The truth is that there are so many different sources of P2P files on the Internet, and not many of those are safe to use. We understand that you're looking for the best torrent sites, and that's what we've done our best to discover. So, after plenty of research, we're ready to give you some on-point recommendations.
Before we get started with our list of the best torrent websites, we'll take a few moments to give you some important background information. After all, you've probably heard that torrent sites aren't exactly the safest places to visit on the Internet.
Many of those distribute malware, endangering your system and your private data. There are also copyright trolls targeting pirates, and you'll have to keep in mind that some countries are after pirates in a rather aggressive manner.
With this said, you need to know where to search for torrent files, and you need to know how to download those files safely.
TechNadu's team is strongly against digital piracy, but we understand that even downloading legal torrents can get you into trouble. That's why we recommend reading this entire article carefully, as you'll find plenty of useful information below.
Worried About Getting Caught Torrenting? You Need a VPN – And Here’s Why!
The world of torrenting is full of obstacles. You’ll often find torrent websites to be blocked in your country, and receiving a cease-and-desist letter from your ISP is always a threat. Getting caught torrenting can also force your ISP to cut off your connection to the Web.
That’s why, due to the following reasons, we strongly recommend you connect to a VPN in order to be safe while torrenting.
- A VPN will prevent your Internet provider from tracking your online activity. This means that you won’t have to worry about receiving a cease-and-desist letter or any similar legal consequences of downloading torrents.
- A VPN will unblock any website, including torrent repositories. This is especially important in countries where torrent sites are taken down regularly. Using a VPN, you can connect to a server in a different country and unblock what was previously inaccessible.
- A VPN will unleash the full power of your Web connection. It’s no secret that ISPs apply selective throttling based on what kind of online activity they detect. Since VPNs hide your Web traffic, you’ll get to make your Web connection faster and more reliable.
- A VPN is an all-in-one solution! There’s no need to spend hours trying to configure torrent clients or trying to build a solution to protect your torrenting. A VPN is the best and the most effective way to protect your torrenting.
Finally, don’t make a mistake thinking that all VPNs are the same. Based on our years-long experience of reviewing VPNs, the best VPN right now is ExpressVPN. This especially goes for fans of torrenting, who’ll find that ExpressVPN meets practically ALL their needs.
Right now, subscribing to ExpressVPN lets you save 49% OFF its regular price. On top of that, you get 3 EXTRA MONTHS! That means that now’s the best time to act and protect your torrenting activities.
Best Torrent Sites
Just below, you'll find our list of the 14 best torrent sites available today. However, if you're after a certain type of media, first check out the following categories.
- Best Torrent Sites for Movies - YTS, 1337X, RARBG, The Pirate Bay, Zooqle, iDope.
- Best Torrent Sites for TV Shows - 1337X, EZTV, Nyaa, Zooqle.
- Best Torrent Sites for Anime - The Pirate Bay, Nyaa, 1337X.
- Best Torrent Sites for Comics - The Pirate Bay, 1337X, iDope.
- Best Torrent Sites for Games - 1337x, RARBG, LimeTorrents.
- Best Torrent Sites for eBooks - The Pirate Bay, Nyaa, 1337x.
- Best Torrent Sites for Software - The Pirate Bay, LimeTorrents, Katcr, RARBG, IPTorrents.
- Best Torrent Sites for Music - TorrentDownloads, 1337x, Torlock, RARBG, Nyaa.
- Best Torrent Sites for Audiobooks - 1337x, The Pirate Bay, LimeTorrents, Zooqle, iDope.
- Best Torrent Sites for Textbooks - iDope, Torrends.
- Best Torrent Sites for Mac - The Pirate Bay, 1337x.
1. YTS - Best Torrent Site For Downloading Movies
|Prominent Features||A steady flow of new releases; Plenty of Hollywood blockbusters and old classics; Highly optimized file sizes.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies (720p, 1080p, 4K, and 3D).|
|Availability||Banned in Ireland, India, and Australia (accessible via mirror URLs).|
|Library Size||40,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||88,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||yts.lt / yts.am / yts.ag|
Everyone in the torrenting game has a soft spot for the folks from YIFY. Unfortunately, YIFY was shut down due to massive legal threats and is, it seems, gone forever. With that said, our list of the best sites for downloading torrents will begin with a YIFU alternative - called YTS.
