You’ve got your VPN subscription and you are excited to start accessing tons of free content. The best place to start is a torrent website. It can provide you with endless movies, TV shows, music, games, software, and books. If you are like me, you may be wondering which Torrent sites are best. What makes each torrent site special? And which torrent site should I head to first? There are dozens of torrenting options out there and finding the best torrent site isn’t easy without a little bit of guidance.
In this guide, we will simplify the entire experience by showing you the best torrent sites for your VPN. As a result, you will be able to quickly find the kind of content you are looking for to start downloading it right away.
What is a torrent site and how does it work?
If you are new to the world of torrenting, you may be wondering how it all works. Torrenting has been around for a long time, and it is a way that people all over the world share content with each other directly.
When most people think about torrenting, they think about downloading something they want as quickly as they can. In reality, the torrenting community is made up of both seeders (the people who share content with others) and leechers (the people who download files).
The thing to remember is that the entire process of giving and receiving is happening from user to user; computer to computer; peer-to-peer (P2P). A torrent site is actually just a middle-man, where you can find listings for files - music, games, videos, etc. - that are physically stored on a seeder’s computer.
When you download a file P2P, you don’t necessarily download it from just one seeder. To make things easier, torrent files are broken up into loads of manageable chunks. When you leech a file, you download those chunks from multiple users (known as the swarm).
This ensures that if one seeder goes offline, you can still download the content you are looking for. It also means that you can download a file more quickly - by getting multiple chunks from different users all at the same time!
How do you download Torrents?
Now that we have established that Torrent sites are simply online communities where you can find seeders and leechers, it is time to consider how we actually download the files. The Torrent site is just a directory of all the seeds that are available and to actually leech from the swarm you are going to need specialist computer software known as a torrent client. The most popular torrent client currently used is uTorrent, but BitTorrent is another long-standing client that many people also use to connect to each other P2P.
To download torrent files, all you need is to download one of those torrent clients. After that you can use the torrent sites in this guide to find seeds for the files you want. And, with that done, you will be able to start downloading from the swarm using your torrent client!
Which seed should I choose?
An important thing to remember is that you should always pick a torrent file that has a lot of seeders. When there are more seeders, your torrent download will happen much more quickly.
When you download P2P from many users, you acquire all the chunks of the torrent file faster. For this reason, it is always a good idea to look for a file that has the highest possible number of seeders.
This is why the best torrent sites allow you to see exactly which potential downloads have a lot of active seeders. In fact, most torrent sites will show you exactly how many seeders and leechers are involved with each file in the search results.
How to find the content you want on a Torrent site
Torrent sites all have a search function and finding the files you want is as simple as searching for whatever you want. So if you want to download the movie Jurassic Park, simply type it into the search box and click enter.
When the results appear, look for a torrent file with a lot of seeders - and you are ready to download the file using your torrent client. However, please remember to take your time and be sure you have determined that it is not a fake torrent file.
Torrent sites are filled with dodgy downloads that can cause infection with malware - so you must be careful to only download legitimate files. Luckily, this isn’t as hard as you might think...
How to spot malicious downloads on a torrent site
There are plenty of ways to identify dodgy files and potential malicious activity. You can:
- Check the comments - Most torrent sites have an active community of seeders and leechers who actively review each available download. Relying on the opinions of fellow users is the easiest way to find out whether an available download is legitimate.
- Check the ratio of seeders/leechers - Legitimate torrents will usually be highly popular. If you can see lots of people seeding and downloading the file, then this is almost certainly the real file you are looking for.
- Look at the file size - Checking the size of the file is a good way to ensure you are downloading something that seems legitimate. The average size of a HD movie, for example, is about 1.5 GB. If a torrent file seems too large, or much too small, then it is a good idea to avoid it because it may contain a nasty surprise.
- Use the right filters - We recommend against downloading the ‘most recent’ uploads, as it is harder to verify the authenticity of these files. Plus, cybercriminals often use the latest TV show and movie releases to trick people into downloading infected files. If you can order it by highest seeded torrents, this is the best option.
