Best Free Torrent Search Engines

Introduction

Used properly, bittorrent is one of the safest ways to transfer content.  The torrent file contains metadata (hash) about the files to be shared and the bittorrent client checks content received against this metadata.  If there is any difference, the content received will be discarded.  This means that malware cannot be added to a torrent after it is active and that any data that is damaged in transmission will be discarded and re-downloaded.

This article is part of a series of articles on bittorrent here at Gizmo's Freeware.  If you are not familiar with bittorrent, then before using this article you should read this:

This article is about finding the content you want.  There is a great deal of content available in bittorrent.  Over 25 PetaBytes of content is available in over 20 million active torrents.  These sites will help you narrow the results from all those torrents to find the clean, real and healthy (bittorrent-wise) torrent for the content you are looking for.

Public vs Private Torrent Search Sites

This article lists public torrent search sites, which do not require registration.  There are many private torrent search sites and it would be impossible to fairly rank them here as one would have to be a member to fully evaluate.

Many people prefer private torrent sites for the privacy (only members active on torrent), clean torrents and speed (ratio enforcement ensures a well seeded torrent).   The downside is that there are rules and regulations and sometimes overzealous administrators. 

If you are interested in a private site take a look at Getting In To Private Torrent Sites.

Scam Links, Toolbars and Ads

Unfortunately, even the best public torrent search sites have ads, scam links and toolbar downloads.

I strongly suggest that you use a web browser that has ad blocking capability as that will make all the ads, toolbar download and scam links disappear.

I use Firefox with the AdBlockPlus  and AddBlockPlus PopUp add ons and most all scams, fake downloads and ads were invisible.   Another popular option is Chrome with the AdBlock For Chrome extension.  My check of Chrome with the  AdBlock addon  was that it removed ads and scam links as effectively as Firefox with its ad blocking addon.  Other browsers may have a similar feature and may be more to your liking.  There is an excellent review of the Best Free Web Browser here at Gizmo's Freeware.

SCAM LINKS Many bittorrent search sites, and some of these, have advertisers that offer "High Speed download" "Trusted Download" "Direct Download"  "Sponsored Links" or similar terms.   These should all be avoided.

TOOLBAR DOWNLOADS  Some sites deceptively put a "Download" button near the "Download Torrent" button.  Many times I have seen a new bittorrent user end up with a toolbar instead of the torrent. 

ADS Some torrent search sites have a large number of ads through the pages.  Many of these are ads for questionable site and all ads should be avoided.

Again, if you use a web browser that has ad blocking capability, all the ads, toolbar download and scam links disappear.  See Best Free Web Browser here at Gizmo's Freeware.

Torrent Search Site Features

Your goal in a public torrent search is to find a clean, real and healthy torrent for the content you want.   Google will return the most results for your search, but has no tools to narrow the search towards your goal.   It is important for a torrent search site to have a large index of torrents, but the value of these torrent search sites are the tools they have to achieve this goal.  This goal is achieved through three features:

  • Comments and Ratings - The first step is finding the torrent that has the clean and real content you want.  Some of these sites have torrents that have been "verified" to be clean and real.  Others have a rating system that achieves the same result.  Comments also help in this.  The rating system and comments need to have high user interaction at the site.  The "verified" rating uses a variety of confirming techniques.  Comments may also be helpful in determining the quality of the download.
  • Search Filters - Features such as Categories and versions can help to filter the results closer to the one torrent you are seeking.
  • Sorting - The ability to sort the results of a search is used primarily to find the healthiest torrent.   On occasion sorting may be needed to filter the results to exactly what you want.  Using age, name or size sort may help in this regard.

I have added information on those sites that offer magnet links as this will appeal to some users.  Sites with a magnet-link-icon offer the alternative of a magnet link. (Thanks to Max for this suggestion).

Torrent Search Site Listings:  General and Unique

This listing is divided into two parts.  The General listing is of the sites that index all varieties of content.  They have large listings and will be the sites that most of you will use most of the time.  The sites listed in the General listing are also among the most popular torrent search sites.  The Unique sites are less popular and have smaller indexes, but have unique features that make them worth using in certain searches.

I am not going to consider or discuss the scams and ads much.  If you have read the above, you will be using an ad blocker at these sites and will not see these.