YIFY was famous for aggressively-optimized video and audio encoding. They achieved some of the best quality-to-size ratios ever seen. Well, YTS is following those same footprints, providing access to countless movies, nicely organized and often updated. And considering that YTS has millions of active daily users, most of its movies are quick to download.
2. 1337X - Best for Speedy Torrent Files Download
|Prominent Features||Reputable tracker; Rich torrent library; Easy navigation.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, games, music, applications, anime, comics, video clips, adult content, and more.|
|Availability||Banned in Australia, Austria, Ireland, India, and the United Kingdom. Might be targeted by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||2,500,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||72,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||1337xx.to / x1337x.se / x1337x.eu / x1337x.ws|
1337X has been around for about a decade now and has somehow managed to avoid being shut down. It wasn't really all that well-known initially, but with the demise of big names such as KickassTorrents and long periods when the Pirate Bay was MIA, there were plenty of opportunities to grow.
Today, 1337X is one of the big boys, with an Alexa rank that puts it in the top handful of torrent sites. We personally don't like the red and black site design, but that's just a taste issue. From a functionality point of view, the site is sharp as a tack. And most importantly, it allows you to download torrents fast since it has a highly active user base.
3. RARBG - Best Community-Driven P2P Site
|Prominent Features||Solid reputation; Clean interface; Rich torrent library; Active community of users (plenty of healthy files).|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, games, music, software, adult content.|
|Availability||Banned in several countries (Bulgaria, Denmark, Indonesia, Ireland) and by individual Internet providers.|
|Library Size||800,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||51,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||rarbgmirror.com / rarbg.com / rarbgunblock.com|
Becoming a successful torrent site is a double-edged sword. Success also means being targeted the hardest. This applies to our previous recommendation but also to RARBG. Being one of the oldest P2P repositories of its kind, it managed to survive through several ups and downs – and is still one of the best sites for finding torrents.
Today, RARBG is back online and offering a huge number of torrents. Sheer torrent numbers are not that special anymore, though. Therefore, it makes this list not only because it is so comprehensive - but also because it has a clean design. Even if it looks sparse and simple, the process of finding the torrent you want is easy and quick.
4. Nyaa - Best Torrent Site For Downloading Anime
|Prominent Features||Niche torrent site (anime); User-friendly UI design.|
|Types of P2P Files||A large number of anime movies, TV shows, and e-books. It also offers music, photos, and software.|
|Availability||Might be targeted by individual Internet providers.|
|Library Size||500,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||45,000,000+ visits.|
Today, you'll find English-translated anime via services like Netflix and Hulu. There are even dedicated anime streaming services such as Crunchyroll (recently acquired by Sony) and Funimation. Despite this, there are plenty of shows that are just too niche to be officially translated. Some shows are too old, and others will never see the light of day in the West.
This is precisely where Nyaa comes into play. This site provides a simple and effective interface to its vast database of Japanese animation. If you want to go deeper than watching Naruto or Dragon Ball Z, Nyaa is the place to be.
5. The Pirate Bay - Best Multi-Purpose Torrent Site
|Prominent Features||A hugely popular option; A long-standing tracker; Plenty of verified and legitimate torrent files.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, audio files, games, software, e-books, adult content, comics, anime, and plenty more.|
|Availability||Banned in a large number of countries and by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||4,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||29,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirrors||proxybay.xyz / pirate-proxy.me|
|Visit||The Pirate Bay|
What can we say about The Pirate Bay? It's been around for as long as we can remember. It's been killed and resurrected more times than we can count. It feels as if TPB is going to be around for the rest of eternity. It's even suffered through having its founders jailed.
The Pirate Bay is still one of the most popular torrent sites on the Internet. Because of this, you'll find just about any mainstream torrent here. However, the site's design is becoming a little old-fashioned.
