12 Best Torrent Sites – Ultimate P2P List for October 2021
Kickass torrents got taken down a few years ago. And with different governments cracking down on torrenting across the world, it’s getting harder and harder to find good torrenting websites. The Pirate Bay itself keeps getting moved to mirrors, so you’d be forgiven to believe that torrents are impossible to they’re not, and we’re going to show you the top 12 sites still active in 2021, as well as how to stay safe while downloading torrents and what risks you may be exposed to if you just go ahead and download the first torrent you see. We verified recently that the 12 torrent sites in this article are still online and will continue to do so on a regular basis and update this list. This way you’re sure to always find a good torrenting website when you visit this page! Unblock Every Torrent Site and Stay Safe & Anonymous with a VPNRegardless of which torrent sites you prefer, your internet service provider might restrict access to some of your favorite torrent sites, or might track your torrenting behavior. A VPN is your best friend to counter these issues. How? A VPN will allow you to unblock every torrent site, and also keeps you safe and anonymous when torrenting, by encrypting your data traffic and hiding your IP address and identity. One of our personal favorites is NordVPN. It’s a great VPN, which you can try without risk due to the 30-day money-back guarantee. Excellent protection and a large network of servers Nice and pleasing application No logs Visit NordVPN Without further ado, let’s head to our summary of the best 12 torrent sites of this torrent sitesThe Pirate Bay – Best overall torrent siteRARBG – Great torrent site with an active community1337X – Awesome torrent site for movies, tv-series and musicTorrentz2 – The best choice for music torrentsYTS – Our recommended torrent website to download HD moviesEZTV – Torrent site that focuses on TV showsZooqle – A heavenly torrent site for gamersLimeTorrents – Superb torrent site for new – A unique torrent website that combines the best of other sitesTorrentDownloads – Good torrent site for obscure and forgotten titlesIPTorrents – Awesome private torrenting site that requires a donation to enterBibliotik – A torrent site for ebook loversThese are the best torrent sites still on the market, and you can access any one of them to find your favorite files. However, each of them has different advantages (and in some cases disadvantages), so we’ll take a deep dive into your options to see which website suits you that, let’s look at our criteria for choosing the best torrent To Choose The Best Torrent SiteDownload speed is the average speed for downloading torrents from a certain site, through a client. While that information is reliable only as a ballpark reference, keep in mind that this will vary a lot based on the torrent itself, and your internet nthly traffic is an important aspect to determine how popular a torrent site is, implicitly tying it to a lot of metrics like library size or seeders/leechers ratio. We did consider including the number of seeders and leechers for popular torrents at the time of writing, but we also realized that’s very seasonal and probably won’t be relevant in a month or two, so we focused on other brary size will be included for websites whenever possible. While it’s hard to get that exact number in all cases, we did our best to research it and find an answer for rrent type and variety are also important when choosing which torrent sites to use. Torrent sites like The Pirate Bay or RARBG have big libraries, sporting torrents from all categories, while sites like Bibliotik or YTS have a considerable number of book and movie torrents respectively. That’s why below we’ll discuss which platforms are good for which specific torrent types, where Intrusion is also important when deciding what torrent site to use. Pop-ups that “click themselves” and fake “contests” that you just happened to win without participating in are annoying. If you have to go through 8 ads just to browse for a file, it might be time to find a new torrent site. In our research, there were about 3-4 popular torrent sites that we decided not to include due to the ad intrusion curity is very important when downloading torrents. After all, there are plenty of shady torrenting platforms on the internet which could compromise your online security. That’s why our list of the best torrent websites also takes security into account and discusses some security that being said, let’s get into our roundup in more detail. 1. The Pirate Bay – Best Overall Torrent SiteWebsite: Visit a working Pirate Bay MirrorAttention: The Pirate Bay is blocked in many countries (even mirror sites), so you might need a VPN to change your virtual location and unblock the Pirate Bay. Unblock The Pirate Bay with NordVPN’s Discount DealThe Pirate Bay has been a crowd favorite for many years. It managed to deflect attempts at blocking it or shutting it down, and it’s going really strong with over 6. 3 million monthly users on the main site. However, considering the number of mirrors and blocking attempts, that number may be skewed, and 20-60 million visits a month is perhaps a bit more couldn’t get an exact number on its library size, but it’s in the millions of files, and you can expect a download speed of 5-6 MB/s, all other things being Pirate Bay is popular for its large community, which ensures at least one seeder on almost any torrent on the site, no matter the age. We tried downloading obscure titles from even over a decade ago, and we found that there were still happy seeders to help top, it’s got a clean interface and helpful tags that let you know which torrent comes from a trusted source, and which torrent could pose a security risk to your PC. Without a doubt, Pirate Bay is the king of all torrent sites, and with almost no ad intrusion and an active community, it’s basically got no downsides. Mirrors:,, If those mirrors don’t work, do a Google search for “the pirate bay mirrors” and you may find other options, especially on the 2nd page of results. You can also look at our list of Pirate Bay alternatives for more: RARBG WebsiteRARBG is a large directory of torrents, famous for a very active community of seeders and high-quality torrents. It’s been around since 2008 and it amasses about 40 million visitors each competes with The Pirate Bay by offering a more “personalized” experience, complete with top tens in different categories and news displayed on the home page. Its library size is decent, and it gets updated often, meaning that you have a high chance of finding new torrents on the also comes with a very similar download speed as The Pirate Bay. The only difference is that ad intrusion is a bit bigger on RARBG, so take that into account when choosing one of the and, if you’re from Denmark, Portugal, or the UK, you’ll need a VPN to enter, because it’s blocked there. Mirrors:,, If none of the mirrors work, don’t try to find another one on your own unless you take some safety precautions. There are a lot of phishing scams going around with RARBG-looking sites, so make sure you learn about secure browsing. 