer, recording the number of seeds for the torrent file, as well as the total downloads, file size, and peers seeding the file.
“Leeching” describes a practice where people download the torrent file from the network, but don’t leave their connection available after to seed the data back to the system. The community frowns on this process, so if you have unlimited bandwidth available, consider giving back to the community some time.
While the BitTorrent protocol is entirely legal, the unapproved use of the software to download and distribute copyrighted content is illegal. The regulators are in a constant battle with torrent sites, with torrenters trying to prove that the use of trackers and BitTorrent metafiles don’t store any file contents.
Regulators will always be in a struggle with torrenting sites. Some sites have harder times with the authorities than others. However, it’s best to ensure that you remain anonymous online when using a torrent service.
Download and install a VPN for your device or laptop before you start downloading. Use a VPN when downloading. This tool safeguards you against any malicious activity from bad actors or third-party software while you’re surfing the web and downloading files.
The purpose of this article is for information purposes only. We are in no way suggesting that you use the information in this article to download copywritten material.
The Top 25 Torrent Sites
In this section, we’ll bring you some information on the best public trackers available. Most of the options in this review offer you a safe means of downloading torrents. However, remember to use a VPN and ensure that your internet security is tight before you attempt any downloads.
At a Glance
|The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay
- Year Founded: 2003
- Monthly active users: 106.08-million
- Global Site Rank: 209
The Pirate Bay is the most infamous torrent site on the internet. This site got plenty of attention from Federal authorities, with law enforcement taking down many previous domains. However, you can’t suppress freedom for too long, and the Pirate Bay kept on popping up on different domains.
TPB is your one-stop torrent shop where everything is available for free. Movies, series, Blu-ray, HD 1080p, whatever you want – it’s all there, and it’s all for free. There are millions of torrents on the site. While a vast majority of them are porn, there’s still plenty of useful programs, applications, e-books, movies, series, and documentaries.
The Pirate Bay is a free site, and it doesn’t cost you anything to download, but tipping the developers through the Bitcoin or Monero crypto network is an excellent way to give back. You’ll find the wallet addresses for the community at the footer of the page.
This site features many millions of visitors every month. Still, it’s probably a lot more than the registered traffic, as plenty of the users utilize proxies, VPNs, or mirrors to gain safe access to The Pirate Bay. Alexa ranks TPB as the 209th most visited site online, but we bet it’s really in the top 100, at least.
- Year Founded: 2010
- Monthly active users: 118.6-million
- Global Site Rank: 182
TPB is a popular site, but there are reports of it not being a safe place to download your torrents. Our top choice for the safest site with the best selection goes to YTS.am. YTS arrived to fill the gap left by the Motion Picture Association of America when it shut down YIFY, the predecessor to YTS.
YTS has all the latest releases, in varying levels of quality. HD and Blu-ray titles are available, and the user interface is easy to navigate. The search is functional, and you can find any old movie you want in the platform’s extensive archives.
Alexa ranks YTS as the 182nd most popular site online, with nearly 120-million unique visitors to the platform every month.
- Year Founded: 2004
- Monthly active users: 85.74-million
- Global Site Rank: 256
Rutracker is one of the lesser-know torrenting websites. It’s popular in Russia but doesn’t get a lot of traction anywhere else in the world. It might surprise you to learn that Russia has its version of just about every western digital service. Gmail is Rumail, and the Pirate Bay is Rutracker.
Rutracker indexes everything in Russian, so unless you can speak the language, you’re going to have a tough time navigating your way through the site. You get a wide selection of torrents, including music, e-books, software, movies, and series.
It’s also strange to think that the Russian government banned and blocked the site in 2015, showing the average Russian’s ability to circumvent international cybersecurity laws using tools like a virtual private network (VPN).
According to Alexa, Rutracker ranks as the 256th most popular site online.
- Year Founded: 2005
- Monthly active users: 42.26-million
- Global Site Rank: 897
This torrent distribution group is one of the most well-known brands in the niche. If you log into any torrent platform like KAT or TPB, you’re sure to find the latest uploads form eztv available for download.
The original company submitted to a hostile takeover in 2015 by Ezcloud Limited. Regardless of the change in the company’s structure, the site continues to publish the latest torrents on all your favorite media formats.