Also, The Pirate Bay has been caught hijacking user CPUs to mine cryptocurrency. The site has been forced into this path as more and more of its advertising income gets cut off. If you're OK with donating a little electricity to support them, they are well worth paying a visit.
6. LimeTorrents - Best Semi-Private Torrent Tracker
|Prominent Features||One of the oldest; Plenty of torrents; Straightforward UI.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, music, software, games, and anime.|
|Availability||Banned in Australia, France, and the United Kingdom.|
|Library Size||10,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||16,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||limetorrents.asia / limetor.com|
Speaking of the old generation, LimeTorrents has managed to dodge all the legal challenges and shutdowns other big names have been hit with. Mainly, the site has managed that by being very careful about what they actually host in terms of data. Instead of putting actual torrent files (which have become legally dodgy) on the site, they just host hash values of those torrents.
At the moment, this P2P repository is going underground. It seems as if the site is moving its torrent content to the deep Web, and you need to use the LimeTorrents client to access them. While this might seem a little overboard, LimeTorrents might very well be the last site standing when the dust finally settles, which is why you should keep them in mind.
7. IPTorrents - Best Private P2P Tracker
|Prominent Features||Private tracker; Relatively easy to access; Fast download speeds; Low risk of encountering malware.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, games, applications, music, books, anime, and more.|
|Availability||Might be targeted by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||1,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||6,500,000+ monthly visits.|
If you're dedicated to downloading torrents and being a part of a closed P2P community, you'll want to hear about IPTorrents. This is a private tracker, which means that someone must invite you. However, you can also choose to donate, which is another way to get access. Don't worry; IPTorrents is one of the oldest and most trustworthy private trackers out there.
Since this is a closed community, that means you'll find a curated library of over a million files. Those files are verified, minimizing the risk of encountering malware. And also, IPTorrents' members are required to meet a certain seed ratio (to avoid getting their accounts disabled), which results in sharing files that are pretty quick to download.
8. EZTV - Best Torrent Site for Downloading TV Shows
|Prominent Features||A well-known name; Reliable torrents; No malware.|
|Types of P2P Files||Specializes in TV shows (seasons and individual episodes).|
|Availability||Blocked in Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.|
|Library Size||Hundreds of thousands of files.|
|Monthly Visitors||6,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||eztv.wf / eztv.tf / eztv.yt|
Next, we have a niche torrent site that's all about TV shows. Called EZTV, it's been around for quite some time, which is one of the reasons why the website looks outdated. However, if you look beneath the surface, you will see loads of helpful features.
For example, the website allows you to track its calendar of releases and check out when new seasons are about to air so that you can set reminders accordingly.
What needs to be said about EZTV is that this website is incredibly powerful. You can find TV show categories by genres, types, and video file quality - and you can download torrents and magnet files. And on top of that, EZTV comes with millions of active users, making it easy to find healthy P2P files. What more could we possibly ask for?
9. Zooqle - Best Torrent Search Engine
|Prominent Features||TV content and movies primarily; Verified torrents only.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, anime, software, graphics, and e-books.|
|Availability||Might be targeted by certain Internet providers.|
|Library Size||6,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||5,400,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||zooqle.unblocked.win / zooqle.unblockninja.com|
Zooqle is one of the new kids on the block, and as such, it tries to do some interesting new things. The main party trick is the fact that torrents go through a verification process. It means that you're highly unlikely to find fake torrent files that either contain malware or are password-protected.
Zooqle is dedicated to TV shows and movie torrents (it's expanding to other categories as well). While that might limit the quantity of content, it does allow for some great quality additions.
For one thing, the site owners have created a smart little API that pulls metadata on video torrents from a movie database. So you see the artwork, reviews, and ratings all in one place. It's very polished and a good representation of the new-generation torrent search engines.
10. Torrent Downloads - Best Torrent Site for Music
|Prominent Features||Incredibly large repository; Plenty of healthy torrents; A large number of seeders.|
|Types of P2P Files||TV shows, movies, music, ebooks, game, and software.|
|Availability||Not available in the United Kingdom.|
|Library Size||16,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||4,000,000+ visits.|
Even though this website brings a generic name and a somewhat boring design, trust us that this is one of the most powerful torrent sites right now. It's been around for some time and gone through several iterations, and the current one is definitely the best one yet.
