Looking for a safe, reliable way to download quality files? Searching for what you want on Google may not always yield these kinds of results. Often, direct downloads can be risky (with all the malware floating around), and they cost a lot of bandwidth for webhosts to provide. Direct downloads are also subject to much more tracking so you’ll want to use one of the top torrent websites from behind the safety of a Virtual Private Network.
What exactly is a torrent? Technically speaking, a torrent file directs the user’s computer to connect with other users also seeking (or providing) the same file(s). Rather than relying on a central server to host the file, it is uploaded from every user in pieces as it is downloaded by those same users. It’s sort of like the digital version of a farm cooperative.
That being said, you still have to find the torrent files before you can start downloading the goods. So here are the top 5 torrent sites of 2015.
- The Pirate Bay
Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a landlubber, The Pirate Bay will welcome you with open arms. Known as “the galaxy’s most resilient BitTorrent site,” The Pirate Bay is one of the most well-known torrent sites. It was founded in 2003, is currently available in 35 different languages, and is the world’s largest BitTorrent indexer.
The site itself is free to use for personal usage and has a good reputation with its users. Overall, it is generally a pretty safe website, though with any web browsing, you should still take precautions to ensure the safety of your system.
Founded in 2008, KickassTorrents is available in 30 languages and has over 1 million visitors per day. As of 2014, it became the most visited torrent directory in the world. According to its website, over 10 million files are currently being shared as a whole.
What makes KickassTorrents somewhat unique is that their site has an active forum, which allows users to interact with one another. They also offer their own torrenting software that they claim offers higher download speeds and a safer environment for downloading and browsing.
If you’re looking for simplicity, Torrentz is the website for you. Torrentz is a free torrent meta-search engine and, like The Pirate Bay, it was founded in 2003. Impressively, it currently indexes 31,259,541 active torrents and is the second most popular torrent website this year, a title it held in 2012 as well.
Unlike the previously mentioned websites, Torrentz only offers their site in English, though you can easily use a service like Google Translate to translate the page.
ExtraTorrent is another popular torrent site of 2015 and has a great online community. Not only do they offer a forum, but they also have a chat and regularly post topic-related articles on their site that allow user commenting. This allows the site to double as a news source while performing the usual torrent search tasks.
The layout is pretty straightforward and even allows you to see how healthy a torrent is (i.e., how likely you are to actually be able to download it). This is a boon for you, and will likely save you hours of time over your torrenting career.
- Yify Torrents
Yify Torrents is an unusual example of a torrenting site. Even outside of its own web space, its files are well known for their high quality and small file sizes. Their main focus is on movies, including HD and 3D versions. While it might not seem too important, the differences in file sizes are often extremely significant when it comes to Yify versions.
It may mean downloading a movie that is normally 5 GB with a Yify file size of just 700 MB. This is excellent for everyone involved: lower space requirements, faster downloads, and less upload strain on other connected users. The faster the file finishes downloading, the sooner you become an uploader. Best of all, the quality (in my experience) is not compromised.
There are a lot of options for finding the best torrents out there, but some may be more suitable for your needs. However, there are also a few rules of etiquette when downloading torrents. There are two types of people on a torrent: seeders and leechers.
Seeders are those who have already finished the download and are now exclusively uploading the file they’ve finished downloading. Leechers are those who have not yet finished the download, but are still uploading pieces of the file they already have. Because a file cannot be 100 percent completed without seeders (they have the whole file), it’s important to continue uploading after finishing a download.
Remember, all the bandwidth in a torrent comes from users. If you close the torrent after downloading the file, it reduces the available bandwidth for everyone. Torrents can only work so long as people are still uploading. So, torrent responsibly. Make sure to seed when you’re done! If you have any additional tips or thoughts on torrenting, please make sure to comment below so you can share your knowledge!