Hey friend! Are you looking to safely download files using torrents? Torrenting allows users like us to share all kinds of content like movies, shows, books, and more. But with so many torrent sites out there, it can be tricky to find the best options.
In this guide, I‘ll explain everything you need to know to torrent securely in 2023. I‘ve been using torrents for years and want to share the top sites I rely on. I‘ll also give tips to avoid legal risks and protect your privacy. Let‘s get started!
A Quick History of Torrenting
Before jumping to the sites, a quick torrenting history lesson so you understand the basics…
Torrenting technology dates back to 2001 and was created to solve a big problem. People were struggling to share large files online. Traditional downloading from a single server just took forever!
Then came the genius idea for peer-to-peer file sharing. This allowed users to quickly download files hosted in small pieces across multiple computers. By tapping into a "swarm" of users sharing a file, download speeds became lighting fast!
The first popular torrent client emerged in 2002 called BitTorrent. It used "torrent" files to coordinate finding and downloading the shared file pieces. Within a few years, torrenting exploded in popularity as the go-to method for sharing large movies, games, software and more.
Of course, lots of piracy concerns arose. But torrents also enable totally legal uses like distributing public domain content, open source software, authorized live concerts, and more. Let‘s focus on those legal options here!
What Makes a Good Torrent Site?
With almost 20 years of development, today‘s top torrent sites have a few key things in common:
Large user base – More "seeders" sharing files improves speeds. Look for sites with millions of users.
Proper moderation – Good sites remove fake, corrupted, and malware-infected torrents quickly.
Minimal ads – Too many ads can hide malware downloads and be annoying. The best sites keep ads unobtrusive.
Navigation – Easy to browse categories and search makes finding torrents simple.
Mobile access – Ability to use the site on your phone or tablet.
I‘ve hand-picked the sites below based on these criteria so you have the best experience.
Is Torrenting Legal?
Let‘s get this question out of the way first – torrenting itself is perfectly legal. There are plenty of ethical uses for sharing open source, public domain, authorized content.
What gets you in trouble is downloading copyright-protected stuff like mainstream movies or music. Almost every country has laws against piracy. Your internet service provider (ISP) actively monitors for copyright infringement too.
You really don‘t want to get caught illegally downloading. Fines can be anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars! Some repeat offenders even get jail time.
So to stay safe:
- Only download legal torrents or files you created yourself.
- Use a VPN to hide your activity from your ISP (I explain more below).
- Avoid sketchy torrents with few seeds or comments.
If you see something you think violates copyrights, steer clear. Stick to unambiguously legal stuff and you‘ll have smooth sailing!
Okay, now that the scary legal stuff is out of the way, let‘s jump into the list!
The 19 Best Torrent Sites in 2023
I‘ve broken down the top 19 torrent sites into public trackers, private sites, and meta search engines. Let‘s go through each one…
Top Public Torrent Sites
Public torrent sites (or "trackers") are accessible to anyone. No signup or invitation required. Just visit the site and start browsing! They make getting started easy.
Here are the best public torrent options:
1. The Pirate Bay
- Founded: 2003
- Alexa rank: 231
- Categories: Movies, TV, games, music, apps, porn
The Pirate Bay lives up to its name and heritage as one of the oldest torrent sites. It offers a massive catalog of unrestricted content, but not the most curated or high-quality selection. Lots of dead torrents remain indexed. Still, it‘s easy to search and popular enough to find most anything if you filter carefully.
- Founded: 2008
- Alexa rank: 249
- Categories: Movies, TV, games, software
RARBG focuses on verified, high-quality video torrents. It has its own recording studio churning out excellent rips of movies and shows. A clean interface makes browsing easy. Requires free signup for the best experience.
- Founded: 2007
- Alexa rank: 273
- Categories: Movies, TV, games, music, apps, books
1337X has withstood the test of time to remain a favorite public indexer. A simple site, but fast downloads and multiple quality torrents for practically any media. Easy to find working magnet links.
- Founded: 2011
- Alexa rank: 385
- Categories: Movies, TV
YTS (formerly YIFY) made its name distributing small, high quality movie and TV torrents. It remains one of the top destinations for Hollywood and anime downloads.
- Founded: 2005
- Alexa rank: 438
- Categories: TV shows
EZTV offers an easy TV show torrent experience. All episodes neatly organized in seasons, plus multiple quality options. A news section provides updates on TV torrenting.
- Founded: 2009
- Alexa rank: 962
- Categories: Movies, TV, music, games, apps, anime
LimeTorrents provides super fast downloads thanks to its massive user base. The site is well organized across various entertainment categories.
These public sites give you a great starting point to find pretty much anything you want. Next let‘s look at some top private torrent trackers.
Best Private Torrent Trackers
Private trackers offer potential benefits like better speeds, more content, and tighter security standards. But gaining access requires getting an invite from a current member.
Here are some of the top invite-only torrent sites:
1. PassThePopcorn (PTP)
- Founded: 2009
- Content: Movies, TV
- Invite required: Yes
PTP is one of the most exclusive private trackers for video content. Torrents optimized for streaming over Plex or Emby. Strict quality control.
2. Redacted (RED)
- Founded: 2016
- Content: Movies, TV, music, games, apps
- Invite required: Yes
RED is focused on music but has expanded to other media too. The site is heavily moderated with strict seeding rules to maintain quality.
- Founded: 2007
- Content: Music
- Invite required: Yes
Audionews is all about music torrents, both lossless and lossy audio. Contains a requests section so the community can target specific music uploads.