This is a huge library of torrents from just about any category imaginable. You can download movies, TV shows, music, books, and pretty much everything else. Every torrent comes with a detailed description, including the information related to its health.
Lastly, even though 'Torrent Downloads' brings a nice selection of P2P files, we strongly recommend it for downloading music. Thanks to the site's handy filtering options, you'll get access to advanced ways of downloading high-quality audio files.
11. Torlock - Best for Downloading Verified Torrents
|Prominent Features||Verified P2P files only; Highly active; Plenty of healthy P2P files; Helpful sorting options; News posts.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, games, applications, music, books, anime, adult content, and plenty more.|
|Availability||Might be targeted by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||9,500,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||3,000,000+ visits.|
TorLock is known for offering verified torrents only. In other words, this torrent site's owners are doing plenty to avoid malware and other less-than-desirable consequences of unsafe torrenting. This is something you should really keep in mind, and this is why we recommend using TorLock - especially if you're new to the world of P2P.
This torrent repository brings a wide range of torrents from any category imaginable. Before you download one, you'll get to see all of its information, including metadata and the release group behind that torrent. All of that comes designed to give you peace of mind, and we have to say that Torlock succeeds in its mission.
12. KATcr - Best Alternative to KickassTorrents
|Prominent Features||One of the most long-standing KAT alternatives; Plenty of highly active torrents; Active community.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, (lossless) music, games, applications, anime, e-books, adult content.|
|Availability||Targeted by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||1,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||3,000,000+ visits.|
|Mirror URLs||thekat.info / kickass.cd|
The entire global torrenting community felt the impact once the original KAT (KickassTorrents) disappeared. This was a brilliantly designed website with millions of daily visitors. So, it's not surprising to see that numerous clones have appeared. However, this also means that many malicious clones are targeting your privacy, so you should be extra careful to avoid malware.
Among the best KickassTorrent alternatives, KATcr stands above the rest. This is a clone of the original website, where you won't be able to tell the difference. You can download movies, TV shows, games, software, and anything else in between. There's also a highly active community if you want to talk to like-minded individuals.
13. iDope - Best Torrent Site for Mac Software & Games
|Prominent Features||No annoying ads; Millions of P2P files available; Comes with Web browser extensions.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, games, software, e-books, XXX, and more.|
|Availability||Not available in India, Denmark, Australia, and the United Kingdom.|
|Library Size||20,000,000+ files.|
|Monthly Visitors||1,400,000+ visits.|
To make our list of recommended torrent sites as helpful as possible, we wanted to include something a bit different as well. So, we'd like to introduce you to iDope, a gateway to millions of magnet torrent files, many of which are incredibly quick to download.
You can think of iDope as a torrent search engine, giving you access to movies, TV shows, ebooks, software, games, and adult content. However, we especially recommend iDope to Mac users, as it provides a wealth of macOS games and software, which has become incredibly hard to find lately.
There are multiple ways to filter and organize its database, allowing you easily pinpoint a healthy torrent file, no matter how old that file might be.
14. Torrends - Gateway to Other Torrent Sites
|Prominent Features||Acts as a P2P search engine; Helpful visual insights; Plenty of torrents; Useful mirror proxies for other websites.|
|Types of P2P Files||Movies, TV shows, anime, ebooks, software, applications, images, adult content, and more.|
|Availability||Might be targeted by individual ISPs.|
|Library Size||Tens of millions of torrent files.|
|Monthly Visitors||1,200,000+ visits.|
While even the best torrent websites look alike, there are some that stand out thanks to their intuitive design. 'Torrends' is one of those websites. In fact, this is a torrent search engine that scrapes information from many highly active repositories.
Even if you don't know what to download, this website will provide numerous suggestions. You can see what's popular online, and what other people are saying, and everything is broken down into easily digestible categories. This website also brings a list of mirror URLs, which is hugely helpful, considering that many torrent sites are blocked in different parts of the world.
