20 Kickass Torrents alternatives and how to use them safely and legally

Published by on July 19, 2018 in VPN & Privacy

What happened to Kickass Torrents? Kat.cr or KAT, for short, was once the most popular torrenting site around. Kat.cr and KAT mirror sites have completely gone offline after US government domain seizures. The site’s owner, Artem Vaulin, is also sitting in jail as a result, and even two years since Kat.cr shut down, he’s still fighting extradition to the US.

As a result, Kickass is down. There are several Kickass alternatives you might want to explore that are still up and running.

kickass torrents alternatives

Kickass alternatives: most used options

The top 20 alternatives to Kickass Torrents include:

  1. Kat.sx
  2. The Pirate Bay
  3. 1337x
  4. RARBG
  5. ExtraTorrent
  6. YTS
  7. Torrentz2
  8. Limetorrents
  9. Zooqle
  10. Demonoid
  11. Torrent Downloads
  12. TorLock
  13. GloTorrents
  14. Torrent Funk
  15. YourBitTorrent
  16. BitLord
  17. Mkvcage
  18. iDope
  19. Toros
  20. Torrent.tm

Each of these sites focuses primarily on searching for and downloading torrent links and files. We’ll explore a little bit more about each of these sites below.

A note on torrenting

By its nature, torrenting is not illegal. However, much of what happens on torrenting websites is often illegal, primarily focusing on copyright infringement. Copyright holders often patrol torrent sites, posting copies of their works for seeding in hopes of catching users’ IP addresses and identifying who is downloading or sharing content illegally.

Comparitech does not recommend torrenting sites for illegal activity. You can legally access a wealth of movies, TV shows, videos, software, other content to which you own a right to access, or which are license-free through any torrent site. However, we believe it’s important to protect your privacy, identity, and security while using these sites.

For that, a VPN, or virtual private network, will completely mask your identity and make it impossible for anyone sharing a torrent network to know your true IP, your real location, or your real identity.

Deal alert: ExpressVPN has a no quibbles 30-day money back guarantee so you can try it risk-free. If you opt for their annual plan you can get 3 months extra free here.

Read our Express VPN review to get a more thorough look into why we gave this service a 9/10.

*As a side note, some of you may be considering the possibility of using BitTorrent over Tor. As a general rule of thumb, this is a bad idea because:

  • Tor is not designed to handle this data efficiently
  • Tor may leak your IP address

The Tor Project has a thorough (although somewhat dated) explanation of why this is not wise.

Best official Kickass Torrents (KAT) alternatives

Contrary to popular belief, you can torrent legally through a handful of different torrent sites. The following torrent sites and services only offer up legally available content for torrent users.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is one of the best places on the web for free, legally available content. The site archives tens of millions of different types of media, from games to movies to music. You’ll even find reams of digital books, archived websites, images, and a wide array of various digital sundries.

Users can find torrents by going to the Archive Torrents section of the website. As the site utilizes the BitTorrent network, you can access the Archive’s extremely large library using almost any torrent client. Archive.org recommends TransmissionµTorrent, and Vuze.

Public Domain Torrents

There are nearly 1,000 public domain movies available online. The Public Domain Torrents website has films spanning every category. Sci-fi, Comedy, Action, Drama; it’s all there and readily available to torrent.

Public Domain Torrents works with any BitTorrent client. You can also head to a page showing which films have the most activity based on the number of seeders and leechers. The site is more than a bit dated, however. While it still works, there are some aspects that are not particularly useful anymore, including the section that allows you to purchase versions of the films for iPods and PSPs.

Legit Torrents

Legit Torrents is what it sounds like. All torrents available on the site are legally available and free to download. Using Legit Torrents, you can find games, movies, music, books, and other forms of software.

While you can search for active content, you’ll find that no new content has been added since 2014.

Vuze

Although Vuze is primarily a BitTorrent client, the service also provides a section for legal torrent downloads and sharing.

