Continuing a long-standing New Year’s tradition, today we present an up-to-date list of the world’s most-visited BitTorrent sites. At the start of 2013 The Pirate Bay continues to pull in the most visitors, followed by KickassTorrents and Torrentz. Household names BTJunkie and Demonoid have dropped off the list as both sites are no longer online.
Which torrent sites get the most visitors at the start of 2013?
Traditionally BitTorrent users are very loyal, which is reflected in the top 10 where most sites have had a consistent listing for more than half a decade. This year there are a few movers and shakers, as well as several newcomers.
The most notable absentees this year are BTJunkie and Demonoid. Both sites have been featured in the top 10 since 2006, but went offline in 2012. BTJunkie permanently quit early last year and Demonoid’s future is also uncertain after it disappeared during the summer.
The first newcomer in tenth place is H33t, which has been growing steadily in recent years. The second newcomer is TorrentReactor, one of the oldest torrent sites around that makes its comeback after not making the list last year.
Then there is also a group of notable sites that didn’t make the cut, but deserve a mention. YIFY-torrents.com for example, which launched late 2011 and has grown exponentially since. Also worth mentioning are the Pirate Bay proxies, including Pirateproxy.net, which in itself almost deserves a spot in the top 10.
Below is the full list of the 10 most-visited torrent sites at the start of the new year. Only public and English language sites are included. The list is based on various traffic reports and we display the Alexa and U.S. Compete rank for each. In addition, we include last year’s ranking for each of the 10 sites.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to join the discussion below.
To many people The Pirate Bay is the equivalent to BitTorrent. The site was founded in 2003 and is still expanding, despite the various legal troubles and new blockades in the UK and the Netherlands. The Pirate Bay currently has well over a billion page views a month.
Alexa Rank: 74 / Compete Rank: 398 / Last year #1
KickassTorrents was founded in 2009 and has moved up in our top 10 year after year. Responding to increasing worries over domain seizures, the site moved from its kickasstorrents.com domain to kat.ph in 2012. This year the site continued to grow, despite being blocked by Italian Internet providers.
Alexa Rank: 116 / Compete Rank: 719 / Last year #3
Torrentz has been the leading BitTorrent meta-search engine for many years. Unlike the other sites featured in the list Torrentz does not host any torrent files, it merely redirects visitors to other places on the web. The site uses several domain names with the .eu being the most popular.
Alexa Rank: 166 / Compete Rank: 882 / Last year #2
Two years ago isoHunt became the first search engine forced to implement a keyword filter provided by the MPAA. Despite this setback, isoHunt continues to be listed among the world’s top torrent sites. isoHunt is currently trying to get rid of the filter through the Appeals Court.
Alexa Rank: 213 / Compete Rank: 1,935 / Last year #4
ExtraTorrent continues to gain more traffic and has moved up again in the top 10, now being the 5th most visited torrent site. This success didn’t go unnoticed to rightsholders groups such as the RIAA and MPAA who have called out ExtraTorrent as one of the top pirate sites recently.
Alexa Rank: 279 / Compete Rank: 1,973 / Last year #6
1337x focuses more on the community aspect than some competitors. The site’s owners say they started 1337x to “fill an apparent void where it seemed there was a lack of quality conscience ad free torrent sites with public trackers.” The site moved up from spot 10 last year to 6th in 2013.
Alexa Rank: 1,031 / Compete Rank: 9,228 / Last year #10
Unlike the other sites in the top 10, TV-torrent distribution group EZTV is a niche site specializing in TV content only. It was one of the newcomers last year despite being around for more than 7 years, and is relatively popular among Australians. Because of its focus on TV-content EZTV’s traffic varies in line with the TV-seasons.
Alexa Rank: 1,128 / Compete Rank: 16,622 / Last year #8
BitSnoop is one of the largest BitTorrent indexes, claiming to index a massive 19,091,736 torrent files at the time of writing. The site’s traffic continues to grow steadily, as do the DMCA notices that it receives.
Alexa Rank: 1,159 / Compete Rank: 5,648 / Last year #9
TorrentReactor is back in the top 10 after dropping off last year. A few months ago the site was blocked by a court order in Italy, but the site nonetheless continues to gain visitors.
Alexa Rank: 1,314 / Compete Rank: 4,530 / Last year #NA
H33T has been around for many years and has built a dedicated user base, mostly in Europe and Asia. Despite the wishes of the music industry, the site isn’t yet blocked by any court orders. The site made the news a few months ago when its owner took a stand against the avalanche of copyright takedown requests.
