ExtraTorrent is Back
ExtraTorrent went offline in May of 2017. Visiting torrent enthusiasts were left reading a message that explicitly stated that the popular torrent site had shut down for good. Nonetheless, ExtraTorrent emerged again a few days later under a new domain name, supposedly resurrected by fans of the page.
As with Kickass Torrents, users were unsure of what to make of the new site. Could it be trusted? Was it a government agency collecting IP’s? Was it trying to install some kind of malware?
ExtraTorrent clones began springing up under alternative domain names. These sites, of course, were not entirely to be trusted. The original domain still displays the same message saying that ExtraTorrent is dead, do not trust the clones, thank you for your support.
Unlike, KickassTorrents, however, ExtraTorrents has not been chased from domain to domain into extinction. At least not yet. It is still currently accessible from the domain extratorrent.si (not extratorrents.cc).
Is it safe? It’s about as safe as any torrent site on the net. Torrent sites tend to have malicious ads on them. But if you don’t click on the ads or download any software you should be fine.
If you go to the new ExtraTorrent site for the purpose of downloading torrents, the current site will facilitate that quest.
It’s hard to understand ExtraTorrent without first understanding the history of it’s more popular progenitor, KickassTorrents. KickassTorrents was, by and large, the single greatest torrent site known to man. With an easily searchable and sortable database, KickassTorrents stood apart from sites like The Pirate Bay. In addition to function, the interface was more aesthetically pleasing and it had quickly catapulted itself into the position of the best and most popular torrent site on the web.
Unfortunately, being the largest and most popular torrent site in the world has its down sides. With its success, much like ExtraTorrent, it was targeted by ISP’s, governments, and search engines alike. ISP’s and search engines denied access to the site.
Internet providers did this because torrents use a huge amount of bandwidth so they will take any excuse they can get to restrict access to those services.
Search engines came under pressure because they linked to them in search results and, unfortunately, they did not want to challenge that showing text on a screen couldn’t be illegal in a ‘free’ country.
Governments seized the domain names, because they could. At one point, popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox would refuse to load the page.
Enthusiastic users figured out clever ways to bypass these restrictions. The KickassTorrent domain kept shifting itself from one country to another. But it wasn’t safe even in Somalia. KickassTorrent made a short debut on the Dark Web, and now even that is gone.
For those looking for an alternative to Kickass, you will only find a list of sites that “work just as well”, but in reality, don’t.
Accessing ExtraTorrents Safely
There is no completely anonymous way to download from ExtraTorrents. Nor is there any warranty that what your download will be safe. This is especially true for those who choose to download software from torrent sites. Malware, viruses, adware, spyware, and more can be embedded in seemingly innocuous code. Even those who are seemingly experiencing no obvious problems with their computer could potentially be part of a botnet orchestrating attacks against websites without even being aware.
Never access a site like ExtraTorrents without an active virus scanner running. It is also wise to make sure your browser is up to date and use a good firewall, as both of these precautions will lower your risk of being attacked by ExtraTorrents or a deceptive ad that you may find there.
Video files and music, on the other hand, cannot damage your computer with malicious code. Malware can be disguised as a video file but it cannot be embedded within a video file. If you’re tricked into running an executable disguised as a video file then you’ve learned a valuable lesson. Icons for each are very different, but they can be faked.
Accessing ExtraTorrent Anonymously
There is only one way to download torrent files from ExtraTorrent anonymously. That is by using a VPN. No, you cannot use Tor. Tor allows you to surf the web anonymously, but it has no control over your IP as displayed in a torrent tracker.
When your IP address is reported to your ISP, it’s because the tracker has been hacked. It’s extremely easy to hack a tracker and takes almost no skill as a hacker. The process can be automated.
The logic in doing this is that it scares people away from seeding the files for extended periods of time as the trackers for popular TV shows and movies can be downloaded periodically. It also scares people away from downloading.
VPN’s are generally affordable, but they do cost money. Essentially, what they do is spoof a fake IP address and route all your traffic through the fake IP address. What shows up in the tracker, then, is not your own IP address but the one that is spoofed by your VPN. This makes it virtually impossible for your service provider to send you one of those nasty emails after you’ve been reported for downloading copyrighted material. It creates a layer of protection between you and the ExtraTorrent website.
One last alternative is to circumvent ExtraTorrents, and even torrents, entirely. The same files that are available on torrent sites are also available on Usenet. Haven’t heard of it? That’s the point.
Usenet is the internet’s best-kept secret. Downloading and uploading are completely anonymous when using SSL. You’ll never have to worry about your ISP sending a nasty email for using Usenet.
On the other hand, Usenet does cost money to access and is harder to navigate. But it is a safe alternative to downloading from ExtraTorrent or any torrent website.