3. 1337X – Awesome Torrent Site for Movies, Television Series and MusicWebsite: 1337X website1337X is good for movies, shows, and music. Some people use it to browse for game torrents as well, but from our research, it does look like both RARBG and The Pirate Bay have more torrents in that category, especially for older titles. A few years ago, 1337X was a bad choice for any torrenting, since it was clunky to navigate and it posed a lot of security risks. Since then, it went through an entire site revamp, making it seamless to browse and safer. For shows and movies, you also have improved browsing functionalities, like searching by award round of changes got it up to 53 million visits a month, and it makes sense – it’s got an average download speed of 3-4 MB/s and virtually no ad intrusion, the creators only make money through bitcoin donations from what we can see. Mirrors: (Active since Oct. 2017), (Active since Dec. 2017), (Active since Mar. 2018), (Active since May. 2018), (Active since Jan. 2019), (Active since Oct. 2019) included the “active since” date so you can check domain age to make sure you don’t fall for a phishing campaign. 4. Torrentz2 – Best Choice for Music TorrentsWebsite: Torrentz2 websiteAt the time of writing, the main torrentz2 site was down, but we accessed it through one of the mirrors you’ll find this is not that big of a torrent site – only amassing 10-20 million users a month, and unable to sport much of a library for general torrents – Torrentz2 is very good for finding music. And by very good we mean it’s got the largest music library of public torrent sites. Other than that, Torrentz2 doesn’t have much going for it. The download speed isn’t that great (we got anywhere in between 1 MB/s and 3 MB/s, with an average under 2) and ad intrusion is pretty to mention – any type of browsing options, like searching by album, artist or song would be greatly appreciated. So just keep it in mind for when you can’t find the music you’re looking for anywhere else. Mirrors: (the one we used), 5. YTS – Our Recommended Torrent Website to Download HD MoviesWebsite: you’re looking for a movie, just head on over to the average metrics don’t look so great: not a big library when compared to The Pirate Bay, and an average download speed of 3-4 MB/s, YTS has over 75 million visits a month, and that’s due to its, it’s only focused on movies, and it does its best to track torrents with HD quality and small size, optimizing for any device or bandwidth. Second, ad intrusion is minimal and the interface is, classics are readily available on the platform. In fact, it’s the only torrent site where we could find movies like 12 Angry Men in 1080p. Mirrors:,, (but so far the site was never taken down)6. EZTV -Torrent Site That Focuses on TV ShowsWebsite: you want high-definition episodes of your favourite shows, EZTV is the place to go. It doesn’t have a huge library when compared to behemoths like RARBG, but it’s focused on TV shows, and it’s the place to find any new releases in ratio is pretty decent, because it has an active community, clocking in at around 20 million visitors per month. We searched for older titles like Two and a Half Men, and it had a decent library of even tried going for more obscure titles, like the British show Midsomer Murders. EZTV has a large variety of torrents for the new releases in that show, and packages of older episodes. While ad intrusion is a bit annoying at times, the library size and the decent download speed of 2-3 MB/s is enough to keep your binging needs in check. Mirrors:,, 7. Zooqle – A Heavenly Torrent Site for GamersWebsite: gets a good rep for being the best library of video game torrents, and that’s warranted. We tried browsing for older titles, and it has a good library, both for PC and consoles. We even found some torrents that we weren’t able to find anywhere else, like a functional version of Uncharted 2 for the a bit over 5 million visitors a month, an active community and a download speed of about 1-2 MB/s second, it’s a good choice for when you just can’t find a working video game ’s even a user-friendly platform. You can subscribe to different categories or titles and get a feed of new torrents for them. The interface is not bad, and while Ad intrusion can become annoying at times, it’s bearable in most cases. Mirrors:,, Update: Despite recent claims to the contrary, Zooqle still seems to be up and running. For instance, we received a remark from one of our French readers that Zooqle has been shut down, so we checked with a VPN if it was blocked in France. We also tried to access Zooqle using an American and a Dutch IP address. In all three instances, we were successful. Therefore, we have to conclude that, as of now, Zooqle is accessible to, at least, a great portion of internet users. Needless to say, we will check this regularly and keep you updated! 8. LimeTorrents – Superb Torrent Site for New ReleasesWebsite: is very good for new releases. With a seamless interface and a very good seeder/leecher ratio on new torrents, it can be a good average download speed is 3-4 MB/s, it has a bit under 20 million users a month across all mirrors and a lot of search ever, it’s lower on our best torrent sites list because you won’t find plenty of seeders for older torrents, and ad intrusion can get annoying at times. Mirrors:,,,, – A Unique Torrent Website That Combines the Best of Other SitesWebsite: Recently, this website seems to be down quite a torrent site per se, just tracks all torrents from popular sites like The Pirate Bay and ever, considering the amount of data crunching this entails, you’re bound to find a much larger library of what you’re looking for, all in one download speed and all other relevant metrics are the same as you’d find on the specific site pulls data from, but we do want to praise its seamless design and minimal ad intrusion. With a bit under 5 million hits a month and quirky data sets to show what’s trending, using could be a good choice if you’re looking for obscure titles and want all of your results in one place. Mirrors: None. This website used to be called but the domain changed. 