For many old-school torrent users, Demonoid is a familiar name. The site was founded sixteen years ago, which made it one of the oldest BitTorrent sites around.
However, last year things changed when Deimos, the site’s founder, went missing. After months of uncertainty and downtime, it became clear that the site wasn’t coming back this time. Deimos is believed to have passed away in a tragic accident, marking the end of an era.
As time went on it became obvious that Demonoid would not return in its original state. However, many of the site’s staffers and users were eager to build a new home. Not so much to replace the old Demonoid, but more as a tribute, and to keep the name alive.
This vision came to fruition a few months ago when Dnoid.to, a Demonoid successor, was launched. The new site has the same look and feel as the old site, but started over with a completely new user database.
The new site doesn’t operate a tracker either. Instead, the most important goal of the site was to bring the old community back together.
“Demonoid always had a special spot in people’s hearts. Keeping a memento of it without letting others ruin it by making copycats and phishing sites from it is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to him and keeping his legacy alive,” Demonoid staffer ‘phaze1G’ told us at the time.
In the weeks that followed the site’s new userbase slowly started to grow but it also became apparent that the domain name choice was far from ideal.
The .to domain is also used by another site, Demonoid.to, which is a well-known scam site. Instead of offering torrents, Demonoid.to urges people to download a binary client. The client download URL redirects to an affiliate link for a paid Usenet service.
Because of the dnoid.to / demonoid.to confusion, many users ended up at the wrong site. According to phaze1G, more than 800 emails with complaints about this issue were received in recent weeks.
This volume wasn’t something the staff could ignore. As such, the team registered a new domain name, Demonoid.is, which is the new home from now on. For the time being, visitors to the old domain will be automatically redirected.
“The Tonic registry is not as reliable as it used to be with their redacted whois. They are handing over owner details, even following DMCA complaints, as we were told by some people from other sites,” phaze1G says.
Indeed, as we have covered previously, the Tonic registry does comply with DMCA subpoenas from US Courts, but that’s something it has always done. The change here may be that DMCA subpoenas are more often used as an enforcement tool nowadays.
With the fresh domain name, the ‘new’ Demonoid hopes to avoid any confusion and other domain troubles. Meanwhile, it will continue to keep the site going, something that went relatively well over the past weeks.
“The site itself is doing fine. It’s not oversaturated, which is our goal. Many former users returned and lots of newcomers are stopping by too,” phaze1G notes.
“We are trying to keep a moderated size of visitors, so the infrastructure doesn’t include more cost as the revenue from ads is not enough to cover the costs itself,” he adds.
While Demonoid remains a big name that for many is surrounded by nostalgia, it’s a small player in the larger ecosystem today. With roughly half a million monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb, it pales in comparison to the larger torrent sites.