The database of past torrents is enormous, and they get nearly 43-million unique visitors a month. Alex ranks this site in the top 1,000-most visited sites online, pulling in at number 897.
Year Founded: 2008
Monthly active users: 90.36-million
Global Site Rank: 347
This Belgian torrenting site has a legacy extending back to 2008. 11-years, as one of the world’s most-visited torrent sites, means it has an extensive archive of content. There are plenty of genres, from movies and series to porn, software, and games.
Rarbg is probably a standout site for new HD movie releases. With over 90-million monthly visitors, Alexa ranks this site as number 347 online.
- Year Founded: 2003
- Monthly active users: 41.16-million
- Global Site Rank: 752
This meta-search engine specializes in torrents, launched in 2016 as the successor of the Torrentz.eu site, which authorities shut down in 2016. Proving that you can’t keep any information contained forever, Torrentz2.eu came back with a vengeance.
The new platform has the same look and feel as the original, and even features the same design and functionality as the original site. However, it’s also a significant improvement on its predecessor. The site indexes millions of torrents form more than 75 specialized platforms and domains.
More than 41-million people visit this site every month, making it number 752 in the top website visited online.
- Year Founded: 2016
- Monthly active users: 14.74-million
- Global Site Rank: 2,386
KickAssTorrents, otherwise known as KAT, was an example of how far the government is willing to go to allocate resources to protecting copyright. The US Department of Justice seized the original kat.cr website that was almost as big as Pirate Bay at the time.
In a miscarriage of justice in the fight against information freedom, the US prosecuted the owner of the website. However, proving once again that you can’t lock up the freedom of information, the site appeared under a new URL, katcr.co.
The new site features a vast library of torrents. Browse through the subcategories and choose your favorite movies, anime, TV shows, games, e-books, applications, software, and music. This site has an excellent interface that’s simple to use, and an elegant design that’s easy on the eyes.
- Year Founded: 2018
- Monthly active users: 23.96-million
- Global Site Rank: 944
This French torrenting site has a comprehensive selection of TV shows, movies, music, and software available for download. The site has an excellent interface, providing user-friendly navigation through subcategories to help you find what you’re looking for on the website.
The detailed description of the contents, along with the information such as the size of the files, ensures you can verify good torrents from the bad ones.
The site gets nearly 24-million visitors each month, ranking as the 944th most popular site online.
- Year Founded: 2009
- Monthly active users: 24.25-million
- Global Site Rank: 1,341
Limetorrents is a well-established platform hosting more than 10-million torrents – that’s a lot of data. There are hundreds of categories to browse through on this platform, including movies, TV shows, games, and anime.
Browse through the webpages to see the latest updated lists for the top-100 torrents available. With only 25-million visitors to this site, it’s surprising that there aren’t more users on this platform.
- Year Founded: 2013
- Monthly active users: 14.53-million
- Global Site Rank: 2,079
Launched in 2013. Zooqle is a newcomer to the torrent scene, but it has one of the most impressive offerings. This site has a huge database of TV shows and movies. You can verify the torrents, and filter through your results by category, or directly search the title you want.
The movie torrents come from the legendary Movie Database (TMDb). There are around 4-million torrents available on Zooqle’s database, with an easy user-interface.
- Year Founded: 2012
- Monthly active users: 9.56-million
- Global Site Rank: 3,588
This site has a massive collection of magnet download links. The magnet is one of the more popular means of downloading torrent files, making transferring data quick and effortless. Magnetdl is an innovative platform that allows for the referral of electronic files, without the continuous need for host swarms.
Magnet files are an excellent choice for identifying the content in files using cryptographic hashing, instead of the actual location of the file. As a result, anyone can create a file, with no central authority needing to provide issuance.
If you want to download magnet links, then you’ll need to have a BitTorrent client downloaded and installed on your computer. Qbittorent and uTorrent are some of the more popular choices for a BitTorrent client that can download magnet links.
The interface of the site has a minimalist feel, and after conducting the research, the site offers users the chance to download the file or stream it online.
You can characterize magnet links by upload date, size, and the reputation of the uploader on the platform.
