When you’re looking for torrent sites, it can be difficult to know where to go. Torrenting has murky legal waters, so a site can be up one day and down the next. It may change web addresses or set up a new mirror site. You almost need an advanced degree to keep up. ExtraTorrent was one of the most popular torrent sites on the web, but now it’s gone. Should you use one of the mirror sites or an alternative to ExtraTorrent?
The History of ExtraTorrent
ExtraTorrent began when an anonymous admin, going by “SaM” founded it in 2006. In a constantly shifting world of torrent sites, it managed to stay on the right side of the law for years. While other sites were getting shut down, ExtraTorrent continued to grow until it had a million page views a day in 2016 and was the second largest torrent site on the web.
At that time, everyone expected ExtraTorrent to stick around, like the Pirate Bay has done. Users were shocked, though. In April 2017, SaM suddenly shut down the site and deleted all its files due to legal pressure. No warning. The only thing anyone heard was a message: Stay away from mirror sites.
Stay Away From Copycat Sites
That was the message that SaM and the rest of the team gave to the world. Stay away from mirror sites or copycats, because they weren’t the real deal.
There have been few true resurrections for defunct torrent sites. The Pirate Bay managed to pull it off, and quickly, too. After the site was taken down by the authorities, it sprang back up within a few days.
That’s not how it works most of the time. When a big torrent site goes down, other people rush to fill the gap with their own version. That’s been the case for all the ExtraTorrent mirror sites that keep popping up. None of them are by the originals and none of them have the staff and trust that the original had.
10 Best ExtraTorrent Alternatives
While ExtraTorrent is gone, there are still plenty of alternatives for quality, safe torrenting. Just a reminder, use these sites to download only legal content. Downloading pirated content is illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble. So here’s our list of the best ExtraTorrent alternatives. If you want a deeper look at each, you can read our Top Torrent Sites article.
The Pirate Bay is the oldest and most popular torrent sites. One of the few to pull off a true resurrection, it has managed to dodge authorities since it was shut down in 2006. It’s one of the most popular torrent sites for a reason. The site has a ranking and verification system that also helps you stay away from viruses and malware. It has one of the largest libraries of files, and there’s a good balance between seeders and leechers.
Torrentz2 is the successor to the original Torrentz, now defunct. The site calls itself a meta-search engine, meaning that it doesn’t have its own system. Instead, Torrents2 searches through several other sites and presents the results on its own. they have a vast library of torrents, with over 224 million pages. They index sites that have as few as 20 torrents and as many as 17 million. Torrentz2 doesn’t have any popup ads, unlike other sites, and there’s a way to exclude “adult” options if you don’t want to see that.
Torrent Downloads is one of the top torrenting sites in the world. It has a huge catalog of movies, TV, and anything else you can think of. With a tons of people using the site, you know that you’ll have plenty of seeders from which to download your files. A rating and commenting system helps weed out fake files, but it would be better if they verified the files themselves. There is a green checkbox next to some of the files, but Torrent Downloads doesn’t explain what the box means.
LimeTorrents is partially on this list, because it’s so user friendly. Unlike many sites, which look like they were designed in the late 1990’s, this site has a well-designed interface that not only looks good but is easy to use, too. With lots of verified torrents, LimeTorrents is a great choice if you prefer a site with design in mind.
The moment you go to their home page, this torrent site screams “Movies!” Like LimeTorrents, it’s well-designed and has a simple, intuitive layout. There’s no confusing titles to peruse or jargon to understand. There are tons of users and a great selection.
Calling itself the “no fakes torrent site,” TorLock focuses on verified torrents to protect you from viruses or malware. They actually pay users to find and report fakes to the site. The site takes verification seriously, and there are a lot more verified torrents than unverified ones. It makes me feel better when using the site.
Two features set Zooqle apart. First, the user interface is well designed and easy to use. They also have an excellent advanced search feature with a lot of great options to include and exclude so you can find exactly what you want. With 4.3 million verified torrents at the time of writing, you’ll need that kind of search power to hone in on one file.
1337x is another torrent site that focuses on movies and tv. They have a rotating carousel of the latest movies right at the top of their listings to hook you on their most popular listings of the week.1337x is nice, because they give you an easy way to compare seeders and leechers so you can estimate your download speed.
Don’t Torrent Without A VPN
Just a reminder. Don’t torrent without a VPN, because you risk your security and your privacy. A VPN keeps you safe from prying eyes, whether you’re looking for an ExtraTorrent alternative or for anything else.
VPN For Torrenting
There are a couple features you need in a VPN for torrenting. They have to support P2P networks, like torrent, otherwise none of these torrent sites will work at all. They need to have high speeds. A good VPN also needs to have top-notch privacy practices with strong encryption. Some VPN’s even let you use their free version without registration so you’re really anonymous. Here are some of our favorites.
There is no free service with NordVPN, but it is an excellent paid option. Still, they’re one of the most popular VPNs on the market. You get what you pay for. The service supports P2P networks, has fast speeds, and works with all your devices, up to six with one account. It’s a great option for torrenting.
If you want to try a free option, Windscribe is one of my favorites. The app supports torrenting, and it has ad blockers and tracker blockers, too. The free service is both anonymous, and it has relatively high data limit of 2 GB a month. If you torrent a lot, that’s not going to be much. So consider upgrading to the paid version if you are constantly downloading.
Another of the most popular VPN’s in the world, ExpressVPN is a paid service. It has 160 servers around the world, and boasts some very high speeds. It supports torrenting, and works on you computer, iOS or Android device, and with Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free option, but they do have a 30-day money-back guarantee.