Pirate Bay Platform
The Pirate Bay is a trusted peer-to-peer platform where users can share millions of files such as applications, movies, music, books, games, and much more. By using BitTorrent protocols, users can download files from the TPB database quickly, easily, and for free.
TPB makes finding your preferred files faster and simpler than ever with a carefully-categorized database that instantly links users to their preferred content – by name, type, or popularity. Users can even stay current with the hottest new trends with the option to search for the most recent content.
One of the world's oldest and most resilient torrent sites, TBP was created in 2003 by Peter Sunde, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Fredrik Neij, three Swedish friends who believe that knowledge should be for everyone.
The founders are so committed to that ideal that they have even faced harsh legal consequences and hefty fines. Because of their work and personal convictions, they even spent time in prison, after what is now known as the “Pirate Bay Trial”.
But where other torrent sites have fallen by the wayside and shut down forever, TPB is still standing and moving forward.
Who are “Pirates”?
“Pirate” is the nickname TPB proudly gives to the people who use the site to share files. Since its relatively-humble beginnings, TPB has enjoyed massive growth, and now there are approximately 5 million active Pirates.
The Pirate Bay does not endorse illegal activity. Anyone using the TPB platform in violation of applicable law assumes sole responsibility for their actions and may be subject to criminal and civil penalties in their country.
The Pirate Bay does, however, enthusiastically support the free and open sharing of information.
What is Torrenting?
Simply put, torrenting is a method of sharing files over the Internet via a peer-to-peer network, also called a P2P.
When you typically download something from the Internet, you click on a download button, and the entire file is sent to your device from one server.
Torrenting, on the other hand, breaks up the larger file into smaller pieces called “packets.” Somewhere on the network, an individual peer will have one or more of those packets. TPB software assembles those packets into the complete file that you want to download.
The upside of torrenting is that you can share or download files for free as an individual Pirate. This gives you, and other TPB users, access to knowledge and content that you otherwise might not have.
Is Peer-to-Peer File-Sharing Illegal?
The downside, however, is that some of the files that are shared on The Pirate Bay platform may be copyrighted – books, music, art, games, or movies, for example.
According to the U.S. Copyright Office, a work has copyright protection “the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form that is perceptible either directly or with the aid of a machine or device .”
This means that the creator or owner of that content maintains certain exclusive rights. Sharing, reproducing, displaying, or even just downloading copyrighted content without the express consent of the copyright holder is considered an infringement of the originator’s rights.
The sharing of such material may be against the law in your country. Anyone who does so can be charged with crimes such as piracy or copyright infringement.
The United States maintains copyright relations with most nations. This means that, in general, countries honor each other’s copyrights.
In other words, if you violate the copyright laws of one country, you can be prosecuted or sued in your own.
Types of Content That Are Protected by Copyright
When it comes to intellectual property, anything that remains a mere idea cannot be copyrighted. To qualify for protection under the law, that property must be “tangible”. The legal interpretation of tangibility means that the work can be perceived, either in person or digitally.
In other words, if you can see it, hear it, use it, or otherwise interact with it in person or on an electronic device, it is considered to be legally “tangible”.
Of special relevance, protection exists from the moment an original work is created, and copyright law protects both published and unpublished work.
Copyright protects original authored information such as artistic, musical, dramatic, and literary works. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Music and songs
- Movies and television shows
- Novels and stories
Because there are so many different ways that a creation can be made legally tangible, there is no way to list every possible item that could be granted copyright protection. Suffice it to say that the interpretation and definition under the law is quite broad.
There are certain things that cannot be copyrighted – ideas, facts, discoveries, titles, slogans, short phrases, names, methods of operation, and systems, although protection may be granted for the manner in which they are expressed.
What About Non-Copyrighted Material?
In the United States, if you download or share any content that is not registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, you cannot be sued for doing so. This includes both content that was never copyrighted and content where the copyright has expired.
To be clear, you can still be prosecuted criminally for violating copyright law, even if you cannot be sued for civil damages.
Eliminate uncertainty and protect yourself from accidentally breaking the law by always checking the copyright status of any content before downloading it through TPB.
You can search for the information on websites for governmental copyright offices, or you can quickly do other research to find out if the creator has issued any permission statements on their social media page, blog, or website. If they do not give express permission, downloading may be a violation of copyright law.
The Pirate Bay: Still Operational After All These Years
Once upon a time, there were dozens, if not hundreds, of torrenting sites. But legal entanglements oversaturation caused many once-popular torrent sites to shut down.