- Year Founded: 2010
- Monthly active users: 7.9-million
- Global Site Rank: 5,807
If you’re looking for movies, TV shows, and series, then head over to torlock. This platform has all the latest releases every week, and you can browse through its extensive archives. Navigating the platform is simple, with categories and subcategories providing easy direction to your favorite torrents.
All the verified torrents are trustworthy, and the site does an excellent job of keeping the uploads clean. If you want to earn some extra cash, torlock will pay you $1 for every dangerous or broken link you find on the site.
The site itself has over 5-million files in its archives, making it one of the most prominent online. With 7.9-million visitors to the site every month, it sits at a global ranking for 5,807, according to Alexa.
- Year Founded: 2007
- Monthly active users: 6.29-million
- Global Site Rank: 8,071
This Bulgarian BitTorrent tracker comes from Frisco, Texas. IT has one of the oldest reputations in the game, and along with another tracker named “Zamunda,” the pair remained at the top of the European torrenting charts for years.
You have the option of choosing the interface in English or Bulgarian. The site also0 offers a browser extension called “ArenaPlay,” allowing you to stream the content online, instead of downloading torrent files to your PC.
The arena was at the center od a scandal where hackers compromised its systems and made off with the IP addresses of all its users. Just another good reason to always ensure you download and browse these sites using a VPN.
- Year Founded: 2018
- Monthly active users: 10.56-million
- Global Site Rank: 6,019
If you love playing games, then this specialized torrent site for gamers has every title you can imagine. From action to strategy, anime, and even adult, pcgamestorrents have every title you can dream of playing.
This site uploads games to its database from top torrent sites like spy-crack, skidrow and reloaded, and GOG codexpcgames. However, the biggest drawback to using this site comes in the form of all the pop-ups. The ads plague your screen, even when you’re using an ad-blocker.
Pcgamestorrents.com gets more than 10-million visitors each month, and according to Alexa, ranks as number 6,019 on the most visited websites online.
- Year Founded: 2017
- Monthly active users: 8-million
- Global Site Rank: 8,666
If you love your TV shows and series, then ettv is a great torrent database teeming with all the torrents you could ever want online. This database works with TV shows and series, and you can find its offerings on many of the other torrent sites listed in this review.
You also get the option of signing up for the premium version of the site. Premium membership gives you a better ad-free browsing experience, as well as no caching or ads, and dynamic pages. You can get an annual subscription to the site for $54 per month if you pay for a year upfront.
This website is new, and it will continue to grow into one of the top choices for TV shows online. With only 2-years of operation, ettv is one of the rising torrent stars online.
- Year Founded: 2018
- Monthly active users: 5.16-million
- Global Site Rank: 8,527
TorrentGalaxy launched in 2018, making it one of the newer players in the torrent space. While it’s a newcomer, its popularity is surging, thanks to its wide selection of all types of torrents. With 5-million unique visitors every month, Torrent Galaxy is gaining traction in the torrent user base.
Browse through the torrent of the week section or use the search function to look for a specific title. It’s easy to download torrents by clicking on the link, where the site opens a streaming page, allowing you to view the content.
- Year Founded: 2010
- Monthly active users: 2.67-million
- Global Site Rank: 13,715
TorrentFunk is another popular choice among torrenters due to the verification features available on files. Verification is a massive part of downloading torrents. If you don’t have experience of learning how to detect fake files, you could end up downloading malware or viruses to your PC or device.
The TorrentFunk admin team takes a unique approach to uncovering fake files and misleading file titles. The site has a dedicated comments section for each file, allowing users to give others in the community a heads up on the validity and quality before you decide to download.
However, it seems that this site is in the middle of a battle with regulators, and we can expect that it might experience a shutdown soon.
- Year Founded: 2008
- Monthly active users: 2.49-million
- Global Site Rank: 15,630
This Brazilian torrent website has an extensive database, and it supports direct downloads and magnet links. This website never reached the notoriety of the Pirate Bay, despite it being around for more than 10-years.
However, you can still find any torrent you’re looking for on this site. There’s a massive collection of movies, TV shows, series, games, software, and porn on seedpeer.me. Listed torrents all feature qualifying information to help you with verifying the torrent contents. You get information on the file size, category, peers, and the number of threat reports flagged on the file.
With a minimalist feel and design, this site has user-friendly navigation and ranks as one of our favorite torrent sites for new TV shows.
