In the summer of 2016, shockwaves rippled through the BitTorrent scene when KickassTorrents (KAT), the world’s most popular torrent site at the time, was forcefully shut down.
The action coordinated by the US government saw alleged KAT founder Artem Vaulin taken into custody. Meanwhile, millions of former users scrambled to find alternatives elsewhere on the Internet.
Unsurprisingly, many dispersed to existing torrent giants such as The Pirate Bay and RARBG but it didn’t take long for new blood to enter the ecosystem. Soon after KAT’s demise, a new indexer called ‘iDope’ made its debut, largely as a tribute to the dismantled torrent behemoth.
“This project was developed the next day after we knew KAT was taken down, it’s very very new, and we are a very small team, so you won’t find anything about it on the Internet, especially when we never promoted it decently,” one of the site’s operators said back in 2016.
“We only intended to make simple products that everyone can enjoy, we don’t make bucks out of it, and thus we promise no annoying pop-up ads.”
In the months and years that followed, iDope gained a significant following and in January 2018, the relatively new site broke into TorrentFreak’s annual round-up of the world’s most-visited torrent sites. With similar traffic to the equally popular Zooqle, iDope bagged itself a joint tenth position in the list.
During the past week, however, problems have hit the site. Without any warning, iDope – which has operated very smoothly from the iDope.se domain since its launch – went offline.
The site’s Twitter and Facebook accounts have been dormant for some time and the recent downtime didn’t result in any updates. Unfortunately, that vacuum has left people to speculate on what has caused the outage, from technical issues to problems with the authorities.
TorrentFreak contacted the last known email address associated with the iDope team expecting that to be dead too. Overnight, however, we received a response, one that leaves hope for a smooth return for the popular torrent index.
“There are some problems with our domain idope.se, We are communicating with the domain provider. We believe it can be restored within a few days,” TF was told.
While iDope was down, other domains that appeared to be clones or perhaps mirrors of iDope remained up, albeit with indexes a few days out of date. In the first instance it was unclear whether those domains were operated by the site itself but we’ve now received information which suggests that at least two are official.
“Everyone can visit our website using idope.cc or idope.co,” iDope’s operator says.
At first view, the current downtime faced by iDope seems a little ironic, given that the site’s operators previously claimed that the site would never go down.
“[T]he server provider we chose will protect our servers even from hurricanes, earthquakes, nuclear bomb. Honestly [I don’t know] how they are capable of that, sounds pretty badass,” its operator previously said.
However, as the above shows, iDope’s server is actually standing strong and it’s only its .se domain that’s having a wobble.