H33T.to Mysteriously Disappears….But Can Be Found

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H33T.to, one of the most popular public torrent sites on the Internet, disappeared in recent days with only an ominous Cloudflare warning left behind. Prompted by lots of email requests about the site's status, TF decided to hunt the missing site down. It took a while, but for the patient the site can be found.

People being unable to access a particular torrent site is perhaps the most common complaint in the file-sharing world today, and that should come as little surprise considering the elements at play.

While citizens of the U.S. largely enjoy unfettered access to any site, file-sharers in Europe have to deal with website blocking on a grand scale. Add domain seizures, pressure on webhosts and sundry raids that effect everyone into the mix, it’s perhaps surprising just how well sites are coping.

One site with a checkered recent uptime history is H33T. At times one of the world’s Top 10 torrent sites, H33T has fought through some very public spats with copyright holders and has been blocked in the UK since 2013 after music industry group BPI obtained a High Court order against the country’s six ISPs.

Recently H33T disappeared again but with no comment from anyone running the site (if anyone is, day to day), millions of the site’s users were left wondering what the following message from Cloudflare means for the future.

“You’ve requested a page on a website (h33t.to) that is on the CloudFlare network. CloudFlare is currently not routing the requested domain (h33t.to). There are two potential causes of this,” Cloudflare explains.

cloud-h33t

From the above it’s clear that Cloudflare isn’t currently a helpful service for those trying to access the site. The big question, however, is whether H33T is functioning somewhere and Cloudflare is the issue, or whether it’s gone altogether. Time to bypass Cloudflare to find out.

A few minutes of detective work turn up two potential direct IP addresses for H33T, one registered to a Canadian datacenter and the other located in the tiny 115-island country of Seychelles. At first, both appear useless, with the Canadian IP doing nothing and the Seychelles IP directing straight back to Google.

However, by adding the latter IP to the Windows hosts file and then accessing H33T.to in the usual way……

h33t-block

….H33T magically springs to life.

Perhaps surprisingly the site seems entirely operational, with torrents uploaded as recently as today. Exactly what the problem is remains unclear, but serious issues with Cloudflare that have persisted for many days seem to be the culprit.

Why these haven’t been fixed is a question likely to go unanswered. The site’s once-popular Facebook page hasn’t been updated since October 2014 and still lists the long-defunct URL H33T.com as the site’s main domain.

In the meantime and not withstanding hosts edits, proxies such as this one are keeping the site alive. Only time will tell if Cloudflare will re-enable the site – the company does not discuss individual cases.

Update: After several days the h33t.to domain appears to work normally again.

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