After years of unquestioned supremacy, the torrent site, The Pirate Bay, is beginning to show signs of stress with more downtime than ever. It remains to be seen whether this is a result of ongoing technical issues with the global content distribution network Cloudflare or the effects of national bans in Austria and New Zealand that requires ISP’s to block subscribers from accessing the site.
The bottom line is that those who make regular use of The Pirate Bay for legal or illegal downloading might be forced to find another torrent source in 2018. Here are your best choices.
#1. The Pirate Bay
Okay, we just told you The Pirate Bay is a dead man walking and now we put it in the number one spot on our list? What gives? The reality is that, even operating at less than full strength, until further notice this website is still the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
The Pirate Bay (or TPB) has been the target of unending shutdown attempts and domain seizures over the years, none of which have been permanently successful. At the time of this writing, this rebel website enjoys an amazing Alexa ranking of 131 and is by far the most-used torrent site in the galaxy.
Unlike other torrents that have come and gone. TPB focuses on providing a satisfactory user experience that includes a dead-simple user interface, lots of quality torrents, and minimal advertising. What’s not to like about this oldie but goodie in the scoundrel corner of the internet?
Like TPB, RarBG has spent much of its life sidestepping authorities, perhaps less successfully. Currently banned in Saudi Arabia, the UK, Denmark, Portugal, and India, this torrent service still boasts 300,000 users on any given day.
Newbies should have no problem figuring out how to navigate the interface and start downloading. One nice benefit of RarBG is the community of users that doesn’t hesitate to leave feedback on the quality or lack thereof of particular feeds.
A tip for those in the banned countries who might find themselves blocked from accessing RarBG downloads. If you lay your hands on a quality VPN service, you should be able to bypass the bans and surf this excellent torrent to your heart’s content. For those who might not be aware, a VPN encrypts your data and hides your actual IP address from anyone (like government spooks) who might be watching.
Yes, the acronym for this torrent website appears to be stolen from some sort of Star Wars robot, which is kind of appropriate because YTS.ag specializes in movies and even boasting a growing number in high-definition and 3D. What we’re saying is that, if you’re mainly on a torrent site to cure your cinema fix, this is the one for you. Low bandwidth users can even choose a smaller file size if downloading massive files is an issue.
The reason YTS.ag comes in at #3 on this list is probably easily guessed. There are almost no other file types besides movies. Looking for video games or software? You’d be better off with TPB or Rar.BG. Also be aware that things change fast in the torrent industry. The YTS.ag domain has been through at least a few different owners. Meh. As long as we still gets our movies, we don’t care much.
You know you’ve hit the big time as a torrent website when you find yourself banned from Google. Welcome to the top shelf, 1337X because Google now prevents your name from showing up in website searches. What else can we say about this up-and-comer? Quite a bit, actually.
Users can expect a clean, easy to navigate interface, a good selection of movies, television, and video games, and one of the most professional looking presentations in an industry that sometimes seems to ooze slime.
What do we not like? In a word, ads. The primary knock against 1337X is the presence of a few too many advertisements jumping in the way any time you go to do something. Though more than a little annoying, it’s not a dealbreaker – for now. This torrent site does enough things right to nail down the fourth spot on our list.
With a name like Zooqle, it’s got to be good. Still a newcomer to the torrent scene (don’t worry, though, its website compares favorably with any professional company), this torrent provider has already amassed 1,300 tv shows and 30,000 movies.
To use the site you’ll need to create an account, which gives some people the willies when dealing with the dark web, but you’re accessing with a VPN service anyway, right? If you’re not, you should be. A lot can go wrong in the world of torrents without the added security and anonymity provided by a VPN.
The account sign-up process requires an email address. Once you create a username and password to match, you’re good to go. With a growing selection of content and hardly any annoying advertisements, expect Zooqle to continue to grow in popularity for the foreseeable future. We give this one the nod over quite a few other contenders when it comes to the best torrent sites of 2018.
A Word About Torrents
We would be remiss to conclude this article without a serious recommendation to only access these types of websites through a VPN server. You should be aware that government agencies are always looking for ways to penetrate the secrecy of torrents and figure out who’s running and using them.
Make no mistake, a lot of copyright violations are going on at any hour of the day behind any torrent’s innocuous exterior. While it seems these agencies are focused on taking down the site owners, they probably wouldn’t worry too much if they could nab your IP address at the same time. Stay safe. Find a highly-rated VPN service and put it to use before you head out to use your favorite torrent.