How to Choose the Best Torrent Site?
When choosing a torrent site, you need to pay attention to its age, reputation, content library, and more. So, let's reveal additional information on what makes a good P2P site.
- Age & Reputation: Ideally, you'll want a long-standing P2P site with a proven track record of not serving malware or going through extended periods of downtime. Lucky for you, there are plenty of websites that have been around for more than a decade now. Still, before using any P2P site, make sure to do some online digging about its reputation.
- Content Library & Specializations: Today, we have several multi-purpose websites that bring all kinds of files. It means that you can rely on those to download music, movies, software, and more. However, if you're into more specific types of content (like anime, for example), you're better off using a niche torrent site.
- The health of Individual Torrent Files: Having a website with millions of torrents isn't worth much if the health of those files is low. A healthy torrent file has more seeders than leechers, which allows you to download those files as fast as possible. In other words, you need to go for torrent sites used by a large number of individuals.
- Advertisements: Torrent sites generate revenue by serving ads. This is why many of them can be overly aggressive, with ads served in multiple forms. We've tried to find options that aren't overly annoying in this aspect. And also, all of the following options are proven to serve "safe" ads.
What Is a Torrent?
A torrent is a file that comes with instructions on how to access its data. As such, torrent files don't come with any content on their own.
If you've downloaded torrent files in the past, you know that they're very small in size (you download them in under a second, typically). That's because torrent files are meta-info files, which means they contain metadata about files and folders, trackers, and similar.
Let's say that you want to download a movie torrent file. You can find movie torrents across any of our previous recommendations. So, you can go ahead and search for a specific title and then download that specific torrent file. However, you'll only download instructions activated when you open the torrent file using a torrent client.
That's when your torrent client will start to connect to other computers from across the world. Those computers already have the movie you want, so you'll download bits and pieces until you have the complete movie on your device.
With that said, we hope you now understand the difference between individual torrent files and the content they're associated with (which are two different and separate things).
What Are Torrent Sites?
Torrent sites are repositories of torrent files. In other words, they allow P2P users to share (upload and download) torrent files from any platform or device.
As explained just above, torrent files don't come with any content. They're merely instructions for your torrent client, pointing to where their content is found. That's precisely why it's said that torrent files are decentralized files, as their content is never found on a single device only.
As such, torrent sites don't host any content, which is how they manage to evade laws related to copyright infringement (as most of their content is copyrighted).
What Can You Download from Torrent Sites?
Using torrent sites, you can download movies, TV shows, music, applications, games, e-books, and other types of digital content.
If a certain type of data can be shared on the Web, it can also be shared via P2P. There are practically no limitations there, which is what makes torrenting so interesting.
For example, in 2012, The Pirate Bay launched a category called 'Physibles' - aimed at 3D printing. That means that you can even share 3D models over P2P, which you can then "print" and turn into physical (real-world) objects.
How to Use Torrent Sites?
You can use torrent sites just like any other website. Launch them using your Web browser, browse their library, and download any torrent file you want.
When you download a file and open it with your P2P client, your computer starts connecting to other devices that already have that file. By connecting to as many devices as possible, you'll get to download bits and pieces until that file is fully stored (and ready to be used) locally.
There's also another side to torrent sites. Any of us is free to create a torrent file. If you send someone that file, that person will connect back to your computer.
However, if you decide to share that torrent file via a torrent site, you'll easily create a P2P swarm (a group of devices or users) on a global level.
Which Torrent Site Is the Fastest?
In general, the fastest torrent sites are those that are most popular at the moment. Since they have the highest volume of traffic, they also have the highest number of seeders (individuals who share 100%-complete files).
With that said, if you want to download files as fast as possible, you need to pay attention to the number of seeders and leechers. Files that are fast to download have more seeders than leechers, which means more people share 100%-complete files than those who download.
If you find searching for "healthy" torrent files to be tiresome, we recommend checking out private P2P communities, such as IPTorrents. They typically force their users to seed files for an extended period of time (risking disabling their accounts if they don't), ensuring that everyone gets to download files as quickly as possible.
Why Are Some Torrenting Sites Blocked?
