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Torrent Search Engines: The Top Fifteen

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Millions of people all over the world use the bittorrent peer to peer file-sharing system to exchange and share large files. Here are the top-rated torrent search engines on the Web, as reviewed and rated by About.com users and the Web community at large.

While searching for torrents and P2P sharing technology is completely legal, many of the torrent files that you will come across on the Web are actually copyrighted. Copyright law in the United States and other countries (excluding Canada) puts these torrent files and downloading these torrent files at risk for legal action, including lawsuits. Please use common sense and know your local laws before using torrent technology.

NOTE: Many of these sites have adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.

1. The Pirate Bay

pirate bay
The Pirate Bay is one of the Web's largest torrent search engines and trackers, started in Sweden in 2003. Thousands upon thousands of torrent files can be found here, anything from books to movies to television shows. One of the best ways to use the Pirate Bay is to check out the top 100 list, an ever-changing collection of what's being downloaded or shared by the most people. The Pirate Bay is also one of the most reliable torrent search engines on the Web, with an active community that communicates clearly whether or not a torrent is worth dealing with or not.

2. Mininova

mininova
Mininova is one of the largest torrent search engines on the Web, started in 2005. Mininova provides an easy to use torrent search engine and directory, and since adult submissions are not allowed, Mininova is a family-friendly site (as always however, use your best judgement when allowing minors to access anything on the Web - see How to Keep Kids Safe on the Web).

3. Isohunt

isohunt
Isohunt was started way back in 2003 by a young student named Gary Fung. This very popular torrent search engine deals with thousands of torrents every single day, funneling results from one hundred different torrent sites on the Web for the very best selection, and enjoys millions of visitors from all over the world daily.

4. SeedPeer

SeedPeer offers torrents for searchers in a wide variety of categories, including movies, TV shows, and games. A few nice features that SeedPeer offers: language-specific to whichever country you're currently residing in, a free Firefox browser add-on that you can use to surf SeedPeer from wherever on the Web you may be, and internally verified torrents that you can trust to contain the files you're looking for.

5. YouTorrent

YouTorrent is an easy to use torrent platform/search engine that even beginners will find intuitive. Find torrents on YouTorrent several different ways: via a keyword search, browsing through categories, or simply checking out what's in the Featured list on the front page.

6. btjunkie

btjunkie definitely is one of the larger torrent search engines out there, with over 1.5 million active torrents and from 5,000-25,000 torrents added daily. Search for torrents on btjunkie via keyword, or find what you're looking for by selecting the "Browse" tab, then explore the various drop-down menus: Category, Seeded, Trackers, etc.

7. Torrentz

Torrentz is a torrent metasearch engine, which means that it filters results from a wide selection of other torrent sites on the Web to bring you what you're looking for. Type in a query, and your search results will come back with results from several different sites and/or search engines.

8. TorrentReactor

TorrentReactor can be a little bit overwhelming to use simply because there's so much available here. To cut down the noise to signal ratio a bit, try exploring the categories found on the left-hand and middle of the home page.

9. Toorgle

Toorgle is a torrent search engine that uses Google's custom search capability to find torrents from a variety of different torrent sites. Type in a keyword or key phrase, and your results will be from sites found both on this list and in other locations on the Web. Toorgle simply retrieves the location of these files somewhere else on the Web; it's very streamlined, offers virtually no extra features, and is very easy to use.

10. TorrentScan

TorrentScan is a metasearch engine for torrents, with one difference: you can customize TorrentScan to look for torrents in only the sites that you specify (which is certainly a very convenient feature). If you can't find what you're looking for using one collection of torrent sites, simply redo the site with different sources; easy and quick, and from one convenient location.

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