4. MyAnonaMouse (MAM)
- Founded: 2005
- Content: Ebooks, audiobooks
- Invite required: Yes
MAM satisfies book lovers with its giant catalog of ebook and audiobook torrents across many formats. This tracker is relatively open and easier to get into compared to some others.
These invite-only communities offer the tightest security and best speeds. But you‘ll need to get creative or lucky to gain access if you don‘t know someone already a member.
Okay, lastly let‘s go over some meta search engines that index multiple torrent sites at once.
Torrent Meta Search Engines
Instead of hosting torrents themselves, these specialized search engines crawl multiple torrent sites and aggregate results. This helps you cast a wider net when looking for something specific.
Here are some of the top meta search torrent options:
Torrentz2 searches 150+ torrent sites all at once. This multi-site approach almost guarantees you‘ll find what you‘re seeking even with obscure torrents. Lots of dead links are still indexed however so filtering helps.
Similar to Torrentz2, TorrentProject pulls and organizes results from dozens of torrent sites. The interface is a bit dated but provides diverse search results.
Zooqle is a newer meta search engine but with a cleaner design compared to earlier options. It generates torrent results from 25 sites while aiming to filter out dead links. An easy option.
That wraps up this mega list of the top 19 torrent sites spanning public, private, and meta search options. Try exploring a variety of them to see which you like using most.
5 Steps to Torrent Securely With a VPN
To stay safe and avoid getting in trouble, I always connect a Virtual Private Network (VPN) before downloading torrents.
A VPN encrypts all your internet activity so your ISP can‘t see what you‘re accessing or downloading. It basically hides your digital footprint.
Follow these 5 simple steps to torrent with a VPN:
1. Sign up for a reliable torrenting VPN
I use [VPN provider]. It has blazing fast speeds, allows torrenting on all servers, and protects your privacy with a strict no logging policy. They also provide a great VPN browser extension that‘s easy to turn on and off as needed.
But there are a few other good options like ExpressVPN and NordVPN to consider as well.
2. Download the VPN app
Once signed up, download the VPN app on your computer, phone, or other devices you use for torrenting. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux and more.
The app makes it super simple to connect your device to the VPN servers with just the click of a button.
3. Connect to a server in a torrent-friendly country
Launch the app and connect to a server located in a jurisdiction that allows P2P traffic. Good options include Switzerland, Moldova, Singapore, or Canada.
4. Launch your torrent client and site
Once connected to the VPN, you can safely open your torrent client (I prefer qBittorrent or Deluge) and visit any torrent site. Your traffic will all flow through the encrypted VPN tunnel.
5. Enjoy your torrents!
Browse for torrents as you normally would and start downloading. Just remember to keep the VPN active the entire time until file transfers are complete.
Following this simple VPN process allows you to enjoy the perks of torrenting without worrying about snooping or legal repercussions!
Beginner‘s Guide to Downloading Torrents
If you‘re brand new to torrenting, let me quickly explain what happens when you download files:
Step 1 – Find a torrent
Use a site above to search for and select a torrent file you want to download. These files are tiny – just a few kilobytes in size.
Step 2 – Open the torrent
Save the torrent file and open it in your torrent client app like qBittorrent. This loads the tracker data about the actual shared files.
Step 3 – Start the download
Your client will connect to other users sharing the files (called seeders). Downloads happen fast by pulling encrypted pieces from many seeder computers.
Step 4 – Seed the torrent
After the full download completes, you automatically start "seeding" to share what you just downloaded with others. This helps sustain and grow the torrent network.
And that‘s it! Torrenting makes sharing large files fast and efficient through peer-to-peer swarming. Just use a VPN and legal torrents only.
Got any other questions about how torrenting works? Feel free to reach out!
Important Security Tips
Beyond just using a VPN, here are some other quick security tips:
Avoid pirated stuff – Stick to legal torrents of public domain or authorized content only.
Scan files – Run scans with your antivirus software before opening any downloaded files.
Check comments – Glance at user comments on the torrent for red flags something may be wrong with it.
Confirm file size – Make sure the torrent file size matches legitimate sources. Fake files are often much smaller.
Use a password – Enable the password protection feature in your torrent client for an extra layer of security.
Following best practices keeps you and your computer safe while torrenting.
Popular Torrent Client Apps
Okay, we‘ve covered a ton of great sites to find torrents. But to actually download the files, you need torrent client software installed on your computer, phone, or tablet.
Here are some of the most popular and safe torrent clients to use in 2023:
qBittorrent – Open source client for Windows, Mac, Linux. Lots of options and a clean interface.
Deluge – Another good open source multi-platform client. Very customizable.
Flud – Excellent Android and iOS torrent app. Available on mobile devices.
FrostWire – Free client that bundles extras like a music player, BitTorrent chat, and file conversions.
And stay away from uTorrent! It is riddled with annoying ads and privacy issues. Many better alternatives exist.
With the right torrent client paired with a good site from this list, you‘re all set to start downloading awesome legal torrents quickly and safely!
Well there you have it – everything you need to start torrenting securely in 2023 like a pro.
Let‘s do a quick recap:
Torrenting uses peer-to-peer technology to share large files fast.
Be cautious with copyrighted stuff, only download legal torrents.
Always use a good VPN to protect your privacy.
These 19 sites offer the very best selection and speeds.
Follow basic tips like scanning files and checking comments.
qBittorrent is my top pick for torrent client app.
I hope this guide was helpful! Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy (and legal) downloading!