10. TorrentDownloads – Good Torrent Site for Obscure and Forgotten TitlesWebsite: Torrentdownloads websiteAttention: This website attempts to open an additional browser tab with advertisements. Not harmful, but rrentDownloads is one of the classics in the scene, but their traffic has slowly decreased over time (now it’s around 5 million users a month), due to Pirate Bay’s and RARBG’s considerably larger libraries. Moreover, since it’s been targeted by government investigations, it’s not available in a lot of regions, it only features an average download speed of 2-3 MB/s and the ad intrusion can get bothersome at ever, it is a good option for more obscure titles in all categories, so if you’ve been looking for an old video game or rare book, you can try a quick search on TorrentDownloads. Asian titles specifically seem to take a big part of their servers. Mirrors:,,, ub11. IPTorrents – Awesome Private Torrenting Site that Requires a Donation to EnterWebsite: for the private sites: IPTorrents is one of the biggest private torrenting sites (meaning that you’ll need an invitation to get in) boasting a big library, an active community, and virtually no ad, private torrenting sites are generally safer because it’s more difficult for users with bad intentions, such as spreading malware, to get in. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly for many, private torrenting sites generally have significantly higher streaming speeds than public ones, because members have seeding quotas they need to comply rrently, IPTorrents is accepting new members based on a donation (of $20), which is way more than can be said about regular private torrenting sites. Sitting at around 5 million hits a month, it’s a good alternative if you can afford to get in. 12. Bibliotik – A Torrent Site for Ebook LoversWebsite: but not least, Bibliotik is the largest private torrenting site for downloading ebooks. Whether you’re an undergraduate, or just looking for an obscure franchise like the Nick Stone series, Bibliotik is bound to have what you a library size and traffic count clocking in the hundreds of thousands, it’s a decent choice, but it’s unfortunately not accepting new members, at least to Use Torrent SitesIf you’re a beginner in the world of torrenting, let’s start with what torrents are. A torrent is a small file that has meta-data about the files you’re trying to get. Special software called clients read that meta-data and pair your computer with other users that already have the file, so you basically “download” the file from ’s a form of sharing data with other naturally, you’ll first need a client. We recommend uTorrent, but Bittorrent will work just as fine. If you want to make sure you’re using uTorrent safely, you can follow the tips in this you installed a torrent client, download the torrent from one of the best torrent sites in the list above, and open it using the client. If you already installed the client, the torrent file will automatically open in this screen:However, two words of caution, always download torrents and browse torrent sites using a ternet service providers and governments can track your internet activity if you don’t use a VPN, and in some cases, you are liable for a lawsuit for downloading specific files. Read our roundup of the best VPNs and use one of those before doing any, beware of fake download an attempt to make money from your clicks, torrent sites will display a more predominant button that won’t download the torrent file, but rather a different, unrelated big buttons and only click on the URL that will actually download your desired torrent addition to these words of caution, let’s talk a bit more about To Torrent SafelyThe risks of browsing torrent sites aren’t just about privacy. You risk downloading malware, viruses, and even losing your information to phishing campaigns, which are very common for torrent first thing you’ll want to do is install a VPN. Again, check our best VPN section for the best options out there, safety tips, and news. It’s important to install a VPN because it will route your connection through a secure server, it will allow you to access blocked torrent sites, and it will help you remain that, tick all the VPN safety settings you can. Make sure you enable connection encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch for when your network is at risk of getting infected. Most VPNs will feature these options (maybe under different names) kill switch is important, as it will prevent your identity from being exposed when your VPN connection suddenly, install an ad blocker and other safety-enhancing extensions. You can read all about them in our article detailing the best browser extensions for safety and privacy, as well as our guide with 8 steps to stay safe To Access Private Torrent SitesA lot of countries have their own regional private torrent site, and they all seem impossible to get in. We took a deep dive into the world of private torrent sites, and we were able to obtain invitations for some of example, we got in on file list, which is Romania’s largest private torrent site:How can you do that too? Reddit, 8chan, and specifically anonymity-focused forums have threads on torrenting. Rarely, invitations will be just thrown there for a limited time, but what we did is we got in touch with someone that implied having an account in one of their rest is up to how persuasive you is the worst-case scenario when you just don’t know anyone on the inside. Ideally, you already know someone who has an account there and you can ask for an rrent Sites To AvoidThere are a few popular torrenting sites that still get a lot of traffic, and you’ll find some roundups recommending you don’t risk anything per se when using those sites, you should stray away from the following rrentGalaxyTorrentGalaxy is like a downgraded version of 1337X. While it does have almost 8 million visitors each month, and the library it boasts is decent, the ad intrusion level is too much to warrant praise, especially when compared to all the alternatives you ckAss TorrentsYes, a version of this website is still available online. Unfortunately, this is the KickAss Torrents you’re used to only in name and appearance because the service has changed a lot since the original site was taken you want to download anything using