General Torrent Search Sites

These sites are among the most popular torrent search sites and offer large indexes of torrents and helpful features to verify, filter and sort among search results.  Any one of these sites will serve your goal of finding a clean, real and healthy torrent for the content you want.
Since these are public torrent sites and, for the most part, allow anyone to upload, fakes can make their way into the listings.   It is important to use comments and ratings to avoid these fakes. 

Gizmo-top-pickKAT magnet-link-icon  (https)  KATProxy  KAT Pirate Proxy  Come In is the top pick here at Gizmo's due to its large index of torrents and verified torrents as well as the comment, filter and sort features that they offer.   They index over 9 million torrents, including over 1 million verified torrents.  Tabs on the torrent page allow viewing of the files, trackers and comments.  KAT offers many features to help in your search, they are responsive to user feature requests and are always improving. 

Comments and Ratings: Large listing of verified torrents.  Advanced search may be used to list only verified torrents.  Comments are very well used and are helpful in verifying as well as quality.  Number of comments and verified "crown" shown in search results.
Results may be filtered by categories and for videos further filtering is available by version.  Sort by size, date (age), files (number of), seeds and leeches.

Torrentz (68.71.55.20) is another comprehensive search engine that lists over 14.5 million torrents and has almost 3 million  torrents that have been verified to be clean.  Torrentz also has the nice feature of listing all trackers for a torrent, not just the ones embedded in the torrent file, though this is not that important in torrents now.  One drawback is that they do not host the torrent files and one must go to other sites for the download.  Be careful with the sites you choose to go to.  Try to go to first to sites that are listed here.  Their large verfied listing is an attraction.

Comments and Ratings:  are well used.  Users can verify a torrent to be clean and real or tag it as fake, virus, password or low quality.  Large listing of verified torrents and results may be filtered to show verified only.
Torrents may be sorted by relevance, date created, size or number of  peers (seeds and peers/leeches combined).  No category filters.

BitSnoop magnet-link-icon (46.19.137.82)This is a metasearch site that indexes over 17.8 million torrents from 369 trackers.  Although they do not list a number that I could find, they appear to have a large listing of verified torrents. This site is extremely fast at returning search results.   They also have a TV Finder which lists all shows alphabetically with links to all torrents for each show.  Their filter and sort features are not as good as the above, but they do have their followers.

Comments and Ratings: They have a good number of verified torrents.  They have a "no fakes" filter for search results.  Comments are not widely used.
Filtering by category is decent and they have the no fakes filter.  Sort by age, seeders, name, size and rating+health.  Their TV finder is useful.

Torlock  advertises that all the torrents there are verified to be clean and real.  Their listing now has over 500,000 verified torrents. A negative is the lack of comments or ratings for the quality of the content.  However, for newer users, this is a good site to start your searches to ensure a clean download.  Caution:  Only click on the word "torrent" on the download page.  The other links are scams.  Also do not choose a "sponsored" result. Thanks to freestuffrocks for this site.

Comments and Ratings:  General ratings are not necessary as all torrents are verified to be clean and real.  Comments are not generally used.  No ratings as to quality.
Filtering by category is available on a search.  Sorting by name, size, date uploaded, seeds and peers are available after a search.

ThePirateBay magnet-link-icon  (194.71.107.27) ProxyBay.Info  Come In is probably the most well known torrent search site.  They list about 3.7 million torrents.  TPB has an excellent filtering system and clean torrents can be found quickly in the search results by looking for a skull image next to the torrent.  The one drawback now is that they are switching to magnet links only and given the issues that some of the bittorrent clients have with magnet links, this is a negative.

Comments and Ratings:  PirateBay has a comments and ratings system.  They are fairly well used.  I find the comments often deteriorate into "please seed" requests, but for many torrents they are useful.  Their best feature is the use of colored skulls to show the uploader's status.  Basically any skull for an uploader is a good sign.
Excellent filtering by categories, using Other allows very detailed filters.  Sort  by type (category), name, date uploaded, size, seeds and leeches (peers) and by uploader.

h33t  magnet-link-icon   after some down time, this popular site is back.  It indexes over 5 million torrents and monitors the torrents that are uploaded through their site.  As long as you stick to the torrents that are h33t uploads, you are pretty safe.  The site looked to be ad free when I disabled ABP, but on one occasion I did get a couple popups and there is a scam download link.  All in all, it is pretty clean, but I would suggest keeping ABP enabled.  There is a lot of content uploaded through the site, so you do not need to go to the other torrents listed.  The link here is to a search for h33t only content.  There is a good amount of information and screenshots provided by the site on each upload.  Thanks to Philphil for this suggestion.  Even though the site is just back up, there looks to be a lot of activity.