The Vuze Studio HD Network focuses solely on videos and movies. These cover a select few categories, including Comedy, Games and Tech, Motors and Sports, Music Videos, Nature and Science, News, TV, and Movies.

Looking for more legal torrent options? Vuze provides a detailed list on their wiki site that includes a large variety of legal torrenting options. Some of those sites include:

Most used Kickass Torrents (Kat.cr) alternatives

The following Kickass.to alternatives can be used to find legal content. However, all of these sites prioritize illegal content. We do not recommend users turn to these sites for most torrenting purposes. Some legally available TV shows, movies, and software can be located through these sites, but you’ll find these sites primarily offer unlicensed content.

Kat.sx

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

It looks like Kickass Torrents isn’t entirely dead. Kat.sx is a Kickass Torrents clone that offers the same exact experience you were probably getting with the original Kickass Torrents. Just be wary of using this site as it may contain viruses, and does appear to load additional, unrelated pages when you click on pretty much anything.

The Pirate Bay

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

The Pirate Bay has managed to withstand both the test of time and continuing legal battles. That said, The Pirate Bay (TPB) is usually the main target for ISP blocking. In February 2017, all of The Pirate Bay’s site, including its mirrors, went down for an unknown reason. This can happen to The Pirate Bay at any time, so it’s a good idea to have options other than this one. The Pirate Bay has a vast selection of free software and other content, so it’s a good choice for those who want to torrent for legitimate purposes, but it still dabbles more specifically in illegal torrenting.

1337X

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

1337X rose quickly in popularity after Kickass Torrents went offline for good. Now, it’s one of the most used sites on the web. It does not have the same kind of notoriety associated with either Kickass Torrents or The Pirate Bay, despite being among the most used sites in the world (within the top 400 sites based on traffic data). Those using this site likely enjoy the fact that it typically has few, if any advertisements on its pages and a comparatively simple interface.

RARBG

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

Although it’s not the most popular torrent site out there, Rarbg still receives a lot of traffic. While not as notorious as The Pirate Bay or Kickass Torrents, it’s in the crosshairs because of its slowly increasing popularity, so that’s something to consider before using it.

At present, it’s not blocked in most countries and has rarely experienced the take-down issue that the larger, more popular sites often experience. Nevertheless, you can still download files, although you won’t be able to serve as a seeder and upload your files to the site due to registration restrictions.

ExtraTorrent

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

This site has been steadily growing in popularity. It doesn’t have the most appealing layout, but then again, that’s not something you’ll likely care too much about. There are several Extratorrent access sites.

Legal downloads can be located here for public domain films, open source software, and free-to-download images and music.

YTS

P2P File Type: Magnet links and torrent files

YTS.AG has annoyed (perhaps ironically enough) some in the torrent community for allegedly “name hijacking” from another popular, but now defunct, torrent service, YTS (YIFY). (History lesson: The old YTS site, which was once a very popular torrent tracker, got shut down and was forced to reach a settlement with the MPAA). Still, despite a bit of grumbling, many people are still using YTS, although you may find that other torrent services refuse to work with it. YTS may have one of the better-looking formats, but it is no less controversial than the other options. 

YTS is primarily focused on films, so if you’re looking to torrent software, you will need to use one of the other options. 

The main site, YTS.AG is up and running at the time of writing.

Torrentz2

P2P File Type: Torrent files

Torrentz2 opened after the Torrentz.eu site closed down. Unlike YTS.AG, Torrentz2 made sure the torrent community knew that it wasn’t the original, but a stand-in after the original site closed down. Torrentz2 searches for torrents on over 60 sites and specialized private trackers.

Torrentz2 allows users to find most types of content, which includes legally and freely available content. However, most users turn to Torrentz2 for illegal file sharing, something we do not condone. Torrentz2 can be useful for legal torrenting, but the site itself is operating illegally in most countries because the majority of the content available through it breaks copyrights.