TPB was an early pioneer of P2P sharing, and was just the fourth such platform ever established. But look at what has happened to other early proponents of torrenting:
- Supernova.org (2002): Developed by a Slovenian student, this was the most prominent BitTorrent search engine in the world, until constant legal threats forced its closure in 2004. In 2007, the domain name was donated to TPB.
- isoHunt (2003): At one point, isoHunt enjoyed millions of visitors and cataloged 14 petabytes of torrents every month. But after losing a major lawsuit brought by ISP conglomerates, the site shut down for good in 2013
- Demonoid (2003): Demonoid is still active, but continually plagued by lawsuits and prolonged periods of downtime.
- KickassTorrents (2008): Once the most-visited parking site in the world, KAT was plagued by forced outages and bans, and the owner was hounded by the authorities. In 2016, KAT was seized by the government and the owner was put on trial. An attempted revival has been off-line since July 2020.
The Pirate Bay has not been immune from these challenges. Right now, access to TPB is restricted in multiple countries, including:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
On the other hand, most countries still allow full access to TPB, including Belarus, Brazil, Hong Kong, Mexico, Switzerland, and many others.
And while Internet restrictions, national bans, and technological fences that threaten P2P sharing have taken a toll on most torrenting sites, TPB is still free, operational, and accessible to millions of Pirates around the world.
This is made possible through creative bypasses and workarounds, advertisements, and digital currency donations from loyal users.
How To Find What You Are Looking for at The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay has a massive amount of files shared by legions of Pirates and non-registered users around the world. To make it easier for those users to find exactly what they want, TPB organizes that content into individual categories, including:
- Sound clips
- Movies DVD-R
- Movie clips
- TV shows
- HD-TV shows
- Music videos
- IOS (iPad/iPhone)
- Xbox 360
- IOS (iPad/iPhone)
- Movies DVD-R
- HD - Movies
- Movie clips
- Physibles – Data on objects that can be physically reproduced, manufactured, or 3-D printed
TPB offers a search function, making it much easier for Pirates to find their favorite files. Every file is cataloged by its name, the date of upload, and the available peers and leechers.
44% of the uploads found on thepiratebay sites are for movies and TV shows. Porn accounts for 35%, while audio files make up just 9%.
How to Download Torrents from The Pirate Bay
Downloading torrents from The Pirate Bay is very simple if you follow these steps:
Install a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A VPN is an encrypted, secure, and private network that hides your Internet activity and protects your privacy. If you live in a country where TPB is banned, you will need to download a VPN and change your IP address to a different country where TPB is permitted in order to access the content database.
The TPB home page specifically advises users to NOT download any torrents until they had first hidden their IP address with a VPN.
Find Your Preferred Content
On the TPB website, there are several ways to find what you are looking for:
- The “Pirate Search” bar to search by name
- Browse torrents to search by category
- Recent torrents to see the newest uploads
- Top 100 to see the most popular uploads
Download the Torrent
Once you have found the file you want to download, either drag it to the torrent client or simply click the download link. Occasionally, you will need to install a browser extension on your computer in order to download torrents.
Enjoy the Content
And that’s all there is to it – now, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy the content that you downloaded from The Pirate Bay.
How Do You Know Which Result Is the Best?
After performing a torrent search, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of results. To make it easier to find the best result in terms of download speed, here are some tips.
Near the right side of the TPB screen, there are two columns – SE and LE, short for Seeders and Leechers.
A Seeder is someone who has already downloaded the file. They are a source from which you download parts of the file. So if a particular torrent shows that it has 500 SE, that means that 500 users have the file that you are looking for.
A Leecher, on the other hand, is anyone who is currently in the process of downloading that content from Seeders. Ideally, if you want the fastest download speed and you want to ensure that your download will not freeze before it is completed, look for torrents with high SE numbers and low LE numbers.
The higher that ratio is, the faster your download speed should be.
You may also notice that supposedly identical content may have different file sizes. This is usually due to differences in quality – 1080p versus 360p on video content, for example. Other times the difference in sizes is simply because of the type of file.
One major thing to watch out for is when most Seeders who are sharing the same content show file sizes that are roughly equivalent, but another Seeder’s file is much larger or smaller. This suggests that the smaller file is incomplete, while much larger files may include other content, extensions, or patches that you may or may not want.
Before downloading any file, take a quick look at the comments column. Other users will share if the file is malicious or if there are download problems for that specific file.
