The 8 best torrent sites that are still up and running

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Illustration by Jason Reed

Don't get too attached. These sites might not last long.

It's best not to get too attached to your favorite torrent site. 

2016 saw the end of many popular torrent sites. Torrent Hound voluntarily chose to shut down in September, putting an end to a nine-year run. The founder cited unpaid bills, falling traffic numbers, and "getting constantly bugged by anti-piracy agents" for the site's closure, according to TechTimes. 

The shuttering of Torrent Hound made it the third major torrent player to jump ship last year, following KickAss Torrents and Torrentz.

Torrent sites are often a crippling lawsuit or a staff revolt away from being taking offline. Torrents are constantly under fire from copyright holders, anti-piracy groups and authorities of different countries. They are forced to constantly find loopholes to stay afloat amid changing copyright and anti-piracy laws and regulations.    

That being said, if you're used to file-sharing on the internet, you're used to adapting, and there’s no shortage of new torrent sites in 2017.

Curious about the best KickAss Torrents and Torrent Hound alternatives? Here are the best torrent sites still up and running 

1) KAT.am

KickAss Torrent fans may see KAT.am as the most obvious pick. The service is a mirror copy of KickAss Torrents that launched shortly after the latter site was seized by the Department of Justice. Everything on KAT-am is identical to the former, well-trafficked torrent site, from the torrent database to user information and comment history.

2) The Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay calls itself "the galaxy's most resilient BitTorrent site." It's true that the Swedish file-sharing service has stayed afloat despite years of lawsuits and a shutdown by Swedish police. Clone versions of The Pirate Bay that have cropped up often contain security flaws and are susceptible to hackers, reports Tech Times. To avoid a security threat, make absolutely sure you're using the original version of The Pirate Bay. 

3) Extratorrent.cc

Extratorrent is one of the world's largest torrent's sites. Extra Torrent switched to a .cc domain after an intervention by the City of London. Google also stopped listing Extratorrent's homepage in its search results, but the popular site (unsurprisingly) isn't too tricky to get to. Just don't forget to manually type in "Extratorrent.cc" in your URL bar or bookmark it.  

4) Zooqle

Many on Reddit listed Zooqle as the best alternative after KickAss Torrents and other major torrent sites got shut down by law enforcement. A great perk of Zooqle is that it verifies torrents before uploading them and scrapes from other torrent sites, which usually results in the most comprehensive collection of options. 

5) RARBG

RARBG is another popular torrent site with a straightforward design that makes downloading feel a lot less illicit than it really is. The site features a "Top 10" tab where you can see the top 10 most popular movies, music, or television episodes downloaded. 

6) World Wide Torrents

If you were a fan of Nemesis43, the biggest comic uploader on KickAssTorrents, you'll probably like World Wide Torrents. Nemesis has since moved on to World Wide Torrents. Many former KickAssTorrents moderators have also moved on to World Wide Torrents. The site offers a diverse selection of media; including e-books, anime, and even textbooks. 

7) 1337X

Your favorite search engine likely had trouble finding 1337X. In November, the torrent site announced its old index had been blocked from search engines, which made it difficult for new users to find the site. 1337X has since fixed the search engine issue with a new index. The torrent has also addressed security concerns that were brought up by admins and moderators last year, according to TorrentFreak.

8) YTS.AG

YTS.AG has caused some controversy in the torrenting world. The new site sprang up in 2015 after the beloved torrent YTS shut down and claimed to be the same service. But it turns out YTS.AG has no affiliation with YTS, as TorrentFreak reports—though the new torrent has claimed plenty of former YTS users after capturing many of its old files. 

Need more help? Check out our beginner's guide to the best torrent clients.

Debug
A beginner's guide to the best torrent clients
A good torrent client can be hard to find. Even if the popular BitTorrent Transmission's malware attack last month didn't totally scare you off from this legally murky universe, you may have trouble finding a good replacement. Many BitTorrent clients are bloated with ads or drain your computer's CPU and memory. The sheer volume of BitTorrents available in 2016 also makes it tricky to separate the wheat from the chafe.
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