Torrenting or P2P is where users share files over a distributed network. Over the years its gotten a bit of a bad name due to crackdowns on copyrighted content being shared but file sharing using torrents remains very popular.
ExtraTorrent was for many years an extremely popular source for torrent files. However, the real site was shut down in 2017. The void left a gap which was quickly filled by several imitation sites – some of which are wannabes while others were simply drawing data from other popular torrent sites.
Although many of the existing variants look identical, they don’t perform the same and some are highly unstable. I don’t really recommend using them at this point of time. There are many alternatives, some of which are much better;
Important Note: If you can’t access any of the sites via the links below, do take note that some of them are blocked in certain countries. You will need to use either a proxy to work around this or make use of a VPN (See our VPN Guide here).
Best Alternatives to ExtraTorrent
ExtraTorrent may have been a poplar source of torrent files but let’s face it, the real deal is dead and gone. Today there are many more around which are much better and working. Here are some good options or alternatives you might want to try;
1. The Pirate Bay
Call me old school but this if one of my first loves when it comes to torrent providers. I’ve used The Pirate Bay for a long time, through its ups and downs. I will admit that this site is a fraction of what it used to be, but it is still an excellent alternative to ExtraTorrent.
As with all torrent files, you take your chances about the security of what you download. Generally, I’ve found that torrents here are clearly labelled (for example, run away from the CAM files!). You can find almost anything here that if left in your torrent client long enough, will eventually download.
The one disadvantage of using The Pirate Bay is that the site can be temperamental at times. There will be occasions when you access the main page, only to get ‘database under maintenance’ messages when browsing or trying to search.
One annoying thing is that older files often have broken links for thumbnail images. Even worse is that the site won’t display thumbnail images but needs you to open them in another window. Still, it works most of the time and is worth a try.
2. KickAss Torrents
This is another popular torrent source that has a long list of mirror domain names, but the one I’ve provided should work. Because of my love for The Pirate Bay, I’ve often resorted to KickAss Torrents (which we affectionately call KAT) as a second fiddle.
Yet despite that, KAT is a fine site and offers a huge number of torrents for anything under the sun. You can navigate the site easily via tags, browsing categories or even simply using the search bar. Generally, I find that it’s good enough to be a primary resource for anyone looking for files online.
KAT is fast and response. To be honest, it is a lot more stable in performance nowadays in comparison with The Pirate Bay and I haven’t encountered errors when using the site yet.
1337x sounds a little strange, even to me, but I’m really old school and the kiddie leet speak never really applied to my generation. Realizing that I’m getting a little off topic, 1337x is yet another popular torrent source for many users.
It’s fast and simple to navigate, focused on one sole purpose – indexing torrent files for you to find and download. There is simply a huge collection of files that are available here with more updated by the day. The most impressive thing that strikes me about 1337x is that there are quite a few seeders even for more obscure files.
This makes it an ideal place to go if you’re looking for something out-of-the way. The interface, while clean, doesn’t seem very user-friendly though if you compare it with the other two sites above. Not something that I’d love to use, but would willingly use if I had to.
4. YST YIFY
For torrent buffs it is also very likely that you’ve heard of YTS, home of YIFY movies. This site is a lot more focused that the others I’ve covered so far. It only indexes movies torrents released by their own group – which is still a heck of a lot.
Because it is so movie-oriented you’ll have more options when it comes to torrents here. For example, movies get ratings (pulled from various sites like IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes) as well as options for downloads in various formats.
Some will have great versions like 3D BlueRay or 1080p but the more obscure / less popular ones are stuck in 720p. To be honest, I’ve found that there are too many crappy quality movies here for my liking. I’ve simply gotten too used to Netflix ever since I found a way to watch Netflix US content!
Lime Torrents sports a very clean interface and is also supremely easy to use. Best of all the site is fast and doesn’t suffer often the outages that these kinds of websites do. There is a big selection here as well, but I’d recommend you stick with 1337x for the more obscure titles.
Seeders are plentiful for popular titles but there are many older files that hardly have anyone sharing them. I find this a little unusual though since they have a special category for ‘classics’. For those seeking adult entertainment, you’ll have a hard time here as they don’t officially have a category for that. You’ll simply have to dig for the smut.
One problem I’ve found with LimeTorrent is that they don’t seem to make use of tags which can make it harder for you to search for stuff. Clicking on an entry for example, shows a lot of information like seeders, leechers and size – but no way to easily navigate further from there.
RARBG (I have no idea where that name came from) is also a provider of torrent files and you can find a heck of a lot of good stuff here. However, as with all the other sites there are good and bad areas, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if you can live with them.
On a positive note, there are an extensive number of torrents and searching for them, or simply browsing categories, is easy. Categories are common – Games, TV Shows, Music, etc – but some are also unusual. For example, who goes to a torrent site to download a movie trailer?
Another good thing I like about RARBG is that there are image thumbnail popups so you can quickly check the quality of the movies you’re about to download. Just for verification purposes.
Unfortunately, not everything is peaches and cream here and the site can get annoying quickly with having to face a ton of pop up ads. I understand that they need the revenue to operate, but do they need THAT much?
Is Torrenting / P2P File Sharing Legal?
Yes, torrenting (or P2P file sharing) is technically legal. However, the problem arises when copyrighted content such as some software and movies are shared. This act of sharing copyrighted content has cast a dark cloud on the torrenting community and resulted in countries such as the USA and Singapore cracking down of file sharing.
Today, there are some countries that have roped in the help of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to monitor user traffic. If your ISP finds that you’re downloading movies or the like, they might send you a warning letter, or inform other authorities for further action.
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Conclusion: Protect Yourself With a VPN
Activities such as the above by ISPs are just another step down the road of the erosion of our Internet freedom. Governments are spying on their own citizens, companies are mining our data for advertising, and cybercriminals are trying to steal our data.
Rather than surf the internet in fear or putting up with content restrictions from over-zealous governments, take back your internet freedom with a VPN service. There are a ton of solid VPN service providers in the market today and most of them cost only a few dollars a month to use.
VPNs not only help mask your Internet activities, but they also encrypt all the data that is sent to and from your devices. Many use advanced encryption technologies – the same that militaries use – to safeguard your information.
Personally, I’ve signed up for quite several them for testing purposes, but I have long since stopped using the Internet without one active. The VPNs of today are much more advanced than ever and they are able to offer high speed connections to anywhere in the world.