A number of torrent sites are blocked across the world due to piracy. After all, torrent sites are today used most often to share copyrighted files.
In other words, even though torrent sites also bring 100% legal-to-share data that belongs to the public domain, they also share copyrighted files. That includes commercially available music, TV shows, movies, software, games, and more.
As you probably know, sharing copyrighted files is illegal in most countries. That's the reason why we've seen torrent sites being blocked in Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Italy, India, Brazil, the Philippines, Australia, and many other countries.
Accessing blocked websites (including torrent repositories) isn't against the law. The same can't be said for sharing copyrighted files. So, if you use a VPN to visit blocked websites (more on that below), make sure to stick to your country's laws.
Are Torrenting Sites Blocked in India?
Yes, torrenting sites are blocked across India. Not all P2P sites are blocked in the country, but the majority of the worldwide-popular ones can no longer be accessed.
During the last couple of years, we've seen India trying to regulate the Internet by blocking access to certain types of websites, digital services, and applications. That started with blocking P2P sites like The Pirate Bay, Torrentz2, YTS, and 1337X, in 2019. Then, the country proceeded to block access to more than 100 pirate domains in 2020.
It's also interesting to note that India's government is trying to deter people from using VPN services. On many occasions in the past, the country announced its intent to prevent VPNs from working - in cooperation with widely used ISPs, such as Jio and Airtel.
With that said, if you're reading this article from India, know that you must be careful about which VPN you'll choose. To help you with that, we've produced a guide to the best VPNs for India, based on our hands-on experience.
Are Torrenting Sites Safe and Legal to Use?
Yes, torrenting sites are legal to access and use. However, in some cases, their content might be illegal to download. So, let's explain that more clearly.
There's nothing wrong with using your Web browser to access torrent sites, no matter in which country you reside. If your ISP (Internet Service Provider) has been ordered to block torrent websites, you'll see a message displayed explaining the situation. However, know that you won't be doing anything wrong or illegal.
However, the truth is that torrent sites are primarily used to distribute copyrighted content. So, using and sharing that content leads to copyright infringement, which is what's illegal about torrenting. As long as you don't download copyrighted files, you'll be safe.
And in terms of their safety, know that torrent repositories can spread malware. That's because they are hugely popular, with their files being shared among millions of users. So, if a malicious actor uploads infected files, those files could easily spread. That's what makes them such a desirable host for malware.
With that said, it's a good idea to use an antivirus app. And also, make sure to use common sense when picking files to download. Go for popular files only, with plenty of seeders, and make sure to inspect comments, if that option is available on your favorite P2P site(s).
What Happens If You Get Caught Downloading Torrents?
If you're "caught" downloading torrents - first, make sure not to panic. You need to plan your strategy in a calm manner, making sure not to harm your "defense."
Downloading copyrighted files can lead to receiving notices and settlement letters. It's crucial to read that document carefully, seeing whether any identifying information is present. More often than not, you'll receive a settlement letter from a "copyright troll," which is usually a legal firm that earns by targeting pirates.
If you receive a notice from your ISP, that will probably be just a warning. In that case, make sure to avoid visiting torrent websites, as your traffic might be monitored more closely.
We also have an additional tip for you. Once you receive a threatening letter/email, make sure to avoid replying immediately. That's because the moment you reply, you will confirm that you exist and maybe even admit your fault. There's no need to harm your defense, so make sure to stay calm and review your options.
If you're in the United States, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) offers helpful subpoena defense resources, alongside a list of attorneys that can offer assistance.
Can You Go to Jail for Torrenting?
No, you will not go to jail for torrenting. Even in countries that are very strict in terms of punishing copyright infringement, you will not end up in jail.
However, copyright infringement is still an offense punishable by law. Therefore, if your ISP manages to identify your illegal online activities, you might be forced to agree to financial compensation based on what you downloaded and how many files.
How to Stay Safe and Avoid Fake Torrent Sites?
Staying safe and avoiding fake torrents can be quite easy - if you take your time to check the files before downloading them. So, here's what you need to keep in mind.