Limetorrent

P2P File Type: Torrent files and magnet links

There’s a chance you haven’t heard of Limetorrents, and that’s quite alright. This newish torrent site will likely take off in the future as it continues to gain more presence in the wake of other torrent site takedowns.

Limetorrents leaves a bit of a weird flavor in the mouth, however, as it regularly loads a food blog while you’re connected to it. Beyond that, some legal content can be found here if you’re on the lookout.

Zooqle

P2P File Type: Torrent files, magnet links, and direct downloads

Zooqle is a unique and slightly different option. You can get both torrent files and magnet links here, but you can also do direct downloads if you want to avoid torrenting altogether. That said, there’s a ton of suspicious content here, so be wary.

Demonoid

P2P File Type: Torrent files

Demonoid is a closed community. Anyone can use the site to look for and download torrent files. However, the site is usually closed to sign-ups for new participants who might want to contribute.

Torrent Downloads

P2P File Type: Torrent files and direct downloads

As the name appears to suggest, Torrent Downloads offers a lot of…torrent downloads. There are direct downloads made prominently available here, as well as the expected torrent file downloads.

TorLock

P2P File Type: Torrent files

As far as we could tell, TorLock is up and running. The site oddly lists items with “no name” on the home page, making it more tedious to use than most of the other Kickass Torrents alternatives you’ll find.

GloTorrents

P2P File Type: Torrent files, magnet links, and direct downloads

GloTorrents is a fairly run-of-the-mill torrent site that posts torrent files, magnet links and direct downloads for anyone to use. All of the expected information, such as seeders, leechers, and upload dates, is available.

Torrent Funk

P2P File Type: Torrent files and Usenet downloads

Torrent Funk makes an attempt at providing a more pleasing user interface over other torrent sites. Information on each torrent is located down the page on the right, while the site also lists how many torrents files, in total, it has (over 10 million, 3 mllion+ of which are “verified”). In some cases, you can see who uploaded the torrent. For example, YTS (mentioned above) is listed as the uploader. Uniquely, this site offers some Usenet downloads alongside torrent files.

YourBitTorrent

P2P File Type: Torrent files, magnet links, and direct downloads

This torrent site tries to add a bit more personality to the process, at least with its logo and interface. This site includes news updates from the Torrent Freak news website at the bottom of the page. While there are direct downloads alongside the torrent files, the direct downloads appear to be very suspicious when clicked on.

BitLord

P2P File Type: Torrent files and magnet links

If it’s possible to have a “family friendly” torrent site, this would be it. BitLord provides a toggle for filtering out adult content and allows users to report adult content to help make the site more family friendly with the adult content filter active. More interestingly, this site has a torrent streaming option on a lot of content.

Mkvcage

P2P File Type: Torrent files, magnet links, direct downloads

There’s little doubt as to what this site is offering. Primarily focusing on DVD rips, this is a torrent site that is clearly focusing on unlicensed content. At least it has a more modern site design than the other torrent sites we’ve seen or listed. Given the site also provides streaming links to sites like Openload, it’s one of those torrent sites that leave little elbow room for anyone looking to download legally available content.

iDope

P2P File Type: Magnet links

If you are definitely concerned with finding Kickass Torrents alternatives, well, this site has it in the name: “iDope: A tribute to Kickass Torrents”. Whoever designed the site was going for a “Google of torrents” feel, so you won’t find the long listing of torrent files here. Instead, you need to search for what you want. You can also download files that open in Stremio, although it doesn’t appear this is a torrent streaming option.

Toros

P2P File Type: Torrent files, magnet links, and direct downloads

User beware: this site is absolutely stacked with porn ads once you get beyond the home page. If you don’t already have an adblocker, you might want to get one installed on your browser first before you proceed. Outside of that shocker (especially if you’re sifting through the site in a public place like I was), some videos on this site have streams available.