Even more than download speed, you want to be sure that what you have chosen is actually what you wanted to find. The sad fact is that sometimes, people with malicious intent will upload fake files that appear to be legitimate content. In actuality, they are often viruses, adware, spyware, or other harmful programs that can damage your device.
At best, these fake files are only clickbait with misleading content that has nothing to do with what you were expecting to find.
The Skull and Crossbones: A Pirate’s Badge of Honor
Unfortunately, there is no way to know with 100% certainty if a file you are about to download is legitimate or not. But the Pirate Bay does have a way to tell which files are more likely to be legitimate.
Because we are normally taught that a skull label usually means danger, you might worry that the “Skull and Crossbones” symbol that accompanies some TPB torrents indicates danger and that the file is unsafe to download.
But among Pirates, the Skull and Crossbones is the emblem of their identity and brotherhood. That’s why it is proudly displayed on their ships. So on The Pirate Bay, the symbol represents honor and trustworthiness. In other words, files with skulls are safe to access on TPB.
Even though TPB is committed to the free exchange of information, some unscrupulous users hide dangerous viruses and malware behind their links. These can infect your computer or device, your router, or even your entire network.
Pink skulls indicate that the specific user is a long-time Pirate of good standing. You can trust that their torrents are safe and free of viruses and malware.
Green skulls mean an even higher level of trust. This person is known to be a responsible Pirate, and therefore they are a VIP with greater permissions on the TPB website.
Some users will possess Admin or Moderator tags, showing that they are trusted volunteers who help manage the TPB website.
On the other hand, users without a skull symbol are new to the site and have not yet proven themselves to be trustworthy and that they only share safely and responsibly. To be very clear, the lack of a skull does not necessarily mean that a user is engaging in malicious or illegal activity. It only means that they are still new contributors and have not yet earned their skull symbol.
Do Files on The Pirate Bay Contain Malicious Content?
Unfortunately, there is no strict guarantee that the content you download is safe. TPB is only a platform for P2P sharing – it does not check the quality or safety of the files you are downloading.
Because uploading files to TPB is so easy, cyber-criminals and other malicious individuals misuse that simplicity to upload fake and/or illegal torrents. They falsely use the names of popular movies, TV shows, games, and other content to trick users into downloading their files. Using deceptive practices, they distribute viruses, malware, spyware, and other harmful programs.
The best way to protect yourself from malicious content is to install a good antivirus program on your device.
TPB recommends that you always check the “skull status” of files before downloading them. This is a quick and easy rule of thumb that alerts you to the quality of individual files without putting yourself or your devices at risk of viruses, spyware, or other harmful programs.
The Pirate Bay: Pros and Cons
As with any application or platform, there are inherent advantages and disadvantages to using The Pirate Bay that users should consider before downloading any content.
The Pirate Bay: Pros
TPB Honor Code
When you visit or register with The Pirate Bay, you become part of a larger community. As a member of that community, you are expected to follow an unwritten, but extremely important, Code of Conduct.
For example, when you download content from TPB, you are categorized as a Leecher. The CoC asks that you also act as a Seeder. For example, you should keep your downloaded files on your device for a reasonable amount of time, so that other Pirates have the opportunity to download them using you as a source. You also help Seeding by regularly contributing new content.
It is this fair balance of Leechers and Seeders that helps The Pirate Bay maintain its well-earned status as the best P2P sharing platform on the Internet.
Ability to Resume Downloads after Interruption
Once upon a time, P2P file sharing was much more difficult than it is today. For example, before high-speed Internet was commonly available, poor download speeds made the acquisition of large files an exhausting chore. Even worse, if your download was interrupted, it was impossible to pick up where you left off. Every time an interruption occurred, you had to restart the entire process from the very beginning.
The good news is that The Pirate Bay has continually improved upon the downloading process. Now, you can pause, stop, start, and resume the process at will without losing your progress.
One major advantage that TPB users enjoy is the ability to easily search multiple databases at once. This means that finding desired content is faster and easier than ever. No matter what you are looking for, if it is on The Pirate Bay you will usually be able to find it in a matter of seconds
The Improved Seeding Process
In the past, users had to download content from a single source, which made the process extremely time-consuming. Using the old method, larger files could literally take days to access.
Today, the new Pirate Bay allows you to seed single files from multiple sources. This method means that even with slow Internet connections, you can download files fast.
Perhaps the biggest positive about The Pirate Bay is that you can access the platform from anywhere, even if it is blocked by Internet providers in your country. Thanks to VPNs that let you browse anonymously and unblocked mirror and proxy websites, you can continue to enjoy all the content that TPB offers.
