Posted: 04 Jan 2015 02:40 AM PST
This is also reflected in our annual top 10 where most sites have had a consistent listing for more than half a decade.
Like every year there are a few movers and shakers though, and the biggest impact was made by the Pirate Bay raid early last month.
The notorious torrent site has been crowned the most popular torrent site since 2008, but isn’t serving any torrents at the beginning of this year. As a result, the top spot is now taken by KickassTorrents.
The Pirate Bay hasn’t gone away completely though. There are currently several popular clones and copies of the site that together can easily match the traffic of most other sites that are listed.
Thanks to one of its top copies TPB managed to secure a spot in 4th place. Considering the situation we decided to mention both the original Pirate Bay domain and the most-used copy.
The rest of the top 10 consists of other familiar names. Bitsnoop.com is the only site to drop from the list, with Limetorrents.cc taking its place.
Demonoid, which returned online earlier this year, just fell out of the top 10 but appears to be making a slow but steady comeback that’s worth mentioning. There is a good chance that it will return again next year.
Below is the full list of the top 10 most-visited torrent sites at the start of the new year. Only public and English language content sites are included. The list is based on various traffic reports and we display the Alexa and U.S. Compete rank for each. In addition, we include last year’s ranking for each of the 10 sites.
KickassTorrents was founded in 2009 and surpassed The Pirate Bay in traffic this year, even before it went down. Battling various censorship efforts the site has burned through a few different domain names over the years. Most recently it switched to the Somalian Kickass.so address.
Alexa Rank: 151 / Compete Rank: 711 / Last year #2
Torrentz has been the leading BitTorrent meta-search engine for many years. Unlike the other sites featured in the list Torrentz does not host any torrent files, it merely redirects visitors to other places on the web. The site uses several domain names with .eu being the most popular.
Alexa Rank: 206 / Compete Rank: 1.716 / Last year #3
ExtraTorrent continues to gain more traffic and has become one of the most active torrent communities. The site is also the home of the popular ETTV and ETRG release groups.
Alexa Rank: 356 / Compete Rank: 3,446 / Last year #4
At the time of writing The Pirate Bay isn’t serving any torrents. However, there are several copies and clones of the site which, at least temporarily, take its place. OldPiratebay.org is currently the most popular and based on its recent traffic the site is already ranked at least 4th in this list.
Alexa Rank: NA / Compete Rank: NA / Last year #1
YTS, also known as the release group “YIFY,” has become the most recognizable movie piracy brands on the Internet. Despite a court court-ordered ISP blockade in the UK the group’s torrent site continues expand.
Alexa Rank: 740 / Compete Rank: 4,271 / Last year #5
TV-torrent distribution group EZTV is a niche site specializing in TV content only. Because of its narrow focus, EZTV’s traffic varies in line with the TV seasons. Despite posting only a few dozen torrents per week it attracts millions of visitors.
Alexa Rank: 1,262 / Compete Rank: 5,421 / Last year #6
RARBG, which started out as a Bulgarian tracker, was last year’s newcomer and continues to rake in more visitors. The site was blocked by UK ISPs last month, which put it on par with most other sites in the top 10.
Alexa Rank: 1,326 / Compete Rank: 8,890 / Last year #10
Isohunt.to was launched in 2013, less than two weeks after isoHunt.com shut down. The site is not affiliated with the old isoHunt but hopes to keep its spirit alive. The same people are also behind Oldpiratebay.org, which is is listed in 4th place.
Alexa Rank: 1,890 / Compete Rank: 7,723 / Last year #8
1337x is a community driven torrent site. The site’s owners say they launched 1337x to “fill an apparent void where it seemed there was a lack of quality conscience ad free torrent sites with public trackers.” This year the site dropped its .org domain and is now operating from 1337x.to.
Alexa Rank: 2,581 / Compete Rank: 11,389 / Last year #7
Limetorrents.cc has been around for several years already, and regained a spot in the top 10 this year. The site appeared in the news this summer after it was sued by LionsGate for posting a link to a leaked copy of The Expendables 3. The case is still ongoing.
Alexa Rank: 2,608 / Compete Rank: 3,984 / Last year #NA
Disclaimer: Yes, we know that Alexa isn’t perfect and that Compete has plenty of flaws, but combined both do a pretty good job at comparing sites that operate in a similar niche.