Mere hours after Torrentz.eu announced its farewell last week, various clones and mirrors juggled into position to take over.
As one of the oldest and largest torrent sites around, Torrentz had an active following of millions of users. This is something a lot of site owners envy, and these people see the demise of Torrentz as an opportunity.
Taking over an established brand is something the torrent community has seen before in recent years.
When isoHunt was shut down by the MPAA, Isohunt.to quickly took its place, and remains one of the most popular torrent sites today. Similarly, YTS.ag and others took over when YIFY was forced to stop, with success.
This week we have seen a flurry of Torrentz clones appear online. These sites hope to pick up where the original site left off, all offering similar meta-search engine functionality while copying the Torrentz look and feel.
As with previous cases, the success of these takeovers relies on getting a healthy number of eyeballs. Promotion on social media helps, as does a viral Reddit thread and news coverage.
Some clone operators are even willing to pay hard cash to get covered, as we’ve experienced first hand. A few days ago TorrentFreak received an offer to do a “paid” news article. This is something we would never do of course, but it shows that this is a serious business.
So who are these clones? Without endorsing any site, or falsely claiming that “Torrentz is back” as other news outlets have done, here are some of the alternatives we’ve encountered.
Torrentz2.eu has been widely reported as a Torrentz alternative and the site itself bills itself as an upgrade. With a massive 63 sites in their index, with a total of 59,658,880 torrents, it certainly has a wide coverage.
For now the site doesn’t have any extra features such as bookmarks, voting or commenting options.
Torrentz.ec is another clone that popped up this week. The site has a more modest index than Torrentz2.eu but still covers 25 sites, good for a total 27,508,811 active torrents.
The voting functionality appears to work too, but users are not able to log in, at least when we checked. Interestingly, the site claims to index more torrents and sites on its help page, but perhaps the frontpage still has some catching up to do.
Torrentzeu.to is another clone but unlike the other sites it doesn’t advertise itself as such. Instead, the number of indexed sites and torrents mentioned on the frontpage are just copied from the original site.
The above are just a few examples. It’s not our goal to give a complete overview, but it’s clear that several sites are in the race to become the next ‘Torrentz.’
In a way, it is sad to see others taking over the ‘goodwill’ that a site like Torrentz took years to establish. However, judging from public responses, many people don’t care about these sentiments as long as they can get their torrents.
The question that remains, however, is how resilient and trustworthy these new sites are.
Some site owners may have good intentions, but there are also plenty of scammers, phishing for credit card details, or serving malicious content. As is often the case with torrent sites, money is a big motivator for those people.
Time will tell if and to what degree this applies to the clones that have emerged over the past days.