The last few years have seen a tremendous growth in the number of BitTorrent users and the content that is available via BitTorrent. Nowadays it is no big deal if you can find a TV Show on BitTorrent before it has premiered on TV. The number of sites indexing and searching BitTorrent files have kept pace with this growth.
So much so that there is an overwhelming number of torrent search engines that only search torrent files. Here are some of the top torrent search engines and sites which every BitTorrent User must know about:
The Pirate Bay
Think about torrents and the first name that comes to your mind is “The Pirate Bay”. The Pirate Bay is the grand daddy of all torrent search engines and trackers. The guys are facing [NO LONGER WORKS] legal threats, they are been condemned, but they have a mission, a message, and boy [NO LONGER WORKS] do they kick some ass! We all like TPB, don’t we?
The Pirate Bay tracks the largest number of torrents (I won’t even bother mentioning a number here, because it is going to be miles off in a month). Not only they have a huge collection of torrents, TPB is also concerned about your privacy and constantly makes tracking users difficult.
They also have a sort of user Karma. There are VIP users, trusted users so that you can find out which of the users are trusted and you can download the files with ease and peace of mind.
Like “The Pirate Bay”, Mininova tracks torrents and has a large collection of them. It is believed that if you can’t find the torrent you are looking for on either The Pirate Bay or Mininova then there is a good chance that the torrent doesn’t exist.
A peculiar fact about Mininova is that the site doesn’t index adult torrents. Moreover the site is clean and I don’t think I have seen “aggressive (as in family content)” advertisements to this day on Mininova. So if you are at work and want to search some torrents to remotely trigger downloads at your home computer, better check it out.
Although not exactly a top torrent search engine, Vertor is a nice site to have in your repertoire if you are an avid torrent user. Vertor servers constantly downloads torrents and checks them for viruses, passwords, DRM etc. The site then provides you snippets that can help you identify if the torrent actually has the content you were looking for. You will get screenshots for video files, sound previews for audio files and so on.
Demonoid is definately up there among the best. However to download torrent files indexed by Demonoid, you are required to have an account. The account, although free to create, is not owned by everyone out there. The registrations are open only for some time and you require an invitation to get into Demonoid. If you manage to get an account you will see why this is one of the best.
Meta Search Engines
A meta search engine specializes (or is supposed to specialize) in searching a number of torrent sites. You give it a query and it will search the most popular torrent sites and return you the results. Recently, there has been a flood of such meta search engines for torrents. So which one is the best? Well it comes down to personal preference, but here are some of the better ones:
While researching for this story, I asked all the MakeUseOf geeks which one is their favorite and Torrentz came out on top with a healthy margin. What I like about the site is the simple and clean interface. You instantly get an idea what is where and it works like a charm.
and Nowtorrents are also worth checking out. The killer features: you can sort by size, seeders, leechers and health. You can also set preferences such as which sites to search and which ones to exclude etc.
Some Specialized Torrent Search Engines
- Legal Torrents – With all the hype about BitTorrent and copyright laws, you never know what is legit and what’s not. If you want to stay out of trouble check out Legit Torrents and Legal Torrents which only list legal torrents.
- Public Domain Torrents – Lists torrents for downloading classic long forgotten movies in the Public Domain.
- Linux Distributions – Linux Tracker and are good for finding torrents of Linux Distributions.
The list is by no means exhaustive, there are so many BitTorrent sites out there on the web, that it is only logical that I may have missed one of your favorites. So why not share with us what BitTorrent sites do you like the most and why?