- Check the file type - If a file is an executable (.exe, .bin, .com, .jar etc.), then this should ring alarm bells (unless you are purposefully downloading software). And, generally speaking, we recommend against downloading files with the WMV or VMA file extension - because these are often fake.
How to search for torrents and download them
Looking for torrents online isn’t particularly hard. The easiest way is to simply search for a torrent in Google by typing the name of the file you want next to the word “torrent”.
Alternatively, you can search for the torrent on the torrent site itself. Most torrent sites are better for some things than others, which means that by picking the best torrent site you are much more likely to find the file you want.
Once you have found the file you want, and you have checked to make sure it is a legitimate file, all you need to do is click “Get Torrent”. This will redirect you to your torrent client (uTorrent, BitTorent, qBitTorrent, etc.) where you can click “download”. Now all you need to do is wait for the download to complete.
How to download Torrents safely (use a VPN)
In addition to the care that you must take when choosing torrent files, it is also vital to consider your online privacy. In most places around the world, it is illegal to download content that has been pirated. That means that engaging in torrenting could get you in trouble with the law, could result in litigation from copyright holders, and may lead to large fines.
Whether you choose to engage in torrenting is completely your decision. And it is worth noting that it is possible to download plenty of legal content too. However, if you are opting to download copyrighted content in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, and many other places, then it is vital to only ever torrent with a VPN connection.
A VPN for torrenting encrypts your internet traffic so that your ISP is unable to track what you do online. This allows you to access torrent sites, and connect to seeds, without anybody finding out.
How to conceal your IP address from the swarm
A VPN also conceals your real IP address from the torrent sites that you visit - as well as from the seeders and leechers you connect to. This provides security against malevolent torrenters who may attempt to hack you. It also protects you by ensuring that nobody knows where (and who) you really are. This prevents you from being tracked down by copyright holders.
A VPN is a super useful tool that will allow you to:
- Conceal your identity and location from the services you use.
- Prevent government surveillance and ISP tracking.
- Prevent ISP throttling- which will let you download torrents faster.
- Unblock torrent sites that are unavailable where you live.
- Access geo-restricted services from around the world such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
- Avoid copyright notices and any legal ramifications caused by downloading torrents without a VPN.
Please remember that there are hundreds of consumer-facing VPNs on the market, and not every VPN is suitable for torrenting safely. To find a VPN that is good for torrenting please visit our in-depth Torrenting VPNs article.
The Best Torrent Sites in 2020
Now that you know what torrenting is and how to do it safely, it is time to take a look at the best torrent sites. Below we have provided a list of our favorite torrent sites, with details about the kinds of content each site is popular for.
The Pirate Bay - Best all rounder
The Pirate Bay is a website synonymous with torrenting. Often referred to as the king of torrent sites, it is a site that provides an outstanding mix of content to download. The Pirate Bay has millions of available torrents, covering everything from movies, to TV shows, music, software, and games. And it is a very easy site to search.
If you want to torrent something, the Pirate Bay is always a great place to start. And, because it has an active community it is easy to find torrents with a lot of seeders. It is also easy to check for comments about each torrent to ensure you are getting the file you actually want. Plus, the Pirate Bay supports magnet links with a straightforward interface that is extremely easy to navigate through.
In addition, the Pirate Bay has an easy-to-understand user rating system (VIP users and trusted user badges) so you can quickly ascertain whether fellow users are trustworthy.
The Pirate Bay has been around since 2003, and since then it has managed to evade multiple government shutdown attempts. In 2020, it is still going strong and we are sure it will still be around for many years to come! Admittedly, it is blocked in some countries, but with a VPN you can easily bypass ISP blocks to regain access to the Pirate Bay!
YTS – Best torrent site for movies
YTS is a highly popular torrent site that is completely centered around movie downloads. As a result, you cannot find TV shows, music, games, or software.
With that said, it is definitely the best place to find high-quality movie downloads, and it is extremely easy to navigate. What’s more, its minimalist design means that it is a fast-loading website that does not use up a ton of bandwidth. Even downloading files seems to use up less bandwidth than other sites.