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Interesting news coming out of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) shows that maybe BitTorrent pirates have a point when it comes to not waiting for TV shows. In an attempt to dissuade Aussie punters from torrenting the show, ABC has announced it will offer this weekend’s new Doctor Who episode on its iView service as soon as it finishes airing in the UK.
TV shows are often the most popular torrents out there, and the resurrected sci-fi series Doctor Who has an ardent following. Since it rematerialized onto our screens in 2005 it has rapidly gained a substantial and ‘hard-core’ following world-wide.
But thanks to Twitter and Facebook, as well as the more old-fashioned forums and email lists, a storyline can be ruined by ‘spoilers’ emanating from those in regions who gain access to the show first – a recurring theme of the BBC show over the last years.
“Piracy is wrong, as you are denying someone their rights and income for their intellectual property,” said ABC1 controller Brendan Dahill.
“The fact that it is happening is indicative that as broadcasters we are not meeting demand for a segment of the population. So as broadcasters we need to find convenient ways of making programs available via legal means to discourage the need for piracy,” he added.
The Dr Who show will be available on the iView ‘catch up’ service moments after the episode finishes airing in the UK, although those who prefer to watch on their TV will still have to wait until September 8th. While fans would prefer it aired sometime on the Sunday, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
This is not the first time a sonic screwdriver has been pointed at a broadcast schedule. Transatlantic Whovians got a taste of same-day showings last spring, and will do so again this year. For others however, FACT’s actions against the expat-focused site UKNova over the weekend could not have come at a worse time.
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I thought I would share a website for those that want to k now if a site is down temporarily or down for good.
This is especially helpful for torrent sites.
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Is piracy really destroying the entertainment industry? Techdirt blogger Mike Masnick doesn’t think so, and he has some numbers to prove it. Masnick and his Floor64 colleague Michael Ho released a report titled “The Sky Is Rising” at the Midem music industry convention in Cannes Monday that shows how the global entertainment industry actually grew by 50 percent in the last decate, despite Napster, BitTorrent & Co.
The report was commissioned by the Computer & Communications Industry Association, which counts companies like Google and Facebook as its members. It’s definitely worth a read (check out the full PDF) and will likely provoke lots of discussion, especially in light of the entertainment industry’s ongoing push for tougher copyright laws.
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Most people know that BitTorrent is far from anonymous, but seeing all your recent downloads listed on a public website is still quite a revelation. This is exactly what Youhavedownloaded.com does. The developers of the site want to make people aware of the public nature of BitTorrent, and are currently working on a more anonymous version of the leading file-sharing technology.
So what have you downloaded lately?
If you’re not using BitTorrent through a proxy or VPN, there’s a good chance that the rest of the world can see without asking.
YouHaveDownloaded is a new Russian-based service that claims to track about 20 percent of all public BitTorrent downloads. However, they go a step further than just collecting IP-addresses and file-names by exposing all the harvested information to the public on their website.
People who visit the site immediately see their download history, as far as it’s available in the site’s database. In addition, they can also search for files or IP-addresses to find out who’s downloading what. At the time of writing the database has information on 51,274,000 users who together shared 103,200 torrents.
TorrentFreak got in touch with Suren Ter, one of the site’s founders, to find out why they decided to create this spying tool.
“We just want to remind people that the Internet is not a place to expect privacy,” he says. “Nowadays many people use it without understanding what information they leave behind. Also, even those who understand choose to ignore it quite often.”
“Baby, this is the Internet. There is no such thing as privacy around here. You are sitting in the privacy of your own house, clicking links, reading stuff, watching movies. It may seem like you are pretty much alone, but smart nerds are watching you. They watch your every move. You are not human to them. You are a target — a consumer,” it reads.
Jokes aside, the site does indeed make people aware of the public nature of BitTorrent, something that can’t be stressed enough. Of course not everyone will be happy to see that their information is being exposed, so the developers also offer an option to de-list an IP-address.
Apart from exposing download habits the developers are also considering the creation of a more private file-sharing protocol. They already have a theoretical concept based on Bitcoin’s technology, but a workable piece of software is still very far away.
“The general idea is similar to what Bitcoin does. The key is to have an anonymous and reliable identity for each peer, and a Bitcoin-like signature chain algorithm will help,” Suren said.
The developers are currently trying to find out how viable their idea is, and then they’ll decide whether they should continue working on it or not. For now, they’ll keep on tracking dozens of millions of downloaders, for all the world to see.
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