the current version of the site, you’ll have to install an obscure browser extension first. We don’t know what it may contain, but we do not recommend installing it in any circumstance, as it may pose serious privacy and security risks. It’s better to use one of the many KickAss Torrents rrentFunkWhile TorrentFunk has the trappings of a decent torrent site, it’s riddled with all the possible types of ads you can imagine. Moreover, it’s got a smaller library than The Pirate Bay or RARBG, so there’s no real reason to choose rLockWhile it’s pretty popular, Torlock takes ad intrusion to the extreme. There are a lot of ads popping in your face, and the “price” isn’t warranted. As you’ll notice when you ever visit TorLock, most of their torrents (even the popular ones) have no Torrent Sites Are Safe? The Pirate Bay, RARBG, and especially private torrent sites are as safe as you can get when downloading torrents. That being said, you shouldn’t have a problem downloading anything through the sites in our roundup, as long as you employ the safety best practices explored advise against downloading torrents from any random site that pops up after a Google search, and we definitely recommend you stay up to date with your safety-enhancing software. If you do that, your computer should be safe from harm when downloading Torrenting Legal? Torrenting itself is legal since it’s just sharing data between one or more people. That being said, downloading and sharing copyrighted material without the approval of its creator is illegal, and in some countries, it may lead to legal repercussions. A lot of jurisdictions don’t have up-to-date means to track people that use torrents, but don’t count on that. Stay safe on the web with the right VPN and by taking the right security measures. And of course, check the jurisdiction of the country you are in and steer clear from illegal activities when using torrent Do People Download From Torrent Sites? Are you curious to see what other people download from torrent sites? Below, you can see a top 10 list of the most downloaded movies and TV shows from last month. We use The Pirate Bay data to create this roundup, as it’s the most popular platform, and the popularity of files from this site is the most indicative of popularity in Guy (2021)Rick And MortyCruellaBrooklyn Nine-NineLucaThe Walking DeadBlack WidowWhat If…? Godzilla vs Kong (2021)LokiIn ConclusionDon’t just go ahead and download the first torrent you see. Use a trusted platform from our best torrent sites list, and always do this only after taking the right security measures. The best torrent sites in 2021 – Frequently Asked QuestionsHave you got a question about torrenting and the best torrent websites right now? Read our FAQ! What are the best torrenting websites of 2021? Which torrent site is best for you depends on different factors, such as the type of content you’re interested in and how important a pleasant user experience is to you. The Pirate Bay, for instance, has a huge variety of all sorts of content, but a bit of a minimalist interface. YTS on the other hand, mainly offers HD movies and a very nice interface, whereas Zooqle is a great torrent site for gamers. Whatever your preferences, you’re bound to find the right torrent site for you if you check out our list of the best torrenting websites of 2021! Is torrenting safe? There are definitely some shady torrent websites on the web that might show you a lot of (questionable) intrusive ads or even spread malware on your system. Nevertheless, there are also good and safe torrent sites, such as The Pirate Bay. Whichever torrent site you use, it’s important to take a few safety measures, such as using a VPN, to keep your data safe and your identity anonymous. Is torrenting legal? Torrenting itself is legal. Problems with the law that you might hear about occasionally generally occur when people torrent copyrighted materials. This is in fact illegal, punishable under many jurisdictions, and as such something we’d encourage you to refrain from. Read more about torrenting and the legality of it in this article about the best torrent sites.
How to Unblock Torrent Sites (Or check torrent site alternatives)
Some torrent sites can be blocked by ISPs (Internet Service Providers), companies or governments. If the torrent sites you want to access are blocked, don’t worry. You can unblock them easily with the methods below.
If you see one torrent site is blocked, it doesn’t mean all torrent sites are blocked. Before you head to the methods, you may want to know the torrent site alternatives. For example, if you want to download movies from the blocked torrent site, you can find another non-blocked torrent site which also provides movie torrent source. To find the torrent site alternatives, just visit this website: The best torrent sites in 2019.
We’ve put together three methods below for you to unblock torrent sites. Since the torrent sites can be blocked at different levels, the ways to unblock torrents sites may vary depending on different torrent sites. For the below three methods, you may not have to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one that works for you.
1: Change the DNS server to unblock torrent sites
2: Use a Chrome browser extension to unblock torrent sites
3: Use a VPN to unblock torrent sites
Method 1: Change the DNS server to unblock torrent sites
You may already know that some torrent sites allow you to download copyrighted content (Note we don’t encourage illegal content or pirated content. ). Though you don’t want to download copyrighted content without permission, it’s possible for you to download the content by accident. To prevent users downloading illegal content from some torrent sites, ISPs may block these torrent sites by default. In this case, you can’t access these torrent sites.
However, ISPs block the torrent sites in their own DNS (Domain Name System: translates IP address numbers into websites names. It means you can unblock the torrent sites by changing the ISP default DNS server to another DNS server. There are many free public DNS servers for you to choose from. One of the most common used DNS servers is Google’s public DNS server. So you can just try changing the DNS server to Google’s public DNS server.
You can follow these steps to change the DNS server.
1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R key at the same time to invoke the Run box.
2) Type ‘control panel’ in the box and click OK to open Control Panel.
3) View by Small icons then click Network and Sharing Center.