- Stick to Verified Torrent Files: Many torrent websites (including the ones we recommended above) bring verified files, which have been checked before being made public. Those files should be free of malware and other risky aspects of downloading torrents. In general, verified torrents come with a special icon or note, so pay attention to those.
- Double-Check ZIP, RAR & TAR Archives: As a way to bypass antivirus apps, malware files are often hidden inside archives. Those can be ZIP, RAR, or TAR files, but many other types exist as well. Before "unzipping" any archive, make sure to check its contents by opening it in WinZIP, WinRAR, or a similar application.
- Be Careful with EXE Files: Windows users rely on EXE files to install applications. However, EXE files can come bundled with malicious files, avoiding antivirus systems. Even though antivirus apps have become quite successful in caching malicious EXE files, we still recommend exercising caution.
- Rely on Other Users' Comments: Pretty much any popular torrent website has a comments section, letting individuals share their experiences and opinions. Checking those comments is often the fastest way to see if a torrent file is safe to download.
If you'd like to check additional tips, here's our guide to spotting fake torrents. You'll find ten tips in there, helping you avoid malware and fake torrents with plenty of success.
Which Torrent Sites Should You Avoid?
In general, you should avoid obscure torrent sites. Differently said, you need to focus only on the most popular torrent repositories that have been around for a while.
When searching for torrents, you should never turn to Google or a similar Web search engine. That's because you'll see a long list of results, many of them leading to websites that pretend to host torrent files.
Instead, rely on lists of the best torrent sites, like those found above. Then, visit those sites directly. You can also rely on torrent search engines, letting you run searches that cover dozens of individual torrent sites at once.
How to Access Private Torrent Sites?
There could be three ways to access a private torrent site - by registering, asking for an invite, or donating money.
In most cases, you will need to be invited by an existing member. So, do your research online and check social media websites or discussion boards, trying to find someone willing to invite you. Also, know that private torrent sites that employ that method are usually the best option for finding "healthy" torrent files due to their strict supervision.
Some private P2P communities might allow you to register from time to time (for example, once a month). And finally, some might ask for your money, which helps them stay on top of their expenses. Be wary of P2P communities that ask for money, and make sure to check if they're credible and trustworthy by searching online.
How Does a Torrent Work?
A torrent file works by connecting you to other P2P users, which is how you'll both download and upload files, taking part in a "swarm."
When you download a torrent file to your device, you'll download only a set of instructions. So, once you activate that file using a torrent client, you will contact a tracker specified in the torrent file. That tracker (as its name implies) keeps track of the connected devices by using their IP addresses.
In other words, using IP addresses, your device will connect to other devices and users and then start sharing data. That's what is called a "swarm." As long as you're part of that swarm, you will download and upload data, allowing other devices to connect back to you.
How to Download Torrents From the Web?
To download torrent files from the Web, you must use a torrent client - a specialized app for P2P data transfer. Here's a general overview of what this procedure entails.
- You first download a torrent file from any of the websites found above.
- Then, you open the torrent file using your torrent client.
- You will now start to download the chosen file(s). Wait until the transfer is complete.
- Finally, you can proceed to open that torrent file - and that's about it.
To dive deeper into this procedure, check our guide on how to download torrents (on Windows). We also have platform-specific instructions on downloading torrents on macOS, Android, iOS, and Chromebooks.
How to Torrent Safely?
When it comes to torrenting safely, you need to pay close attention to what you download, as well as where you download those files from. Here are some tips:
- Don't Use Obscure Torrent Repositories: Many websites out there are pretending to be torrent sites, trying to trick you into downloading malware. So, make sure to stick to a group of well-known websites, like those found in this guide. As mentioned earlier, don't use "traditional" Web search engines for torrents. Instead, visit torrent sites directly.
- Triple-Check Before You Download Anything: Any reputable torrent site will give you plenty of information about each individual torrent file. You'll get to see the number of seeders, the age of the file you want to download, its list of files, as well as other users' comments. So, don't rush and do everything you can to be on the safe side.