At The Pirate Bay, all content is always 100% free. There are no registration or subscription fees, and you never have to pay anything to download unlimited content.
The Pirate Bay: Cons
Content Comes with Cautions
The Pirate Bay has no control whatsoever over the type of content uploaded by Seeders. This means that it is entirely possible for you to unknowingly download copyrighted material in violation of the law. Because TPB is merely the platform, you as an individual user assume all responsibility for the files that you choose to download.
Also, if another user uploads harmful content with malicious intent, it is possible that you might download viruses, spyware, or other malware that can infect or damage your device.
For this reason, TPB makes the following recommendations:
- Before downloading any files, always perform due diligence to research the copyright status and permissions of each individual piece of content.
- Protect your devices with antivirus programs, firewalls, and other security measures.
- To reduce the chances of downloading harmful files, always refer to the Skull Status symbols assigned to each Seeder. Always try to download from Pirates who have earned Pink or Green Skulls.
Some Files Are Difficult to Download
Increasingly, some content owners or creators encrypt their work with sophisticated anti-sharing copyright protection procedures. To counter these measures, you may need to install additional programs such as CD-keys and keygen codes. The good news is that other members of TPB are usually more than happy to share their workaround solutions.
Files Vary in Quality
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing beforehand the digital quality of an individual file. This means that some content may not be as clear as you would like or have the high resolution that you prefer. The only real way to get what you want is to download the files first and to educate yourself about which trusted Seeders upload the best-quality content.
Sharing Your Personal Details
The use of The Pirate Bay does reveal your IP address to other users. This is because TPB does not directly offer torrent files. Instead, the platform acts as a host for other magnet links that give torrent clients like uTorrent, Deluge, Transmission, and qBitTorrent the personal information they need about you to directly download files from different peers.
The good news is that this permit downloads, even without additional third-party applications.
The bad news is that torrent downloads are not protected by encryption. This means that your Internet Service Provider can monitor your online activities on TPB. Because there is no easy way to determine if your peers are genuine or malicious, exposing your IP address can be a risky proposition.
The only way to prevent this is to follow TPB’s recommendation and install a VPN prior to registering.
The best way to protect yourself is with a high-speed torrent-friendly VPN that allows P2P traffic, such as Windscribe, NordVPN, IPVanish, and CyberGhost.
Downloading torrents consumes a massive amount of bandwidth and data. If you plan on downloading a lot of content through The Pirate Bay platform, expect slowdowns and a lot of data usage. This is an important consideration if you have a data limit.
How to Access The Pirate Bay When It Is Blocked in Your Country
Dedicated Pirates already know that TPB is banned in several countries. As long as you take care to hide your online activities from the authorities, there are several solutions that allow you to evade the blocks.
Virtual Private Networks hide your online identity by assigning you an IP address that is from a country where TPB is allowed. By encrypting your personal data, VPNs make it much harder for authorities to track your activities, including sharing and downloading content.
The Onion Router Project (TOR)
This free open-source program allows you to browse and download content while still protecting your privacy and freedom. Because TOR hides your data and online activities, it helps you avoid unwanted attention from the authorities. The only time TOR may be required to share your information is in the event of fraudulent activity or a security breach.
On the downside, TOR is slower than most of the other workaround options, and also interferes with your ability to upload content. TOR is primarily an option best-suited for downloading only.
The Invisible Internet Project
Another option that allows you to access Pirate Bay websites and proxies without being tracked is the Invisible Internet Project (I2P). This is an encrypted P2P network layer that protects both location and activity. The stated aim of I2P is to “protect communication from dragnet surveillance and monitoring by third parties such as ISPs.”
The positives of I2P are that it uses one-way entrances and exits and proprietary routes for communication. I2P is similar to TOR, but it creates even more complicated and hard-to-track traffic. Because of this, it is extremely suitable for accessing TPB and its mirror sites anonymously.
On the negative side, however, I2P has fewer users than Chrome, TOR, and Safari. This means that it is only fast because so comparatively few people use it.
Pirate Bay Proxy Sites
One of the most effective ways to get around blocks is by the use of proxy sites. Also called mirror sites, these allow you to access a duplicate of the original Pirate Bay platform, even if it is banned where you live. Every time the authorities block TPB or one of its proxies, another one is created with a new IP address and domain.
Although mirror sites are created by individuals who are not directly associated with the original piratebay.org website, they are both safe and trustworthy. They were created to grant you access to TPB databases and content anonymously. They are the preferred solution when the original Pirate Bay website is down or banned in your country.