Comments and Ratings:  The h33t uploaded torrents are checked out by staff there.  Other torrents are not moderated and need to be checked for comments..  Comments are not generally used.  No ratings as to quality.
Filtering by category is available on a search.  Sorting by name, size, date uploaded, seeds and peers are available after a search.

Torrents.to is a search site that culls results from a large number of torrent search sites.  Nice feature is that you can choose the sites to include in the search (this is saved in the site cookie for future use).  The results show the pages at the sites and the sites can be togggled up top.  Not my personal preference for viewing results as I prefer to see all the results at once, but this type does appeal to some users.  As usual, caution needs to be taken at the sites from which results are shown.  Thanks to Nero  for this site.

Comments and Ratings:  Not applicable as results are strictly from the sites chosen, where there may be comments/rating, filtering and sorting available, but there is none here.

ExtraTorrent   magnet-link-icon (195.144.21.228)has 1.5 million torrent in its listing.  It is not the largest listing, but they seem to have many of releases and no duplicates.  A good number of the torrents I checked were from a trusted or verified uploader.  Unfortunately, this is not shown  in the search results.  This site has gained popularity with a number of users on the web and is a good source.  Avoid the "Direct download" link.  As noted by ChaosReigns there is a good amount of information put up with each video, including screenshots, which is helpful in determining video quality.

Comments and Ratings:  Comments are very well used here.  Many of the torrents are uploaded by verified or trusted uploader, but this is not shown in the search results, you hhave to look on the torrent page.
Filtering by category is available, but is pretty basic.  Sorting by size, seeds,leeches and number of comments is available only to VIP members.

Unique Torrent Search Sites

These sites cater to special niche interests and stand out for their attention to that niche and their clean offerings.

EZTV  (85.19.104.80) is the site for all things television.  It is the biggest and past and easiest to use for TV offerings.  In addition to torrents they have a countdown list as to when shows are to return to original broadcasts, a show list indicating the status of a TV show (ended; pending; airing etc.), TV news and a calendar of shows being broadcast.

Coda.fm (107.20.145.230)is a music albums bittorrent site.  There is a good deal of information on the artists and albums.  All listings are verified to be clean and real.  If you are looking for a public, music only, bittorrent site, then this is the place to look.  It is an ad free site.  The amount of listings is still quite small, being in the thousands.

Take.fm is the sister site to Coda.fm, specializing in movies.  It is similar to Coda in layout and all of its listings are also verified to be clean and real.  At this time there appears to be just shy of 2000 listings.  Hopefully the site listings will grow as time goes by as a clean movie search site is needed in bittorrent.

Torrent Butler  magnet-link-icon   this site was only carrying movie torrents, but recently added TV Shows.  There are a lot of verified torrents/magnets listed for each listing.  The verified torrents/magnets are indicated by a green checkmark next to the download link.   Each movie comes with a video trailer and information on the movie.  Movies are sortable by genre.  The TV shows are sortable by genre and all episodes available are included under each show's listing.  Again there is a a trailer for each show and information.  Be sure to have AdBlockPlus installed as there are a couple scam links that are not visible with ABP.  Nice site give the layout and large amount of verified torrents.

YTS (f/k/a YIFY Torrents) This is the site of a release group that has an excellent reputation for quality rips with small file size.  All torrents are those of the release group.  All the releases here should be clean and real.

NyaaTorrents is the site to check out for Anime.  The torrent links in blue are A+ in quality, meaning they are the best copy available.  The torrent links in green are from trusted uploaders. Thanks to Capcapper for this site.

All of these sites have received a green rating from WOT (Web Of Trust) and only sites with a green rating from WOT will be listed here.

If you have any questions, comments or sites, please feel free to post here or in Gizmo's Freeware Forums.

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Comments

by breznakm on 7. November 2014 - 6:07  (119509)

I tried going to the coda.fm and take.fm websites and I keep getting a gateway error message. Is there something wrong with the sites?

by garth on 7. November 2014 - 11:50  (119510)

Same for me on both sites, 502 gateway error.

by SamRanger on 19. April 2014 - 1:46  (115783)

You have a very good list of torrent search engines but my favorite site is not listed there and even the famous isohunt new domain after they were shutdown, is not also listed.

