The Pirate Bay recently celebrated its 15th birthday and it is still one of the most popular torrent trackers around. Surrounded by controversy and countless attempts by authorities to bring it down, this tracker still holds the throne in the torrenting world.
Because of its reliability, publicity, and its huge user base, you can count on it to have most of the things that you need. However, you are going to need some additional tools to get torrents from this website. Read this thorough guide on how to use The Pirate Bay and you can download torrents in no time.
Part 1: Protection Comes First
While just browsing The Pirate Bay isn’t entirely illegal, if you download a torrent file or start a file download process, you may get in legal trouble.
Downloading copyrighted data is only a part of the problem. Torrent clients work in a way where you simultaneously share those files with other users. This means that you are distributing protected files as well as downloading them, which carries more legal weight.
To understand the scale of the problem with The Pirate Bay, you should know that the number of countries that block the site is constantly growing. So far, over 20 countries placed a total ban on the tracker, including China, Australia, France, Spain, Russia, US, UK, and others.
To safely access this website, you need to make a virtual private network (VPN) with the help of clients such as NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Then, you should set up a VPN from a country that doesn’t block The Pirate Bay and has fast servers. The best options may be Switzerland, Brazil, Belarus, Hong Kong, etc.
Part 2: Access the Pirate Bay Tracker
When you set up a VPN, you need to access the website. The Pirate Bay is famous for its constant revivals since the authorities keep trying to shut down the tracker permanently. Because of this, the domain changes frequently, and the tracker doesn’t have a permanent address.
Currently, you can access it via ThePirateBay.cr. If you can’t access it, there is a website called Proxybay where you will find a list of all proxy The Pirate Bay sites that bypass the network restrictions and have alternative domains.
Part 3: Locating a Torrent
Once you access the tracker, you will need to find the torrent that you want to download. You can do this by typing the name of the file in the search bar and clicking ‘Pirate Search.’ It should list all the available torrent files.
Then, you should select the best torrent option. Pay attention to these columns:
- Seeders and Leechers: The ‘SE’ columns indicate how many users are currently uploading the file, and the ‘LE’ displays the users downloading it. You should always choose a file with many seeders, so you can download it quickly and without interruptions. If a file has no seeders, it won’t download.
- File size: Sometimes different torrents of the same content will have different sizes. This depends on the file format, type, quality, and other additional data that comes with the torrent. For example, if the size of the software you want is 250Mb, there’s no need to download a 1.5Gb file which will contain other tools or data.
- Comments: Look for a comment icon below the listed torrent file. If you hover your mouse over it, you’ll see how many comments there are. The comments appear at the bottom of the screen when you select the torrent file. Check out the comments to make sure there are no malicious or wrong data inside the file.
Part 4: Downloading the Torrent
When you find the torrent that you want, you need to download it.
First of all, make sure that you have a torrent client, or else the system won’t recognize the torrent files. If you don’t have a torrent client, consider uTorrent or BitTorrent, which are among the most popular tools for downloading torrents.
To torrent a file, you should:
- Choose a torrent file from the list.
- Click ‘Get This Torrent,’ beside the magnet icon. The Pirate Bay offers only ‘magnet’ downloads, which means that it will automatically point the torrent client to the seeders. You can’t download the torrent file first. There is also an option to stream the torrent, which is mostly used with video files.
- Press ‘Open uTorrent’ when prompted (or any other client).
- Under the ‘Save in’ section, press the three dots icon next to the dialog box. Choose the location of your download.
- If a torrent has multiple files, you can choose which ones to download.
- Hit ‘OK.’
- Wait for the download to finish. When the bar reaches 100%, you can open the file from your download folder. You will then become a seeder too and other users will download pieces of the file from your drive, too. To stop seeding, simply remove the torrent from the list in the client.
Should You Use Additional Protection?
Although The Pirate Bay is mostly reliable and safe, it wouldn’t hurt to protect your system with additional software. This is because public torrent trackers have a high number of torrents and the community can’t check each one quickly and thoroughly.
You should use antivirus software to scan the downloaded folders just to make sure that there is no hidden malware. But keep in mind that sometimes antimalware software will mistake safe .exe files for malicious software. This is especially likely if the files are keygens, cracks, and other controversial data.
Browse Without Worrying, Download with Caution
Note that browsing The Pirate Bay isn’t illegal. As long as you don’t download a file that may be copyrighted, you have nothing to worry about. But if you plan to download anything at all, you should use a VPN just in case. Even if you are residing in a country that doesn’t block websites like The Pirate Bay, using a VPN to mask your real address can save you from trouble.