Hey friend! I‘m sure by now you‘ve heard the news about YTS being shut down. As a long-time supporter of digital rights and access to information, this hit me hard.
YTS, also known as YIFY, was more than just another torrent site. Over its decade-long history, it built up a reputation for being a dependable source of free movies and shows with a community of millions.
But nothing gold can stay in the world of piracy. The mighty YTS has fallen victim to copyright crackdowns, leaving users like us in search of secure and trustworthy alternatives.
Not to worry though! I‘ve comprehensively analyzed the top replacement options to find the best YTS substitutes out there. I‘ll also provide tips to keep you safely torrenting without compromising your privacy or security.
Let‘s start with a quick recap of YTS and how it gained notoriety over the years…
The Story Behind YTS and Its Downfall
YIFY Torrents, commonly known as just YTS, first launched in 2010 and was founded by a programmer called YIFY.
The site became massively popular thanks to its movie and TV show torrents being high quality while also maintaining small file sizes. This allowed quick streaming and downloads even on slower connections.
By 2013, YTS cemented itself as one of the most visited torrent sites on the web. At its peak, some estimates placed it in the top 100 sites with millions of daily visitors.
However, its rise also put YTS firmly in the crosshairs of copyright enforcers like the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). They aggressively went after the site for facilitating access to copyrighted movies and shows.
The MPAA was successful in taking down the main YTS domains like yts.ag by 2015. But like the hydra, new heads spawned as the site re-emerged on other domains like yts.mx.
The Whack-A-Mole game continued for years…until the shocking news earlier this year.
It was revealed that the new YTS operator had been logging user IP addresses and sharing them with authorities. Legal representatives for major Hollywood studios leveraged these logs to send settlement letters threatening lawsuits if payments weren‘t made.
This understandably caused an uproar and exodus away from YTS by users who felt betrayed. It also almost certainly marked the death knell for YTS as any semblance of trust in the site has been shattered.
While no official announcement has been made, all major YTS domains are down as of writing this. Most signs point to this being the final nail in the coffin thanks to the IP leaks and loss of community trust.
But the collapse of YTS also serves as an important teaching moment…
Why You Absolutely Need a VPN When Torrenting
The YTS story exemplifies the immense risks of torrenting without protection. Let‘s quickly recap how torrenting works:
When you download a torrent file, you connect through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network directly to other users also downloading or "seeding" the torrent. This allows you to download different pieces of the file from multiple sources.
But it also means your IP address is publicly visible to others in the swarm. Copyright enforcement agencies frequently monitor popular torrents, recording the IP addresses of everyone downloading the file.
They can then use this evidence to send threatening legal letters demanding settlement payments, like what happened with YTS.
Without a VPN, torrenting is like walking through a dangerous neighborhood at night while covered in $100 bills.
You are completely exposed and it‘s only a matter of time before trouble finds you.
A VPN provides the ultimate protection by encrypting all your traffic and hiding your real IP address. Instead, only the VPN server‘s IP is visible to others while torrenting.
This allows you to download completely anonymously and avoid detection. Your privacy and security are ensured.
They offer all the standard VPN benefits, but also:
- Secure protocols like Wireguard to prevent throttling of P2P traffic.
- Unlimited bandwidth so you can download to your heart‘s content.
- RAM-only servers that won‘t keep any logs of your activity.
- Apps that allow port forwarding for optimal torrent speeds.
When picking a VPN for torrenting, these factors help provide the complete package of security, speeds, and privacy.
Okay, enough background. Let‘s dig into the top sites that can help fill the void left by YTS!
5 Best YTS Alternatives for Free Movies & Shows
There‘s certainly no shortage of torrent websites out there. But quality matters, so I‘ve narrowed it down to the very best options that specifically mirror the YTS experience.
I focused on sites that offer:
- Large libraries of movie and TV show torrents
- Smaller file sizes without sacrificing quality
- Clean interface without excessive ads or clutter
- Strong community with active moderators
- Stability and uptime track record
Here are my top 5 YTS replacement recommendations:
1. The Pirate Bay
|Active Torrents||~1.4 million|
|Daily Visitors||~15 million|
The king of torrents lives on! The Pirate Bay is the most established site around having launched way back in 2003. Despite numerous legal battles, it just keeps bouncing back.
It offers the largest collection of torrents across movies, TV, music, games, apps, and more. While it may not have curated content like YTS, you‘ll find endless options through simple keyword searches.
The site runs smoothly with a minimalist design. Just be prepared for some occasional NSFW graphics thanks to its broad content scope and lack of moderation. But overall TPB remains my top recommendation as the most resilient and featurerich YTS alternative.
|Active Torrents||~1.4 million|
|Daily Visitors||~4 million|
1337X emerged as a favorite alternative to early sites like KickassTorrents thanks to its huge media libraries across movies, TV, games, and software.
The clean interface, active community forums, and responsive dev team also make 1337X stand out as a top choice.
It faced some downtime over the years but seems to have stabilized its infrastructure. Expect to find virtually any show or film both old and new. Just be prepared for some fake torrents and be sure to read user comments before downloading.
|Daily Visitors||~5 million|
RARBG carved out a niche for itself by focusing on verified, high quality torrents submitted by trusted members. This prevents a lot of the mislabeled or malicious files found elsewhere.
It‘s also completely ad-free and provides consistently fast downloads thanks to its global server network. RARBG has few peers in some cases, but I‘ve always been able to max out my connection.
The site doesn‘t match TPB or 1337X for breadth of content. But you‘ll find all the latest movies and shows, plus RARBG‘s curated approach results in a clean interface ideal for YTS fans.
I know I said YTS was done for good. But while the original YTS operators may have gone rogue, the YTS brand lives on through mirror sites like yts.mx that have no affiliation.
These are run by independent torrent enthusiasts aiming to provide the quality, small-sized movie and TV show torrents that the original YTS was known for.
Of course, trust is still pending rebuilding so caution is advised. But initial community reports suggest far less invasive ads and trackers compared to the original YTS.
It‘s too early to tell if these mirrors can maintain the consistent quality and updates of classic YTS. But for now, they make a decent option to get your YTS fix while we wait to see if the brand fully recovers.
|Daily Visitors||~3 million|
For a relatively under-the-radar option, Zooqle packs an impressive selection of movies, TV shows, games, books and music. It‘s been around since 2013 and provides a simple but effective interface.
Zooqle is particularly great for older and more obscure media that may not have well-seeded torrents elsewhere. Just be prepared to patiently sift through some unmoderated fake torrents that plague many lesser-known sites.
Safety Starts With You: Follow Best Practices
While these sites provide awesome alternatives, it‘s important we learn from the YTS experience and take responsibility for our privacy. Here are 3 key tips:
1. Use a Secure VPN
This can‘t be repeated enough – a VPN is absolutely mandatory anytime you use torrents! Otherwise you are putting yourself at major risk.
2. Limit Port Forwarding
Many clients and VPNs allow "port forwarding" which can slightly improve speeds but also exposes your IP address. Limit use to trusted sites only.
3. Don‘t Share Back After Downloading
Once your download finishes, make sure to stop seeding and sharing the torrent. This will minimize your exposure instead of remaining part of the swarm.
Follow these best practices, use one of the replacement sites mentioned above, and you can continue torrenting safely for years to come!
Let me know if you have any other questions. I‘m always happy to help friends stay secure and access the content they want through safe torrenting practices. Chat soon!