I just give a plus one to this torrent search engine that I found on the net http://veoble.com/torrent/. It uses google search to index and get all torrent files so I assume that it's clean. It is just like an all in search from different torrent sites like piratebay, isohunt, extratorrent, kickass and others. That's why I love it!!! It doesn't have popup ads that annoys the users and sometimes popup ads contains malware.

by drago on 16. April 2014 - 13:12  (115737)

Another one rather popular torrent search engine with clean WOT reputation is http://torrentus.eu/ that works similar to Torrentz.

by NeonHeartt on 4. April 2014 - 17:02  (115498)

Hi Steve
all the vuze search templates you have posted on this websitehttps://sites.google.com/site/vuzetemplates/home/templates-download

are not working properly in UK because many of the websites changed their webaddreses so meta search on vi=uze does not pick up any torrents.
please can you amend the vuze search template for UK users

plz I would really appreciate that because I dont know computer programing at all so I can do any thing otherwise I would have made my self and also give to you to post on you website

thanks
neo from UK

by drago on 2. April 2014 - 15:02  (115456)

Additionally http://torrentbox.sx/ should be mentioned - it's torrent site with verified torrents and without ads. Nice site!

by gzmhanu on 22. February 2014 - 18:29  (114601)
by drago on 5. April 2014 - 16:31  (115520)

Also like them, nice live search.

by mr6n8 on 27. February 2014 - 22:17  (114694)

I like them and will add in when I have some spare time.

Thanks

Steve

by swan_pr on 15. December 2013 - 19:51  (112962)

Oh my, I'm sorry (*blush*), I didn't see KAT, I just jumped right over it!

by swan_pr on 15. December 2013 - 6:42  (112953)

Kickass Torrents (kickass.to) picked up some speed after Demonoid went down and when H33t fell I just started using it regularly. They have a great community, comment system, ratings, bookmarks, etc. Lots of wellknown releases (ETTV, YIFY, etc) too. Great list however, thank you!

by mr6n8 on 15. December 2013 - 10:26  (112954)

Yes that is the top pick here (referred to as KAT) for the reasons you put forth.

H33t is back up, though I still prefer KAT. I use some of the other meta-search sites when I can not find what I want on KAT.

EZTV always excellent for TV and Torlock is good for new users as it only carries verified content. ThePirateBay does have an excellent search function.

Any of the sites in the top section has its own loyal users, so it is a matter of personal preference.

Steve

by Spy on 21. November 2013 - 18:54  (112444)

torrentz.eu

by ChaosReigns on 11. November 2013 - 17:52  (112165)

Take.fm & Coda.fm both give 502 Bad Gateway errors.

by mr6n8 on 21. November 2013 - 9:30  (112422)

As of November 21, 2013, take.fm and coda.fm are back online.

Thanks for your info as it helps to keep the page current.

Steve

by ChaosReigns on 11. November 2013 - 17:47  (112164)

Something not mentioned about ExtraTorrent is the extremely abundant use of images. Very helpful with things like movies (ie: screenshots) when trying to judge quality.

by mr6n8 on 21. November 2013 - 9:31  (112423)

Thanks. I have added the additional info in for extratorrent.

Steve

by mr6n8 on 11. November 2013 - 18:11  (112168)

Yes they do give a good amount of information and screens.
Right now extratorrent is not loading (along with the take and coda bad gateway), so I will wait until tomorrow to update as I may have to put notes on those 3 if they do not comeback.

Thanks

Steve

by mr6n8 on 4. November 2013 - 13:49  (112008)

Removed h33t and BitZone as they have been dead for some time.

I will continue to check their status and if they come back, I will post back up.

I have also added some IP addresses for sites (where working) as this will help some users where their ISP is blocking.

Steve

by mr6n8 on 22. October 2013 - 6:47  (111658)

isoHunt has consented to a Judgment in the lawsuit by the MPAA for "inducing" copyright infringement and the site is now closed
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/isohunt-shutters/
http://torrentfreak.com/isohunt-shuts-down-early-to-block-backup-plan-13...

Podtropolis, was owned by the same group and is also closed.

Both have been removed from our listing here.

by mr6n8 on 30. September 2013 - 20:31  (111135)

For those that use h33t, enter the following in your hosts file:

204.16.200.51 h33t.com
204.16.200.51 h33t.eu
204.16.200.51 www.h33t.com
204.16.200.51 www.h33t.eu

and then close browser and when you reopen your browser and go to h33t.eu or h33t.com the site will be there.