4) Click Change adapter settings.
5) Right-click on the network connection icon (either Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection), then click Properties.
6) Click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click Properties.
7) Under the General tab, select Use the following DNS server address, then enter Google’s public DNS server address and click OK:
Preferred DNS server: 8. 8. 8
Alternate DNS server: 8. 4. 4
8) Check to see if you can access the torrent site.
If Method 1 doesn’t work you, try Method 2 or Method 3.
Method 2: Use a Chrome browser extension to unblock torrent sites
Some torrent sites have geo-restriction. For example, you can access the torrent site in the UK, but you cannot access it in China. If a torrent site is blocked at this level, you can unblock it by masking your IP address. Some Chrome browser extensions can change your IP (Internet Protocol) address to some other countries. With these extensions, you can access any blocked websites.
What you need to do is find a trustworthy extension. If you don’t know how to find a good extension, you can try Ultrasurf.
Ultrasurf is a trustworthy extension with a 4. 5 star review in Chrome store. Harvard University Berkman Center Circumvention Landscape Report said Ultrasurf is “the best performing of all the tested tools”. With Ultrasurf, you can use public wifi safely and securely, encrypt your traffic and hide your IP and location.
To use Ultrasurf, you just need to add it to your Chrome browser.
1) Go to Chrome web store, and add Ultrasurf to Chrome.
2) After that, you’ll see it at the top of the browser.
If you don’t want the extension running all the time, you can disable it manually. You just need to enable it when you need.
Free extension can unblock websites, but they may not guarantee privacy. Your online activity may still be tracked by your ISP. If you download the copyrighted content accidentally, your ISP will know and send you a warning email. If you want privacy, we recommend you use a VPN. See Method 3.
Method 3: Use a VPN to unblock torrent sites
VPN method works in the same way as Chrome browser extension method. VPN is short for Virtural Private Network. It can mask your IP address and replace it with another IP address from other countries. This can make it look like you’re accessing the sites from other countries.
VPN is more reliable than free Chrome browser extension. As we mentioned above, some torrent sites allow pirated content. If you can tell exactly whether the content you’ll download is pirated, you won’t get any troubles. But if you’re not sure how to identify the pirated content, you may download the pirated content without knowing. This can get you into trouble. The content owner may sue you. So we recommend you download torrents with a VPN to keep privacy. A VPN creates a virtual tunnel for your online traffic. With a VPN, others like your ISP won’t track your online activity. In addition, a good VPN won’t keep logs of your activity. Though your ISP request the VPN vendors to provide user logs, the VPN vendors will fail to satisfy their request.
Regarding what VPN you can trust, we recommend NordVPN. NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs around the world. And it’s one of the cheapest VPN services worldwide. For more info about NordVPN, just go to their official website.
We’ll show you how to use a VPN to unblock torrent sites below. If you use another VPN instead of NordVPN, you can also refer to these steps.
1) Download and install NordVPN on your device.
2) Launch NordVPN and choose a server to connect to. Choose the server in a country where you can access the torrent sites.
3) After the connection is successful, open the torrent sites and enjoy your favorite shows, movies, music, etc.
Hopefully you find the methods above to unblock torrent sites helpful. If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions, free free to leave a comment below.
Be the first to like this article
What is Torrenting? Is it Safe? Is it illegal? Will you be caught?
Looking to find out more about torrenting? We explain exactly what torrenting is, how to torrent safely, and what to do if you get caught.
@pabischoff UPDATED: April 8, 2021
Three questions I’m often asked are: Is torrenting safe, is torrenting legal, and what happens if I get caught? This post answers those questions and looks at the methods torrenters use to stay safe and anonymous.
What is Torrenting?
Torrenting is the act of downloading and uploading files through the BitTorrent network. Instead of downloading files to a central server, torrenting involves downloading files from other users’ devices on the network. Conversely, users upload files from their own devices for other users to download.
Torrenting is the most popular form of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, and it requires torrent management software to connect to the BitTorrent network. Such software can be downloaded for free for a number of different devices.
Everyone downloading or uploading the same file is called a peer, and collectively they are known as a swarm. Because of how BitTorrent works, a peer can download a file from several other users at once, or upload a file to multiple other users simultaneously.
Torrenting is often associated with piracy because it’s frequently used to share files that are protected by copyright, including movies, games, music, and software. However, torrenting has many legitimate uses as well, such as lessening the load on centralized servers by distributing the hosting burden among users.
Torrenting safety and legality: In short
Is torrenting legal or illegal? Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, but downloading unsanctioned copyrighted material is. It’s not always immediately apparent which content is legal to torrent and which isn’t. Some fall in a gray area, so you may find yourself unwittingly on the wrong side of the law.
Your internet service provider (ISP) and copyright trolls monitoring the BitTorrent network can take action if they catch you illegally torrenting. This can range from a warning letter and throttling (slowing down) of your internet connection speeds to legal action – although the latter is increasingly rare.
Digital privacy-conscious torrenters will use VPN services, or virtual private networks, to keep their internet activity hidden from their ISP. With a wide range of applications, some VPNs are better suited for torrenting than others. If you want to keep your ISP from snooping on your activity, choose a VPN connection that: a) doesn’t keep a log of your activity, b) isn’t based in a country where the legal system can be used to demand customer records, and c) is fast enough that it won’t slow entire downloads. We’ve rounded up the providers that fit these criteria and others in our list of the best torrenting VPN services.
