The end of the Pirate Bay is nearing. Even if the deal with GGF doesn’t go through the current owners are likely to sell to one of the other interested parties. For many BitTorrent fans this means that they have to find an alternative. Luckily there are plenty of good ones out there.
Replacing The Pirate Bay is easier said than done. The tracker is currently responsible for approximately half of all public torrent transfers, which represents a significant percentage of global Internet traffic.
However, history has shown that BitTorrent users are an adaptive species that simply migrates to the next site when their home bases become uninhabitable.
While private trackers certainly have their place and will accommodate those lucky enough to get an invite, for this article we are interested in sites that are open to everyone, ranging from full Pirate Bay replacements to a do-it-yourself setup. If you’re looking for high speed downloads you could also consider to try Usenet instead (Torrent freak’s Usenet guide).
Full Pirate Bay Alternatives
The only full Pirate Bay alternatives are sites that index torrent files, are open to everyone and also have a working tracker. Unfortunately, there are only a few sites out there that offer this full package -there are four of them below. We decided to include Demonoid here because it tracks many public torrents.
Torrent indexers are sites that have a searchable directory of torrent files, but don’t host a (public) tracker of their own. Mininova has a tracker, but they only allow ‘featured’ torrents uploaded through their content distribution service. The most used torrent indexers are:
Torrent Meta-Search Engines
BitTorrent meta-search engines are yet another brand of torrent sites. They don’t have a tracker and don’t host any torrent files on their servers. Instead they search for and link to torrents hosted on third party sites.
Private Trackers (open signup)
Most of the larger private trackers require an invite to join, but there are always a few that allow new members. Below are four of these (open) private trackers and more can be found on Btracs.
Standalone BitTorrent Trackers
Torrent indexers and meta-search engines can be used to find torrents, but none of them will be of much use without a stable BitTorrent tracker. Standalone BitTorrent trackers are much needed, they handle the communication between downloader’s but don’t index any torrents themselves.
DIY Pirate Bay Alternatives
The last category of Pirate Bay alternatives are the do-it-yourself projects. By using the three ingredients below The Pirate Bay can be easily rebuilt. It might take a few hours, but then the path to world domination is clear.
Last but not Least
Google, the mother of all search engines has a filetype:torrent search command that allows you to find torrent files scattered across the Internet. Also, Google’s custom search allows everyone to create their own torrent search engine. Don’t tell the MPAA and RIAA.
If you think we missed any good alternatives, please feel free to add your own in the comment section below, while clearly noting which category they fit into.