We particularly love YTS because of its massive user base. This helps with downloading files quickly because there are always plenty of seeders. And YTS.mx is actually leveraged by PopcornTime.sh and PTCE as a source for their movie content.
1337x – Mixed content
1337x is another popular torrent repository that has torrents for an eclectic mix of content. Like the Pirate Bay, it allows you to find torrents for movies, music, TV shows, software, books, games, and anything else you can think of. According to traffic monitoring services, this is the world’s third most used torrent site - which is why we popped it in third on our list!
As with our other recommended torrent sites, 1337x is easy to navigate, easy for checking the authenticity of files, and has a massive user base that allows for quick download times. Plus, this website has new files being uploaded every hour, which makes it great for finding current and new content.
We enjoy using the simple user interface, which has a clearly organized path for each of its content directories. This makes it a cinch to search for and find the content you desire.
Torrentz2 - Mixed content
Torrentz2 is the official replacement for Torrentz.eu - which voluntarily shut down its servers back in 2016, after being put under pressure by copyright holders and the government. Torrentz2 is another all-rounder that provides access to a wide variety of downloads including TV shows, movies, music, games, and software.
Torrentz2 actually provides its search results by quickly scanning several other search engines in order to provide torrent files from here, there, and everywhere. At the time of writing, this was allowing it to provide access to in excess of 60 million torrents. And it makes it into our top 5 because it is easy to navigate, easy to use, and one of the most reliable torrent trackers available online.
RARGB - Mixed content
Initially, a Bulgarian torrent tracker, RARBG is now based in Amsterdam. It is a torrent site that has been around since 2005. RARGB indexes all kinds of torrents, is up-to-date, and has a lively community of users who comment on torrents. This makes it easy to identify fake files and malicious downloads.
We particularly enjoy using this site to find high quality movie downloads, but you can use it to find TV shows, music, software, and anything else that might take your fancy. As is the case with most of our recommendations, RARGB is easy to browse and has a great search function.
Due to its popularity, RARGB is one of the torrent sites that is often blocked by ISPs by request of the government. For this reason, you may need a VPN to access it (and you should always use a VPN when downloading, as is the case when using all the torrent sites in this article). It is also worth noting that several scam versions of RARGB have been circulating online, so check the URL to ensure you are on the official rargb.to website.
Nyaa.si – Best for torrent site for Anime
If you love anime and you are looking for torrents of classic and latest-release anime movies and series: Nyaa.si is going to be your dream come true. Nyaa is a Japanese torrent tracker that literally has millions of downloads of popular anime movies and TV shows. The original Nyaa shut down in 2016, but since then it has been replaced by Nyaa.si (much to the relief of anime fans around the globe). Nyaa.si primarily has anime content made in China, Japan, and Korea.
Besides providing easy access to more anime than just about any other torrent site, Nyaa.si seems to provide access to a lot of software. So if you need a computer program or application, this is a great torrent site to check!
Popcorn Time - Easiest to use for watching movies and TV shows
Popcorn Time is unusual because of how it turns torrent downloads into streaming media. Popcorn Time is an app that has an integrated media player, and it allows you to stream media content using the BitTorrent protocol instantly.
To the uninitiated user, Popcorn Time inevitably feels like streaming. This can lead to confusion because users may not always appreciate that they are actually seeding content P2P. This is why it is absolutely essential to use a VPN when using Popcorn Time.
Popcorn Time is massively popular and effective, primarily because the BitTorrent protocol is super-efficient at transferring data over the internet. As a result, it can deliver high quality (720p or 1080p) video streaming without buffering, even on fairly slow internet connections.
Popcorn Time is definitely worth checking out if you want to torrent movies and TV shows in a super-easy way that doesn’t feel like torrenting at all. However, please be sure to stick to the official Popcorn Time site, to make sure you get the official app.
EZTV – Best torrent site for TV Shows
EZTV is an excellent torrent site that is primarily centered around providing downloads for classic and newly-released TV shows. In fact, you will find just about every TV show ever made on this popular torrent tracker.
Perhaps the only drawback is that this torrent site is nowhere near as famous as some of the ones mentioned above. This means it does not always have a huge number of seeders. However, if you are having trouble finding a particular TV show on The Pirate Bay or 1337x, this is a site that is well worth checking out.