How to torrent safely
It is relatively simple to torrent safely and keep your online activity private. Note that while a VPN for torrenting will keep your activity private and safe from prying eyes you may still be susceptible to malware from some public torrent sites. Follow these 5 steps to torrent privately with a VPN.
Here’s how to torrent safely:
Download and install a VPN matching the criteria mentioned above. We recommend NordVPN.
Enable your VPN’s kill switch, if it has one.
Connect to a VPN server, preferably in a P2P-friendly country
Once the connection is established, open your torrent client and start downloading as usual
Your online activity is now encrypted by your VPN
WANT TO TRY THE TOP VPN RISK FREE? NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use our #1 VPN for torrenting with no restrictions for a full month—great if you want to try its P2P-optimized servers first-hand.
There are no hidden terms—just contact support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.
Torrenting without a VPN
Torrenting without a VPN means your internet service provider (ISP) can see your online activity including the sites you visit and the content you view. In certain countries, including the US, ISPs are allowed to share this information with third parties including intellectual property owners. A VPN will keep your online activity private from your ISP.
Is uTorrent safe?
uTorrent is the official torrent client from the creators of the BitTorrent protocol. It is proprietary—not open source—software maintained by a legal US company. Like BitTorrent, the uTorrent software itself is legal, although it can be used for digital piracy. The official uTorrent is free of malware and can be used safely and privately in combination with a VPN. It does not, however, prevent users from downloading malicious files that can infect their device.
The BitTorrent protocol rose to become the most popular medium for peer-to-peer file sharing in the world after the demise of centralized services like Napster and Limewire. Unlike those services, torrenting is almost completely decentralized save for the trackers that allow users to search and download torrent files and magnet links. Torrent files and magnet links are used to find other users on the network who host the desired file or files but do not actually host those files for downloading.
Is BitTorrent safe and legal?
The BitTorrent protocol is not in itself illegal or unsafe. It is just the means to share any type of file, and plenty of legal torrenting services do exist. The most popular torrent trackers, such as ThePirateBay and KickassTorrents, however, operate in a legal grey area, offering users free access to copyrighted content. Sharing and downloading copyrighted content by BitTorrent, or other means, is illegal in many countries and can be unsafe since sites including KickassTorrents have been shown to host malware.
These trackers would argue that they simply find and organize information that is already out there, and they do not illegally host any copyrighted content on their own servers. Just like the BitTorrent protocol itself, they are the means to an end. Not everyone is convinced. Major trackers have come under heavy legal scrutiny from content creators and distributors who argue the trackers enable and encourage theft.
The blame ultimately shifts to the users, the millions of individuals who host files on their personal computers, downloading and uploading movies, games, software, music, ebooks, and more. Users connected to the same tracker are called peers, and they fall into two categories. A leech uses a torrent file or magnet link to download the file from other users on the network who already have the file. These users who already have the file are called seeds. When a leech is finished downloading a file (or even just part of a file), he or she becomes a seed, allowing other leeches to download the file from his or her computer. As a general rule, it’s considered proper pirate etiquette to seed as much as you leech.
Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright law or restrictions. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of copyright piracy before downloading copyrighted material without permission.
Legally speaking, seeding and leeching copyrighted material fall into different criminal categories. Think of it like buying illegal drugs: purchasing the drugs for personal use is definitely a crime, but a relatively minor one. Turning around and selling those drugs to others is a much more serious offense. Finding the original source of the drugs, or in this case the HD rip of the new Avengers movie, would be the best case scenario for law enforcement, but that isn’t always possible. The trackers act as the shady back alley marketplaces where all of these transactions go down, but they don’t personally handle any of the drugs.
What happens if you are caught torrenting?
The prosecution of torrent users has been sporadic. The chances of actually going to court or having to pay a settlement are pretty slim, but the penalties can be extremely high. The frequency of copyright holders suing torrenters for copyright infringement peaked in the late 2000s. Copyright pirates were sued for wildly disproportionate amounts of money, and most settled out of court.
These public scare tactics shone poorly on the recording and movie industries because they were portrayed as petty millionaires bullying poor college students. Direct lawsuits are much less common these days, but the campaign against torrenters is far from over.
Now the job of going after individual copyright pirates has been outsourced to a growing number of small businesses known as copyright trolls. These companies locate torrenters who illegally download copyrighted content through their real IP addresses. They then approach the copyright owners and sign a deal that lets them take legal action on their behalf. Others are hired directly by Hollywood production companies to sniff out pirates.
With legal leverage and a list of names, the copyright trolls then go after torrenters via mail, email, or even by going door to door and handing out settlement letters. These letters are not legally binding documents or injunctions. Copyright trolls use intimidation, fear, and shame to make torrenters pay without ever going to court. A common tactic is to threaten to sue for over $100, 000 but only ask for $3, 000 or so in the settlement. That makes the $3, 000 look like a good deal, but going to court is costly and risky for them, so don’t give in if you receive such a letter.
What to do if you receive a settlement letter
The most common way to receive a settlement letter is through your internet provider. A copyright troll will go through the court system to subpoena your ISP and force it to email customers with a legal threat and hand over personal details.