- Year Founded: 2016
- Monthly active users: 619,000
- Global Site Rank: 138,702
Download your favorite torrents using magnet links available for idope.se. This site is also a relative newcomer to the torrent space, launching in 2016. There are a whopping 18-million torrent files on this site, making it one of the most significant online resources available.
One of the standout features of this site is its mobile integration, making it easy to download your torrents onto your mobile device.
Browse through categories, or click on the “most popular” or “most recent” tabs to see all of the latest torrents ready for download.
- Year Founded: 2005
- Monthly active users: 1.08-million
- Global Site Rank: 57,480
Founded in 2005, Monova is challenging TPB for the title of the oldest torrent site online. However, it’s clear to see the reason why this site never reached the popularity levels of TPB. The site comes packed with pop-up ads that are frustrating to deal with, and you get the unnerving feeling that this site is after your data.
However, if you’re willing to take the risk, you can download a wide range of TV shows, movies, games, software, and music form this platform.
- Year Founded: 2003
- Monthly active users: 1.02-million
- Global Site Rank: 30,313
This site was initially called myBittorent upon its launch back in 2003. However, the platform changed its name to yourbittorent in 2009. the change occurred due to a split in the ownership of the platform. This site is a little different, and it doesn’t’ directly host the torrent file on the site.
Instead, the site hosts the information on the file, giving the location of an indexed file. This platform was the first-ever website to experience seizure by a registrar. The events occurred due to the arguments between the owners over the future of the site.
Despite the site’s tainted history, the user-interface is easy to use. There are plenty of verified links to all types of content, from TV shows to movies and music.
- Year Founded: 2011
- Monthly active users: 1.69-million
- Global Site Rank: 29,136
Before the use of torrents for distributed peers, trackers were the only method of locating peers with content to share online. The usage of Distributed Hash Table (DHT) by BitTorrent clients helps to find peers for the file via a BitTorrent protocol. This system offers a means of distributing tracking, gaining significant popularity thanks to its decentralized approach of file transfers.
BTDigg relies on the use of DHT protocols for file searches, and the site itself provides a clean and user-friendly interface. The website collects metadata for the DHT network, and one of the key advantages is that no torrents are involved in the running of the site, and there is no content on the site’s servers.
Your search results display torrent-related information, such as the size, name, age, and the number of files. The listing also provides a single link for execution with your BitTorrent client.
- Year Founded: 2007
- Monthly active users: 13.54-million
- Global Site Rank: 2, 943
This torrent indexer is another platform that survived the test of time. Founded in 2007. Torrentdownloads.me gets over 134-million active users each month, with over 16-million torrents available for download!
With one of the largest torrent databases online, this site offers you movies, TV Shows, music, documentaries, and any other torrent file you can imagine. The site did have a few safety issues some years ago, but it bounced back from the controversy and remains a top destination for torrent downloads.
The community identifies fake files, so make sure you read the comments on the file before you start your download. Perform advanced searches with the platform’s search bar and get the exact torrent you’re looking for on the site.
The site also does an excellent job of mitigating security concerns. The files all come with tags stipulating the file size, upload date, category, and the number of seeds available.
- Year Founded: 2005
- Monthly active users: 69.2-million
- Global Site Rank: 495
This torrenting site is one of the lesser-known options out there. However, it offers a decent torrenting service that’s worthy of mention in this review. This site specializes in anime, and it’s the continuation of the long-lost anime site, NYAA.
Anime heads will love this platform, with the biggest collection of anime, hentai, movies, and games. Most of the torrents are in Japanese, but there are plenty available in English as well.
- Year Founded: 2007
- Monthly active users: 95.97-million
- Global Site Rank: 254
This site has several ISP blocks in countries around the globe, and you’ll need a VPN if you want to get it to work. This site is one of the most significant players in the torrent space, with magnet links available for TV shows, series, movies, software, music, anime, and games.
1337x managed to keep its user base, even as other sites like kat.cr and TPB took on battles with the regulators.
In November 2018, the popular internet security solution, Malwarebytes, banned the site, claiming that the admins are stealing user’s information.
What are the Advantages of Downloading Torrent?
There are plenty of advantages to using torrent downloads. The first reason is the entertainment on tap, there no need to pay for streaming services when you can download torrents for free.
