10 Best Torrent Sites (And How To Stay Safe)

At its core, torrenting is just a way to distribute information among peers. Instead of one person uploading while another downloads, everyone who downloads it can simultaneously distribute pieces. That distribution, along with the shady legality of the technology's use, can lead to all kinds of viruses, malware, and other issues. That's why we highly recommend using a VPN even when visiting the best torrent sites. We also recommend not downloading copyrighted content you don't have a legitimate claim to, or engaging in any illegal file sharing activities. We disclaim any and all responsibility for those actions. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Top 10 Torrent Sites

  1. The Pirate Bay: Popular for a reason
  2. RARBG: Come for the content, stay for the community
  3. 1337x: For hard-to-find items
  4. Torrentz2: The sequel to Torrentz
  5. Lime Torrents: Elegant and lacking advertisements
  6. YTS.AG: For film lovers
  7. KAT: The place for variety and resurrection
  8. Torrents Download: One of the largest databases on the web
  9. Zooqle: High levels of activity
  10. SkyTorrents: A privacy-centric experience

Tips for Safe Torrenting

So you're already running a VPN, and browsing with Tor. The next thing you want to do is to download some files. Here are some tips on the best way to go about doing so.

Do Don't
Have an antivirus running Turn it off at the suggestion of an uploader
Check the comments Just assume a high number of seeds and rankings is a good thing
Confirm the contents of the torrent Download anything that has an .exe file where it shouldn't
Prioritize torrents with verified content Click the first thing you see, assuming it will be good

Great BitTorrent Clients

  • qBitTorrent: A small, elegant client that is entirely open source.
  • Deluge: A heavily customizable experience that stays lightweight.
  • Transmission: Contains robust support for Linux distributions.
  • uTorrent: The original client to prioritize staying small. And they did stop mining bitcoin with your computer, too.

How Does BitTorrent Work?

Peer-to-Peer vs. Client-Server Systems

There are two basic ways to distribute content across the internet. Applications like Gnutella and BitTorrent fall under the peer-to-peer umbrella, where individual users share data amongst each other. The client-server relationship instead relies on a centralized server and a request from users. Both have their positive and negative aspects.

Feature Peer-to-Peer Client-Server
Easier on bandwidth
Doesn't require popular adoption
Harder to bottleneck
More scalable
Prioritizes connectivity

Conclusion

Torrent sites are inherently unstable. The nature of the beast is that they are constantly under legal scrutiny. But some have been able to stand the test of time. If you're looking for some suggestions on how to download materials alongside your peers, any of the sites in our list will be more than useful. Plus, you'll learn some tips on keeping yourself and your computer safe along the way.

In Depth

Though music and video streaming services are widely available today, there are good reasons you may want to use torrent sites. For one, they do not cost you anything. And in addition to music and video, you can find ebooks, audio books, games, and many types of applications and software. Not only that, you can often find titles that are not available on streaming services. Finally, most do not require that you register or sign up to access the content. We are going to take a look at the 10 best torrent sites.

But before you visit them, there are some things you should know to stay safe. Avoid fake torrents. Especially with the most popular content, you will occasionally run into fake torrents. Downloading these can get you into trouble. Try to stick to verified options, which usually have something like a checkmark next to them. Another clue that a torrent is fake is having a large number of seeds and peers but no comments.

This tells you that the account holder wants to make it look like thousands of users are sharing the torrent. Because it is rare to find a legitimate torrent without any comments, their absence should make you suspicious. Make yourself anonymous. There are several methods to make your browsing activity anonymous on the internet. The most common and budget friendly are Tor and a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. Tor is a browser that masks your identity. It is also completely free.

Because it is rare to find a legitimate torrent without any comments, their absence should make you suspicious.

The only downside to using Tor is that it can be slow. A VPN, similar to Tor, can mask your identity. It works primarily by spoofing your location. The upside to using a VPN is that your internet speed will stay about the same. The downside is cost. One free alternative to subscription VPNs is the Opera browser. Opera comes with a completely free VPN service, but it may not be as effective as more costly alternatives.

Now that you know how to stay safe when visiting torrent sites on the internet, we can move on to the ranking. Before you visit these sites, you should make sure that you have a torrent downloader application, such as uTorrent, Deluge, or Transmission.

Coming in at #1 is The Pirate Bay. TPB is a stalwart of the torrent downloading world. It has been around for years and usually has all of the latest content. However, you are bound to find fake torrents there. As long as you stick to options with a green or pink skull and crossbones icon next to them, you should be fine.

As long as you stick to options with a green or pink skull and crossbones icon next to them, you should be fine.

Coming in at #2 is RARBG. Though not nearly as old as TPB, since 2008 it has become one of the best and most popular sites. It is known for its selection of high quality torrents and active user community, which provides plenty of useful commentary and feedback.

Coming in at #3 is 1337x. Another younger site, it is about the same age as RARBG. Though the stock may be smaller than The Pirate Bay's, it has a lot to offer. If you can't find the torrent you're looking for on other sites on this list, you might just find it here. 1337x has a solid range across TV, movies, and games. The main downside is that it can be heavy on ads.

Coming in at #4 is Torrentz2. Unlike others on this list, this site is an indexer or search aggregator. This means that it performs searches across multiple sites. Torrentz2 is a successor to the popular Torrentz site, which was shut down in 2016. It indexes some of the best torrent sites, and it conveniently weeds out unverified uploads.

Torrentz2 is a successor to the popular Torrentz site, which was shut down in 2016.

Coming in at #5 is LimeTorrents. Though it is not as popular as some torrent sites, LimeTorrents has a large database and an elegant design. Users enjoy the fact that it is fairly light on ads and has few fake torrents.

Coming in at #6 is YTS.AG. A little different from the others on this list, YTS.AG specializes in movies. You will notice a broad, frequently updated selection of movie titles. One of the best features is the high resolution options with small file sizes. This means you will be able to get high quality content quickly.

Coming in at #7 is KAT. Also known as Kickass Torrents, this site once beat TPB as the most popular torrent site on the internet until authorities seized its servers. Since then, KAT has made a comeback and continues to offer a wide variety of quality torrents.

Also known as Kickass Torrents, this site once beat TPB as the most popular torrent site on the internet until authorities seized its servers.

Coming in at #8 is TorrentDownloads. Though not itself an indexer, it currently has one of the largest torrent databases. With a simple design and a speedy site, it is well worth a visit.

Coming in at #9 is Zooqle. Another indexer like Torrentz2, it has a large database. Especially noteworthy is its design, which organizes video files by resolution and orders TV show episodes chronologically. Users are enamored of the fact that it has some hard to find content, and that its torrents are almost always active.

Coming in at #10 is Skytorrents. Another quality indexer, it boasts an ad free interface. According to the site, its focus is privacy: there is no tracking or use of cookies. Though it has a large database and a friendly user experience, the main problem is that the site is frequently down.

Though it has a large database and a friendly user experience, the main problem is that the site is frequently down.

Though many torrent sites have unpredictable lifespans, they can be very useful, especially if you are looking for content or applications that are out of your budget. But there are risks involved. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you will stay safe and enjoy the many benefits of torrenting.