According to US law, an IP address is not a person. If you were contacted through your ISP, chances are that’s because the copyright troll doesn’t know your actual identity yet. If the letter doesn’t contain any identifying information on you, keep it that way and do nothing. Your case could be dismissed before the date that your ISP is set to reveal your personal details to the troll. If you respond and identify yourself, that gives the troll a more direct means of targeting you.
This is a game of probability for copyright trolls. If they send out 1, 000 threatening emails and 50 people reply, they only need a handful to actually cough up money to make it worth their time. Chances are it’s more cost effective for them to move on to the next swarm of torrenters than pursue the remaining 950 people.
If things escalate and you decide to take action, lawyer up. Here’s a list of attorneys compiled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that specialize in these sorts of cases.
Depending on your ISP, it may take actions against you on its own behalf. That could mean throttling your internet connection or threatening to hand over personal details to a copyright troll. Why does your ISP even care? Because torrenting takes up a lot of bandwidth, and that bandwidth costs ISPs money. On top of that, an ISP could be receiving kickbacks from content owners and their associates.
How to protect yourself
To avoid any legal ramifications, it’s best to simply not torrent. However, if you insist on torrenting, take the time to protect your online privacy and keep copyright trolls at bay.
Use a VPN when torrenting
The best way to torrent safely is by using a VPN. A VPN accomplishes two things: first, it re-routes all your internet traffic through a server in a location of your choosing, which changes your real IP address to one used by hundreds or thousands of other people (assuming your VPN uses shared IP addresses, which most do). This adds a significant layer of anonymity and makes it much more difficult for anyone to track you. Second, a VPN encrypts all your torrent traffic before it leaves your computer. That means your ISP cannot monitor your internet activity, nor can anyone else. And because all your traffic heads to the VPN server first, ISPs can’t even tell where it’s going.
Using a quality VPN is key; don’t settle for a “free” service or VPNs that log your activity, cap your bandwidth and data, or don’t provide sufficient DNS leak protection. Not all VPNs tolerate torrenting. You can check out our list of the best VPNs for torrenting here, which are services with fast download speeds and a focus on online privacy, security and anonymity like NordVPN, Surfshark, and ExpressVPN among others.
If you don’t want to pay for a VPN, you might be considering Tor. Tor is similar to a VPN in that it routes your traffic through several volunteer “nodes” while encrypting traffic. We recommend a VPN over Tor for a couple reasons. First, Tor is slow, and usually best for simple browsing and other low-bandwidth activity. Second, connecting to Tor could actually draw more attention from your ISP and law enforcement, as it’s a well-known tool for hackers and criminals.
Another popular app among torrenters is Peerblock. Peerblock is a desktop firewall with a regularly updated blacklist of IP addresses. These IP addresses belong to entities that try to track your activity online, especially on peer-to-peer networks. Unfortunately, the blacklist is only updated once upon installation. After that, users must pay to keep them updated. Even if you’re willing to pay, it’s unlikely that the blacklist could contain every possible IP address for copyright trolls, universities, and law enforcement. A copyright troll just needs to connect to the swarm–all the devices connected to a single torrent–with an IP that isn’t on that blacklist to get your IP address.
Instead of torrenting, another alternative is Usenet. Usenet is a paid service-usually between $10 and $20 per month–where you download files from centralized servers instead of a network of peers. Usenet downloads are much, much faster; often as fast as your ISP can handle. Usenet is more private as well. The connections take place between you and the provider’s network of servers, and the best providers offer an SSL-encrypted connection. Some even throw in VPNs for good measure. Torrents, on the other hand, require that you share at least some identifying information to connect to the tracker and peers.
Finally, downloading a Usenet file doesn’t mean you have to seed it for other internet users afterward. Legally, this makes you less of a target because you’re not supplying strangers with copyrighted content, at the same time consuming fewer computer resources and internet bandwidth.
Usenet providers make files available for a certain number of days. How many depends on the provider, but the standard is 1, 200 days after the original posting. Until that time is up, users have full access to that file. Torrents only stay up as long as people seed the file.
We’ve rounded up some of the best Usenet providers here.
Public vs private trackers
A “tracker” is like a search engine that indexes files on the BitTorrent network. Trackers can be private or public, and the former usually requires an invitation from an existing member.
ThePirateBay, KickassTorrents, and Demonoid are all examples of public trackers. Anyone can just go to their respective websites and search without logging in or requiring any sort of authentication. Likewise, anyone can upload files for others to download. These uploads are not moderated, so users must judge whether a download is safe and accurate based on comments and the reputation of the uploader.
Private trackers are more exclusive both in terms of who can upload and who can download within a group. They vary wildly in terms of content and quality, but many members of private trackers attest that they have higher quality files, faster downloads, longer retention, and an overall more consistent and safe experience.
The law views private trackers the same as public trackers. Internet piracy is piracy whether you do it in public or within a private group.
Streaming vs torrenting
Many people have moved away from downloading entire files through BitTorrent and opt instead to stream video content either on their web browsers or through customized programs like Kodi. When it comes to safety and the law, what’s the difference?
Legally speaking, you’re probably still breaking the law when you stream illegal content from a pirated source. However, this depends largely on your country. In the UK, it’s outright illegal. In India, a court ruled that it is absolutely not illegal. In the US, it’s still a grey area, as there’s been no precedent of anyone being convicted for copyright piracy after streaming copyrighted video content from an unsanctioned source.