You also get a better range of media on torrent sites. For instance, on the Pirate Bay, you can find movies, TV shows, series, documentaries, e-books, video games, software programs, and anime. That kind of selection isn’t available on any streaming site, and you’ll need multiple subscriptions to handle that kind of action.
With torrent files, you also get to keep the files. That’s especially important when you’re dealing with software programs and e-books. Transferring data in a P2P manner also benefits business.
It’s for this reason that many companies that handle large volumes of data now integrate P2P solutions in systems to save on bandwidth and server storage space.
Are There Any Disadvantages in Downloading Torrent Files?
As you can see, there are plenty of advantages to using P2P file transfers. Torrents are handy ways to share information, but there are also risks and limitations associated with handling torrents.
For instance, access to secured files is easy to manage through servers, but it’s far more challenging with torrents. The backup files on the server also assure that it’s easy to restore files if the central hub shuts down.
Downloading torrents can also consume plenty of bandwidth. If you’re working on a limited data plan, then make sure you check your consumption. If you decide to seed back to the network, then you’ll also be using bandwidth for this process.
Do I Need a VPN to Download Torrents?
No, you don’t need to have a VPN if you want to download torrents online – but you should. There are thousands of stories about how torrent sites can damage your data and your machine.
Countless stories are floating around online, from installing viruses and malware in torrents downloaded to computers, to identity theft and extortion. The internet is a wild place, and you need protection to keep your identity and data safe while downloading torrents.
Using these sites without the assistance of a VPN is like walking down the road naked. Everyone starts paying attention to you, and some people might want to come in for a closer look. If they think you have something of value to offer them, they might decide to rob you.
However, being robbed online isn’t the same as in the real world. If some thug sticks you up in an alleyway with a knife, you know that someone robbed you.
However, online, you won’t even realize it happened until you get a call from the credit agencies saying you suddenly are outstanding with a large loan payment you never knew existed.
Identity theft and fraud online is a real thing, and you need to protect yourself and your computer from any online threats that could cost you your livelihood.
Which VPN to use?
We have reviewed a number of VPNs, as follows:
How Does a VPN Work?
A VPN is a third-party software available from numerous providers. After downloading and installing the software on your machine, you open a user dashboard.
On your dash, you’ll see servers listed in various countries, such as the USA and UK. By clicking onto one of these servers, you route your connection to the internet through the proxy addresses used by the VPN. As a result, your ISP and hackers can’t see you online; essentially – you’re invisible.
Therefore, with a VPN, you don’t have to worry about anyone discovering your IP address. You also don’t have any concerns about someone accessing your machine remotely through a virus. A VPN offers you the safest means of downloading torrents.
How do I Download a Torrent?
Downloading a torrent is easy. All you need to do is download a torrent client, install it on your device or PC. After its running, log in to any of the sites mentioned in this review.
Follow this step-by-step process for downloading your first torrent file.
- Step 1 – Download a torrent client like uTorrent or qbittorrent from an official website.
- Step 2 – Search the torrent site for your media file
- Step 3 – Click the magnet icon on the file you want to download
- Step 4 – Select the path or drive to save the file on your device or PC
- Step 5 – Click OK, and start your download
NOTE: Priority will always go to the first file that starts downloading when working with simultaneous downloads or multiple files.
Using torrents to access your favorite media, software, and internet tools is a great way to stay entertained while stuck indoors.
As long as you have an internet connection or Wi-Fi, you can always download torrents.
What are the Types of Torrent Sites?
We can categorize torrent sites into private and public venues. Public torrent sites, also known as “open trackers,” will permit access to any user when accessing the tracker address. Fortunately, downloading files from these platforms is a straightforward process.
Private torrent sites, otherwise known as private trackers, will limit access to members. In most cases, members are only able to register through invite-only. Existing members must approve permission for new members to access the platform and issue an entrance code via email.
Private sites may also require members to meet specific seeding goals to keep the network alive.
Public trackers offer you the best option for ease of use. These platforms are open, so the chance of downloading a bad piece of software or malware is a risk you’ll have to learn to mitigate if you want to continue to download torrents.
The advantage of private trackers is that the members all experience a vetting process before joining the network. Therefore, there is much less risk of a malicious software ending up in your torrent transfer.