With millions of potential targets, BitTorrent sites are a great arena for scammers and spammers. Vertor is a new BitTorrent site that aims to eliminate these threats. Every torrent on the site is checked for viruses, DRM and password protected archives by Vertor’s software, and users are able to preview the contents of torrents before they download them.
It is no secret that badly moderated sites are often filled with spam, spyware and worse. The true power behind the best torrent sites are the moderators, since they are the ones who monitor all uploads and remove the bad apples by hand. Vertor.com, short for ‘verified torrents’, takes moderation a step further – the site actually downloads every file, to check for viruses, DRM and other inconveniences.
The site goes even further though. For every video file, Vertor takes several screenshots so users can verify that it is actually the film the title says it is. Similarly, for music torrents users can preview 20 seconds of the tracks, to avoid downloading the wrong files, wasting precious bandwidth.
Alex, the founder of Vertor explained to TorrentFreak: “If there is a video we extract screenshots, if there is a text file we save it on our server, if there is music we extract 20 second samples and if there is archive we open it and extract the list of files. Then we manually remove video files protected with DRM.” On an average day, 6000 torrents are downloaded, and between 2000 and 2500 torrents are verified and get published.
There is a downside to verifying all the torrents though. Since it takes some time to process, it can take one or two days before a fresh torrent appears on the site, which might be a problem for those who want to catch up with a TV-episode that aired yesterday. On the server side, the drawback is that these processes require some additional hardware. Alex told us that they use 6 Dual Xeons with 4 GB ram and 500GB of hard disk space.
It is therefore no surprise that it took a few weeks of verifying torrents before the Vertor project could go live. Currently there are 138439 torrents verified, and more than 5000 were removed because they contained a virus or a passworded archive. In addition, the site’s moderators blocked another 14445 torrents. Alex told us that they started to use new anti-virus software this week, which should be resulted in higher percentage of virus recognition.
Aside from the verification part, Vertor has another user friendly feature, as it allows users to download torrents in their browser with Bitlet, by clicking the “download from the web” button on the torrent detail page. For now, the site is completely ad-free, and Alex told us that he will try to keep it like that for as long as possible.
In summary, we think that Vertor has a lot of potential, especially for those people who are not familiar enough with BitTorrent to spot the bad stuff themselves.