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 they are 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.
When you pull up RARBG, 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. 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 RARBG 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 it 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.
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 appearing 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 on RARBG 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.
The End Game
We were not impressed and even if I was using NordVPN for torrenting I would not feel safe using this 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. 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.