Torrent.tm

P2P File Type: None

As stated, Torrent.tm does host any torrent files or magnet links. Instead, it’s more of a torrent aggregator and search engine for other sites that do have torrents uploaded. It’s more of a Google for torrents than iDope. It also appears to be ripping off of Firefox with its logo.

The dangers of torrenting

Although not all torrenting is bad, torrenting in general usually gets a bad reputation. That’s because a significant amount of torrenting is heavily focused on pirating. Some sites, such as The Pirate Bay, like to emphasize the fact that they’re just there to act as a search service; how users decide to use the service is up to them. Different governments and law enforcement agencies haven’t exactly bought into that, which is why TPB’s main founders were all arrested and fined for copyright infringement, and why Kickass Torrents was taken offline and its owner arrested.

“But I don’t own the torrent site,” we hear you saying in your head. “I’m just using it!” Unfortunately, there are legal and privacy-related dangers for even regular torrent users that make torrenting no walk in the park even for the casual users.

Legal issues

Because of the way torrents work, if you’re using torrent sites you may be inadvertently downloading copyrighted material. In almost all countries, this is considered illegal. However, most countries don’t seek to prosecute your average torrent user. They usually go after the site owners and the heavy seeders.

More likely than not, if you’re using a torrent site you will be engaging in seeding as well as leeching. Torrents work by sharing the across networks from user to user. As you’re downloading (or leeching) parts of a file, you’re also seeding (or uploading) parts you downloaded to others. Everyone on a network downloading the same file is doing the same thing. This is why torrents are so much faster than straight FTP downloads, and why they’re so popular. They’re fast and efficient. In reality, it’s a great technological wonder.

Nevertheless, when you torrent you also become a file sharer, which is the classification that lands people into the most trouble. Police organizations don’t usually target people who file share here or there, but those who are sharing dozens of gigs a month may be a target, even if they’re accidentally sharing those files. In fact, if you never changed the settings on your BitTorrent client, you might be sharing files right now and not even realize it.

Privacy and security issues

The privacy issue related to torrents is the key reason why most people who use torrent sites opt for a VPN service. When you torrent, your IP address is there for everyone on the torrent site to see. There are some important concerns with this.

First, if your IP address is not masked behind a proxy server or a VPN anyone who has it could use it as a backdoor to hack your system, find out personal information about you, or even harass you at your home. Your IP address is like your home address, but for your computer. Someone who knows it can find out where you are.

Twitch streamers know this all too well. “Swatting,” in which someone will make a fake phone call to police, who will then send out the SWAT team, is a common occurrence in the Twitch community. Some viewers will acquire the streamer’s IP address, connect it to that user’s name and their real address, and then make those fake phone calls. One Twitch streamer was even shot and killed by police after he was “Swatted”. 

On the security front, you will have to contend with fake and virulent torrents that get uploaded on some torrent sites. The more reputable sites, like the ones we’ve listed above, have certain safeguards in place to help prevent this. Some, such as Rarbg, will only allow registered users to upload files to the site. Others, such as The Pirate Bay, have no real safeguards in place, trusting instead that most seeders are honest.

Although the minor safeguards that exist on some sites do help protect against malware inserted to look like the movie, software, or TV show you’re trying to download, they aren’t 100 percent secure. With thousands of registered users on many of these sites and a lack of such a system in place at some sites like The Pirate Bay, you will run the risk of getting viruses on your machine. Having a good antivirus program installed while using torrent sites is an absolute necessity.

While using a VPN won’t protect you from fake or virulent torrents, it will help prevent you from giving away personal information or making yourself an easy hacking or swatting target.

What makes a VPN good for torrenting?

