Launched in early 2009, KickassTorrents is one of the fastest growing torrent sites on the Internet. The site has already conquered the hearts of many BitTorrent fans thanks to its user-friendliness, and just recently it partnered with httpTorrents to offer the option to download files over http.
KickassTorrents is without doubt one of the most innovative torrent sites around. It is the only torrent search engine we know of that corrects spelling mistakes and also allows users to fully customize the look of the site’s homepage.
Those who take a few minutes to browse through the site will discover all kinds of other neat features. One of the latest additions to the site is the option to download files directly, through partner site httpTorrents.
The integration with httpTorrents gives users the option to download the files directly without having to use a BitTorrent client. Music tracks can also be streamed directly from the site itself. The service works in a similar way to most other files hosting services such as Rapidshare, but only works with torrents and doesn’t allow users to upload files themselves.
The owner of the site told TorrentFreak that direct http downloads may be useful to users who have restricted access to BitTorrent, such as those whose ISP or firewall blocks or slows down transfers. There are currently 4000 files available as a direct download, but this number is growing rapidly.
Direct downloads and music streaming.
KickassTorrents’ users can submit a request for files that are not yet available as direct downloads. “If someone clicks on the http download button at KickassTorrents and the file is not available yet, it places it in the request queue at httpTorrents. Only popular torrents are downloaded during the beta stage,” TorrentFreak was told by the site’s owner.
“KickassTorrents and httpTorrents are not directly connected. However we use their API to get hashes of the torrents available for the direct download,” the owner said, adding that if the beta tests are successful this API will also be available to other torrent sites.
Everyone can use httpTorrents, but in the future the download speed and number of simultaneous downloads will be limited for free users. Those who want to use it more than occasionally will have the option to sign up for a premium account without restrictions.
Since the service is actually hosting files (on an external CDN) it might run into complaints from copyright holders. The owner of the site told TorrentFreak that he’s not too worried about the legal implications, and hopes that a takedown policy will prevent the site from running into trouble.
It will be interesting to see how the service develops in the future, and we will definitely be keeping a close eye on it. Although direct downloads may be preferred in some cases, for those looking for (free) high speed downloads, BitTorrent probably remains the best solution.