- Be Aware of Where You Click: Torrent sites have millions of visits every single day. That makes them a target for all kinds of malicious manipulations. Even a non-malicious website can be taken over, usually through code injection. You should be careful about where you click, as you'll want to avoid ads or misleading links.
- Employ Cyber-Sec Software: If you keep reading, you'll see that we talk about VPNs in this guide. A VPN will keep your privacy intact, preventing anyone from tracking your P2P activities. However, you should also use an antivirus app, scanning files before you open them.
- Use Common Sense: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. For example, if you encounter a torrent file of a movie that's yet to be released in cinemas, the chances are that someone is trying to trick you. When downloading torrents, always be on the lookout for any "red flags."
Can Other People See What Torrents I Download?
Yes, pretty much anyone out there can see what you download. That's because when downloading torrent files, your IP address gets exposed.
Know that your IP address can reveal your precise location, download history, and more. In the past, we've seen many cases where individuals were targeted through their IP addresses - and yes, we're talking about criminal and legal cases here.
To remind you, we'll say that torrent files are nothing more than instructions for your torrent client. So, once you activate (start downloading) any torrent out there, your torrent client will contact various types of trackers. Those are nothing more than publicly facing servers - listing your IP address.
That also means that your IP address will be exposed to other individuals who download that same torrent file. And finally, that data will be visible to your ISP (Internet provider).
You might wonder right now whether it's possible to change or hide your IP address, right? Well, you have that option - so, keep on reading to find out more!
Do I Need a VPN for Accessing Torrent Sites?
By using a VPN, you can stay anonymous while downloading torrents. In case you didn't know, VPNs work by encrypting your Internet traffic, which essentially hides what you do online. And more importantly, they hide and even replace your IP address. That means that your location gets hidden, alongside your Web browsing history, P2P activities, and more.
You should also know that downloading torrents with a VPN is quite easy. VPNs are standalone applications that you can install on any computer, smartphone, tablet, and more. Once you connect to a VPN server, you can minimize your VPN app and start your P2P-related activities.
If you're like to see all of that in action, check our guide on how to download torrents with a VPN. We made sure to explain each step in-depth.
Of course, you'll also need to know which VPN to pick, as you'll want to avoid those that leak your IP address. To learn more about that, jump to the following section.
What's the Best VPN for Accessing Torrent Sites Safely?
Based on our tests (after checking 60+ VPN services), the best torrenting VPN is ExpressVPN. Here are which VPNs our team recommends:
- ExpressVPN: No matter if you're a beginner or a high-end VPN user, ExpressVPN will meet your every need. This is an ultra-capable VPN service that erases any trace of your online activities. You'll find more than 3,000 servers here (all of which are optimized for torrenting), 5 simultaneous connections, apps for any platform or device, and more.
- NordVPN: This well-known and highly reputable VPN gives you access to 5,000+ servers. Many of those come with advanced privacy-protecting features, and some of them are even specialized in P2P. NordVPN is great for privacy, streaming, torrenting, and more. You get 6 connections, as well as a wide range of applications.
- CyberGhost VPN: Even though CyberGhost isn't the fastest VPN out there, it's one of the best options for downloading torrent files. It offers 7,000+ servers, some of which are P2P-friendly. Then, you get 7 simultaneous connections, streaming-ready servers, plenty of advanced features, and more.
Can I Use a Free VPN with a Torrenting Site?
No, free VPNs are not suitable for torrenting. In fact, they're suitable only for really quick Web browsing sessions - and here's why.
Free VPNs typically come with only a couple of servers. Those won't be optimized for P2P, which means that any connections of that type will be blocked. Aside from that, free VPNs come with limited data allowances, making them unsuitable for downloading files.
Then, let's not forget that many free VPNs leak your IP address. And finally, know that they generate revenue by collecting your Web browsing data and selling that to the highest bidder.
With all that said, know that we don't recommend free VPNs. In fact, we strongly advise you to stay away from those as far as possible. However, if you insist on using one, consult our guide to the best free VPNs for torrenting (but we prepared for some drastic compromises).
That's it when it comes to our list of the best torrent sites. If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to post a comment below. We are always on the hunt for new information, and we'll gladly update the article with your tips.