LimeTorrents – Mixed content
LimeTorents is another popular torrent tracker that will provide you with downloads for just about anything that interests you. It is highly praised for offering fast downloads and an ultra-massive database. It also has an easy-to-use health meter for torrents that allows you to figure out if the torrent is legit quickly.
We find it easy to search on this site, and the content is broken down into categories, making it nice to browse. And it is easy to get information about each torrent, such as the date the torrent was added, its size, the seeder, etc.
Rutracker - Best for music and music production software
This Russian tracker is highly praised by huge numbers of torrenters who specifically want to download music, music DVDs, and music production software. It is widely considered the best music tracker in the world.
Admittedly, it is a Russian torrent site, which may put some people off. However, you can use Google Translate and it has a huge amount of music, particularly underground music and dance music. So, if this is what you need, this tracker is well worth checking out.
TorLock - Mixed content
TorLock is a relatively new torrent site that has quickly gained popularity. It has a large selection of torrent categories, is cleanly laid out, and is ad-free. It features Top 100 downloads and Fresh categories - which makes it good for browsing and finding torrents on the fly. Other than that, it does everything you would expect a modern torrent site to do. And it is pretty fast.
The only drawback is that because TorLock is relatively new, it has yet to develop an active community that leaves feedback on torrents - making it harder to figure out the legitimacy of torrents. However, if you are confident that you can spot good torrents, this is definitely a site worth checking out.
NewKATCR - Mixed content
Newkatcr.co is the replacement for KATCR.co, which itself was a replacement for the much-loved but now-defunct KickassTorrents. It is an easy to navigate torrent tracker that is easily broken down into categories so that you can browse for music, movies, games, and “Latest.”
One thing to watch out for is that there are many illegitimate mirrors of Kickass Torrent, so you will need to be careful to stick to the official KATCR.co website. Always check the URL and be sure you aren't accessing a dodgy version of Kickass.
We find NewKATCR to have a simple interface that is very easy to use, and we have no problem finding useful torrent links from those search results.
Zooqle – Best up and coming for Movies and TV Shows
Zooqle makes it onto our list thanks to its highly comprehensive list of torrents. Last time we checked, found it to be tracking approximately 4 million torrents - primarily of movies and TV shows. However, it does also have a reasonable selection of software, games, and music.
We find Zooqle easy to search, and it is possible to use comments to figure out whether a torrent is popular and legitimate. And because the community of users is large, you get a lot of feedback to check through, as well as fast download speeds. This makes it a superb torrenting website that we predict is only going to get even more popular as time goes on. One to watch.
Is Torrenting illegal?
The act of connecting to another person’s computer Peer-to-Peer to share files with them is not illegal. The same goes for the BitTorrent protocol itself, which, again, is not illegal. This means it is possible to torrent without actually breaking the law.
However, any time that people seed or leech copyrighted music, movies, TV shows, books, games, software etc. - they are engaging in copyright piracy. This copyright piracy is illegal rather than the act of torrenting itself.
When you use the internet, all of your data must pass through your Internet Service Provider’s servers. This means that unless you use a VPN, your ISP will know exactly what websites you are visiting. It will also be able to monitor all your downloads, including the files that you torrent.
If you are discovered torrenting copyrighted content, you could be singled out by your ISP. You could even face legal repercussions and fines. This is why everybody who torrents is advised to protect themselves with a VPN.
What happens if I get caught torrenting?
If you decide to torrent without a VPN, you could get in trouble with the police. ISPs will always comply with government data requests and DMCA notice, and if you are discovered engaging in piracy, your ISP will send you a letter to let you know that you are suspected of breaking the law.
This may result in litigation from the copyright holder or prosecution by the police. This is why it is essential to encrypt your traffic before you torrent.
How do I unblock torrent sites?
If you are living in a country where torrenting sites have been blocked by the government, you will need a VPN for torrenting.
A VPN allows you to bypass local censorship by pretending to be in a different country. For more information on using a VPN to unblock torrent sites, please check out the 10 best VPNs for torrenting.