RARBG Review

RARBG

RARBG has supposedly been a great source for movie torrents since 2008. If that isn’t enough to scare you away from ever typing in RARBG again, you don’t have a good understanding of the current copyright situation.

If a site has been a hub for less than legal content for 10 years, it’s never because no one noticed.

Either RARBG is extremely smart, in which case it is unlikely that you would have heard of the name, or the site is a setup or “honeypot” to get you stuck. But, to quote Fight Club, we could be wrong. So, let’s take a look and see if it’s legit.

First Impressions

When you first pull up the site, the first thing you notice, aside from the Hollywood movie stills, is that all of the ‘news’ on the left of the screen is old. Like, really old. The site looks abandoned.

There are 4 things listed, and they are from 2013, 2015, and 2017. Unless these guys are just really, really busy pirating stuff, then that’s just a little bit odd for a site that is still getting 1.8 Million visitors a month. Yes, 1.8 Million.

So let’s overlook the obvious inconsistencies and check out RARBG!

The Trick

Yikes! The first menu item we clicked sends us off to a spam site. Total click bait scam. Now here’s where it gets interesting.

When we go back, all of the menu links look like they go to click bait advertising. But, a second later they change to looking real. A few seconds later, and they are changed back to going to the advertiser.

So, that’s the game. Click, go to the ad, go back really fast and click again to go to the real page. A genius and stupid idea to hide in plain sight, all at the same time!

Let’s go with it and see where the site takes us, shall we?

Down the Rabbit Hole

In a 3 letter category that I won’t name but is right next to YYY in the alphabet, we see recommended torrents that are all obvious Hollywood films. We click on a text listing for something plain, boring, and not copyrighted.

This time, there is no click bait, and RARBG sends us to the page about the file. This lists a bunch of video quality options for the totally not copyrighted video we clicked on, along with the size of each download and seeder/leecher numbers for the torrent.

RARBG Torrents

There are stills of different frames from the video, and a block of text from a piracy group describing the release, which is really odd for something in the public domain.

Half afraid, I click on the download link for the torrent file. Bracing for pop-ups and malware, I just get the download prompt that should have come. So, that part helps.

RARBG Works, I Think

Although not as straightforward for downloading torrents as ExtraTorrent, it appears that RARBG is a valid Torrent site that specializes in movies.

If you get passed the initial full-screen pop-up ad that may or may not put malware on your system, the site appears to be fairly clean and safe. It also offers a good amount of information about each download, some of it appears to be from the piracy group that was the source of the file, and they have an array of quality options.

It also appears that, after a few seconds, every link will send you to a pop-up ad again. So if you click on something and then close the pop-up ad really fast, then all of the links will work.

You can even click on multiple links, but after a few seconds all of the links will revert to opening a pop-up ad, and you have to do the process again.

Piracy Target

This site has not gone under the radar, despite the ridiculous attempt at cloaking their links. Instead, it appears that they have been heavily targeted by anti-piracy groups.

Courts in Italy, Finland, and India have forced Internet providers to block the site. As chronicled by TorrentFreak, Italy’s Pirate Site Blocklist now includes hundreds of websites.

The British government even has ISP’s send users threatening e-mails when they attempt to visit any one of a list of torrent sites. All users have to do is visit popular torrent sites, not actually pirate anything.

Copyright Warning for Torrent Sites

They have also received so much attention that even their Facebook page was removed, which also happened to the Torrent site Limetorrents.

Once again Facebook proved that they are not fighting for freedom of speech.

– RARBG Administrator

The End Game

We were not impressed with this torrent site.

If you don’t care that pretty much everything RARBG seems to be promoting is pirated and probably illegal where you are, you still have to consider safety.

Governments around the world have put this torrent site in their crosshairs. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the clock ticking for the time they have left, and their access logs will go somewhere when they get shut down.

A VPN can be used to hide your IP so you won’t show up in those logs but, even if I was using NordVPN for torrenting, I would not feel safe using this site. This is because being raided is not their only problem.

The Last Straw

Any site cloaking full-screen pop-up ads as normal links is not trustworthy. If they were doing this to hide from legal problems by making it look like the links didn’t go anywhere, then they would only do it once or would use a different mechanism. Since that is not the case with RARBG, it appears that this is simply a monetization scheme to make users pay as they go.

With new releases being available dirt cheap from legal sources, I don’t see a reason to put up with a site like this. But if you’re going to use a torrent site, you can do much better than RARBG.

About The Author
Katya Seryabkina
Ukrainian born, and a self-taught geek. I started hacking when I was 14 and can write code in 5 languages, but have no formal technical education. The edge of technology is what keeps me interested. I cover file sharing, the dark web, and certain gadgets for The High Tech Society.