Those who upload the videos without compensating or asking permission from the copyright holder do so illegally. That’s pretty much standard no matter where you are.
Not only do laws tend to be more lenient toward streaming content, but it’s also more difficult for copyright trolls and law enforcement to catch users in the act. When you download a torrent, you can see the IP addresses of everyone else you’re uploading to or downloading from. But streaming transmits a video directly from a website to your device, with no third parties involved.
Don’t get too comfortable, however, as there are still risks. The website could be logging IP addresses or other information about its users, which it could then hand over to law enforcement or a copyright troll. Your ISP could monitor your activity and see that you are watching pirated content. These are risks that can be mitigated by connecting to a reputable VPN.
When it comes to security, streaming video carries just as many risks as torrenting. Websites that stream pirated content tend to be chock full of intrusive ads, malware, and phishing threats. Kodi users are subject to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks and other threats from the add-ons they download.
As a rule of thumb, avoid downloading movies that were released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the past 60 days, especially big-hit blockbusters. That’s when movies make the vast majority of their post-box office money, after which their income significantly drops off. Copyright holders will put most of their anti-piracy resources into going after torrenters of new releases to minimize the financial damage. The same goes for TV series, shows and video games.
Users of Popcorn Time, the free movie-streaming app, should tread just as carefully as torrenters. Many Popcorn Time users don’t realize that the app actually streams directly from torrents and will even seed a file so it is uploaded to other users. All the risks associated with Popcorn Time apply in equal measure to torrenting.
Choose your torrents wisely. The most popular torrents on ThePirateBay and KickassTorrents are probably the ones being most closely monitored by copyright trolls. However, don’t pick totally unpopular ones either. Read through the comments section, where users often run virus scans on torrent downloads and post the results. They will also give you a general review of the quality.
Even if the comments are positive, run your own virus scans as well. Ideally, use multiple antivirus programs to run an array of scans, as each of their virus libraries can differ. Not all antivirus programs play nice with each other, however, so mixing two or more must be done with care. We recommend Bitdefender to scan all downloads before opening. This is especially important when downloading games and software, which are often “cracked” by the uploader. Cracks make it easier to bypass DRM schemes that validate content with the publisher, but they also make it easier to distribute hidden malware, spyware, and viruses. Check out Comparitech’s antivirus reviews section here.
Why did BitTorrent install adware on my computer? BitTorrent is a network and protocol used to share files, so BitTorrent itself cannot install adware on your computer.
However, the programs used to connect to the BitTorrent network and download files, called torrent managers or torrent clients, can and often do come with adware. The files you download can also contain malware and adware.
Stick to reputable torrent managers and, if prompted, refuse any offers to install additional software alongside them. These additional programs are often adware.
Likewise, be sure to only download and upload torrents you downloading a shared torrent from Google drive illegal? If you’re downloading something from Google Drive, then it’s not a torrent. It’s just a download. The file might have originally been downloaded through BitTorrent, then uploaded to Google Drive where others can download it.
Semantics aside, if the content of the file is protected by copyright, then yes, it is illegal to download pirated files from Google I just download a torrent from a public place? Most torrenters use public trackers to find and download files through BitTorrent. So in that sense, yes, you can download a torrent from a public place provided you have a torrent client installed on your device.
The files themselves are downloaded from other BitTorrent users who have downloaded the file and are now uploading it to fellow users.
Private trackers are also available and are often safer, but typically require an invitation from an existing I go to jail for torrenting? It depends on the circumstances, but no, it’s highly doubtful you would go to jail for torrenting. Most lawsuits regarding torrenting are civil suits, not criminal ones, so if a penalty is levied, it’s usually a fine or some other monetary compensation.
That being said, it also depends on what country you’re in, what you torrent, and whether you also seeded the file so it could be downloaded by other users. Check your local laws and are the risks of torrenting music? The music recording industry has, on occasion, aggressively targeted torrenters who engaged in music piracy. These days, litigation is mostly done by copyright trolls who target torrenters on behalf of recording studios. They’ll send out settlement letters demanding hundreds or even thousands of dollars to torrenters whom they can identify. They usually go through internet service providers to contact torrenters. Your ISP could throw you under the bus, and that’s not a gamble we recommend taking. By using a VPN, you can greatly reduce the risk of being identified by a copyright troll.
Frequently Asked Questions about torrent access
How do you access a torrent site?
Method 2: Use a VPN Download and install NordVPN on your device. Launch NordVPN and choose a server to connect to. Choose the server in a country where you can access the torrent sites. After the connection is successful, open the torrent sites and enjoy your favorite shows, movies, music, etc.
Is Torrenting legal or illegal?
Is torrenting legal or illegal? Torrenting itself isn’t illegal, but downloading unsanctioned copyrighted material is. … Your internet service provider (ISP) and copyright trolls monitoring the BitTorrent network can take action if they catch you illegally torrenting.Apr 8, 2021
Can you go to jail for Torrenting?
You don’t get arrested for using Torrent. Torrent (or BitTorrent, to be more precise), is just a file copy protocol which very efficiently moves files around the Internet. You get arrested for downloading licensed content for which you do not have a license. You don’t get arrested for using Torrent.May 1, 2021