Steve

by Hackman on 22. September 2013 - 19:11  (110924)

I don't know who exactly is in charge of "Demonoid" anymore, but the new site d2.vu accepts my old Demon login, and seems to have all of the same great stuff.

by mr6n8 on 29. September 2013 - 14:21  (111083)

I have been away from my computer for a while and did not get a chance to respond to this earlier.

I received an email from the "new" Demonoid a while ago and yes it does work with the info from the old Demonoid.

This site is not run by the same people. They are apparently using a backup of the real Demonoid from July,2012. There is no tracker for the new site - relying on open trackers and magnet links (I do not know if they have put up there own tracker since I last looked). More info at TorrentFreak on this:
http://torrentfreak.com/demonoid-resurrected-an-interview-with-the-admin...

If I have a chance I will look it over as it really seems to be a public site (in terms of trackers, magnets etc) and if they allow downloads by non-registered users, I might add in here.

Thanks for the post

Steve

by George.J on 27. January 2013 - 17:58  (104864)

I've a question. What's the ideal seeders:peers ratio for fastest downloads?

Is this true? For instance if a new torrent has 2000 peers and 1000 seeders the torrent will be fast enough, but if it's an old torrent, it'll download only slower?

by mr6n8 on 27. January 2013 - 19:48  (104867)

The age of the torrent has nothing to do with speed. To the people active on the torrent it is always fresh as they are still transferring the content.

According to Bram Cohen, who created bittorrent, the odds for your down speed being high is about the seed to peer ratio.

So a torrent with 30 seeds and 70 peers (30% seeds) would most likely be faster than a torrent with 500 seeds and 2000 peers (20% seeds). That is assuming both swarms have average users.
http://torrentfreak.com/how-to-pick-the-fastest-torrents-090707/

Download speed on torrents can vary greatly since your download speed depends on the upload speed of other users. So, if 1 of the uploaders has a great up speed you can get terrific speeds even if the torrent swarm (all active users - seeds and peers) is small.

In general, when choosing a torrent, look for the one with the highest percentage of seeds and that most likely will give the best speeds.

Steve

by freestuffrocks on 24. January 2013 - 12:30  (104780)

Great job as usual mr6n8. However, if I'm looking for a specific torrent, rather than go to just one host site, say, kat, first, I prefer to use Torrentz to search ALL host sites to see which have the torrent I'm looking for. Even if kat does have the torrent I want, there may be other sites that also has the torrent but with more seeders, better quality etc.

by mr6n8 on 24. January 2013 - 12:31  (104781)

You bring up some good points. Another reason to use Torrentz is that you can check comments from a variety of sites for the same torrent to ensure the quality. Even if a torrent is verified as clean and real, you can still check to see which has the best quality.

As far as finding healthier torrents, that is somewhat true, though I find that most of the torrents tend to be at each of the public sites.

I also like the active tracker list at Torrentz to add to a torrent with a small swarm. usually DHT and PEX will find additional seeds and peers and the extra trackers are not necessary, but on occasion the extra trackers do help.

Torrentz was not listed as top pick because the ratings and comments at its site are not that well used. You have to visit the other sites to get more detail. Since this list was made with newer users in mind, this is important. KAT has well used comments, rating and also quality ratings. I also like how they show the various versions of a video available.

Thanks for the input.

Steve

by freestuffrocks on 25. January 2013 - 14:15  (104810)

If you use Torrentz you will of course have to go to another site anyway because it isn't a host. It's quite likely that you'll get just what you want at KAT (THE best host site in my view too) without looking any further, but there are occasions (not that many, it must be said) when I've found better torrents not shown at KAT. There are also occasions (again, not that many) when the same torrent has more seeders elsewhere, and these tend to be at 1337x, Torlock or h33t, but in most respects KAT is normally better. I also think the KAT versions search feature is very good. Makes it so much easier if you're only interested in, say, 720P rips.

In short you're absolutely right. More often than not you'll get what you want at KAT, but Torrentz is a very convenient way to quickly check elsewhere.

by Juxxize on 1. April 2013 - 12:11  (106722)

I like KAT it has a very friendly and active community too.

by mr6n8 on 25. January 2013 - 14:23  (104811)

I keep meaning to take a look at Torlock as that could be a good choice for new users as it supposedly only carries verified torrents.

Thanks for the reminder. I'll take a look for the next update here.

Steve

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