Last summer, the torrent ecosystem lost two of its biggest stars. First, KickassTorrents was taken down following a criminal investigation by the FBI, resulting in indictments against the site’s operators.
Not long after KAT went offline, Torrentz.eu decided to close its doors as well, albeit voluntarily. Without prior warning, all torrent listings were removed from the meta-search engine, which was the third largest torrent site at the time.
The site’s operator confirmed the shutdown to TorrentFreak. The website itself was still on air but instead of the usual torrents, its users were left with the following message: “Torrentz will always love you. Farewell.”
A year has passed since and Torrentz.eu is still online, but it remains torrent-less. An official explanation for the drastic action was never given, but it’s likely that legal pressure or the trouble at KAT weighed into the decision.
As we’ve seen with KAT, however, the Torrentz brand is still alive and kicking today. Soon after the original site ceased its regular operation, several ‘copies’ popped up, eager to take its place.
The most successful alternative, in terms of traffic, is the elegantly named Torrentz2.eu. Unlike many others, Torrentz2 has always been upfront with its users and never claimed to be an official resurrection. They just want to do what Torrentz did, or even better.
“We always wanted to operate a site as beautiful as the original torrentz site so recreating it was the only way to do it,” the site’s operator tells TorrentFreak.
Torrentz2 copied the look of Torrentz, but runs its own meta-search engine, indexing even more sites than its famous predecessor. At the time of writing the site covers 61,106,364 torrents from 241,559,021 pages on 80 domains.
“We want to add more sites to our index. There are 80 domains now. There is a really huge list of new torrent sites that we discover and will be added soon.
We are looking for hamsters to power up our servers, we believe that we are very close to finding them,” the operator says.
The site hasn’t had any legal pressure yet, the operator says. In the future, they will continue down the same path, which doesn’t deviate much from the original site.
“We are trying to keep the feeling and the features of the original torrentz site. Features that are missing are the user comments and accounts but we are working
on it and will be added very soon.”
The public seems to appreciate the Torrentz alternative as well. The site has millions of active users today, which is pretty close to the original site. So for most people, not that much has changed actually.
In fact, it would not a surprise if many of the current Torrentz2 visitors have no clue that they’re not dealing with the “real” thing.
All in all, we can say that recent history has shown how flexible the torrent ecosystem can be when it comes to sudden site closures. Whether it’s KAT, Torrentz, isoHunt, EZTV, YTS or ExtraTorrents, users are quick to find an alternative and continue torrenting there, or move onto something new entirely.
While that may be a positive note for many torrent fanatics, for the sentimentalists it might be strange that those who worked hard to build certain brands for years are seemingly replaced so easily.