A good VPN for torrenting should meet these criteria:

  • Look for a VPN that has a clearly-stated no-logging policy. This means the VPN does not keep logs on your activities that are connected to your personal identification. This does not include metadata, which won’t have your identity connected to it.
  • Opt for a VPN with fast speeds. Although torrenting in general is typically designed to make downloading faster even with slower connections, it’s still necessary to use the VPN services with the best bandwidth. See our roundup of the fastest VPN services for more details.
  • Use a service with unlimited bandwidth. Alongside a service that has fast speeds, make sure the service also provides unlimited bandwidth. Some services explicitly state that they do not allow torrenting. Torrenting often requires significant bandwidth due to uploading and downloading requirements.
  • Choose a VPN service that has DNS and IP leak protection. Considering your reason for using a VPN while torrenting is primarily to mask your identity, go with a VPN service that will protect you from leaking that information. Some use various methods to do this, including automatic kill switches that shut off certain programs or your internet if a leak is detected. You can check if your VPN has a DNS leak here.
  • Use a VPN service based in a friendly country. Some countries are not particularly friendly to VPN services. That means services in those countries may have to give up private user data (and also why they may not have no-logs policies). Friendly locations include the British Virgin Islands or Switzerland.

Usenet: an alternative to torrenting

Usenet is a popular torrenting alternative that doesn’t use a peer-to-peer network to distribute files. Instead, files exist on centralized servers run by Usenet providers. That means there’s no obligation to seed files for others to download. Downloading a file from Usenet is typically much faster than a torrent for this reason and will easily max out your available download bandwidth.

Usenet requires a paid subscription, but downloading copyrighted content is just as illegal through Usenet as it is when torrenting. Usenet is more private and less popular than BitTorrent, however, so the chances of facing legal repercussions are lower. We still recommend using a VPN whenever downloading from Usenet.

Usenet requires all of the following:

  1. A subscription to a provider
  2. A newsreader client
  3. An indexer/search engine

Some providers wrap all three of these things into one tidy package. If that’s not the case, free newsreaders and indexers are available online. Check out our list of the best Usenet providers along with in-depth reviews.

There’s a bit of a learning curve, but Usenet has many advantages over its more widespread P2P counterpart.

What happened to Kickass Torrents?

Whether you’re big into the torrenting scene or just getting started, you may have already heard: The popular torrenting site Kickass Torrents has officially been seized by the US government. Their primary websites, Kickass.to and Kat.cr, are now offline and displaying only a large notification of seizure. As a result, you’ll likely be looking for some alternatives to Kickass.to, Kat.cr, and other Kickass Torrents mirror sites.

alternatives to kickass.to

However, Kickass Torrents’ troubles extend beyond just the US. In Australia, for example, Kickass Torrents is among a large number of torrent websites currently blocked by Australian ISPs. Some other countries (the US, for instance) are still trying to get the site’s Polish owner, Artem Vaulin, extradited to face criminal charges. With the site facing so much heat these days, looking for a Kickass Torrents alternative makes a lot of sense.

Although we covered a large number of torrent sites, where available, one can download various forms of media free and legally. We highly recommend users turn to legal torrenting sites first for downloading and sharing purposes.

Comparitech does not condone or encourage any violation of copyright restrictions. Torrenting is a perfectly legal downloading and sharing process when used properly and utilized through legal and official sites and services. Please consider the law, victims, and risks of piracy before downloading or streaming copyrighted material without permission.

2 thoughts on “20 Kickass Torrents alternatives and how to use them safely and legally

  • Hi Sam,

    You have a nice list. However, most are the same regurgitated list given by sites offering “best of,” “15 Alternative sites,” etc. Honestly, the only one that from your list that’s worth going is KAT and 1337x because there is no malware. Demonoid has the least malware, and publicdomaintorrents.info is fully legal. Those are the best. Everything else on the list is not worth it. Anyone who visits will wind up getting aggravated.

    • Hi AnythingOldSchool

      -Totally agree with you. Most of those sites are definitely untrustworthy. We provide a long list of what’s out there, but our recommendation for users is to either use the legal options or for the most part, avoid torrent sites altogether. Some free and legal stuff can be downloaded on any of them, but thanks for pointing out which ones you think are the safest for readers who do plan to venture into the unknown there.

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