And while TPB cannot 100% guarantee that these proxy sites are always flying beneath the government’s radar, TPB does periodically verify their reliability and safety.
When used in conjunction with VPNs, proxy sites add another layer of accessibility and anonymity that allow you to share and download content without government interference.
Can I Access The Pirate Bay from Mobile Devices?
Before 2014, TPB was not designed for mobile devices. Even TPB’s founder described the experience as “crap”.
But as more and more people started using smartphones and tablets to access the Internet, The Pirate Bay was redesigned to be much more mobile-friendly and to enhance the overall user experience.
Currently, there are dedicated torrent clients available from Google Play for Android users, as well as an RSS feed. These options allow for a more enjoyable and customizable mobile experience.
The one bit of bad news is that The Pirate Bay is still not accessible to owners of Apple devices – iPhones and iPads. iOS users cannot download content from TPB unless their device is jailbroken and modified.
Uploading: First Create a Torrent
Although you may already know how to use BitTorrent clients to download content from The Pirate Bay, uploading files is completely different.
Here are the steps you need to follow to create a torrent:
- Open your BitTorrent client
- Click “File”
- Click “Create New Torrent”
- Choose the file you want to upload – A single file, multiple files, or the entire directory
- Save the file – Now you may upload it to TPB or share it online with friends
Uploading Torrents to The Pirate Bay
Uploading torrents to TPB is a simple step-by-step process. If you have not already done so, create an account at The Pirate Bay or one of its proxy sites. After logging in:
- Click “Upload”
- Choose the torrent file you want to upload
- Pick a name for the file
- Specify the appropriate category
- Enter tags that match the content and will help people find it
- Create a description
- Upload the file – You may either display your user name or upload the file anonymously
- After uploading, remember to keep it up as long as possible, seeding it so more people can find it and download it.
The Best Alternatives to The Pirate Bay
TPB is so committed to the free exchange of information and the idea that knowledge is for everyone, here are some of the best alternatives to The Pirate Bay that you can use whenever the main sites are temporarily down or blocked.
- 1337x – As of 2021, 1337x is the third-most-visited torrent site in the world.
- RARBG – As of June 2021, RARBG ranked as the fifth-most-visited torrent site. One caveat is that RARBG does not permit users of the site to upload their own torrent content.
- NYAA Torrents – Named after the sound of a cat’s meow, NYAA specializes in anime content.
- iDope – One cool thing about iDope is that it mimics Google’s user experience.
- Torrentz2 – Specializes in music files.
- Lime Torrents – This uncontroversial site is currently only banned in Australia, the United Kingdom, and France. Like other banned sites, it is still accessible by VPN.
- Torrent Downloads –Currently, only banned in the United Kingdom
- EZTV – One of the best torrenting sites for TV shows
- Bitport – Allows you to download content anonymously to a secure cloud for access anywhere
Because of national blocks and legal proceedings, the list of operating torrent sites is always changing. If a particular site is blocked in your country, try using proxy sites or a VPN. If your favorite torrenting site seems to be shut down, be patient and check back often, in case of a revival.
The NFT Bay: Inspired by The Pirate Bay
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, “The NFT Bay” evidently loves TPB. This new niche website has virtually copied the layout and logo of The Pirate Bay. This can actually be seen as a compliment, as a testament to TPB’s enduring legacy of success.
Launched by Australian developer Geoffrey Huntley, The NFT Bay is a torrenting site for non-fungible tokens, commonly known as NFTs.
NFTs are a type of digital art where artists create distinctive works online and sell them via digital currencies such as BlockChain.
The NFT Bay gives users access to torrents that feature images of NFT works, instead of a token secured by BlockChain. Huntley calls his platform an “educational art project” that will allow people to make wiser NFT investments.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to download torrents from The Pirate Bay?
The Pirate Bay is completely free. There are no registration, subscription, or download fees.
How does The Pirate Bay make money?
The Pirate Bay is funded by advertising and, since 2021, voluntary donations via a recently-launched cryptocurrency, the Pirate Token. This option is still in its early experimental stage and has not yet been heavily promoted.
How do I watch movies or listen to music on The Pirate Bay?
You cannot. The Pirate Bay is not a streaming service. You download the audio or video file to watch on your computer or device.
Is there any type of content that is not allowed on The Pirate Bay?
TPB believes that it is not their place to judge the content that users choose to upload or download. However, certain files are forbidden – spyware, malware, viruses, fake torrents, and child pornography. Anyone discovering such content on any TPB site should immediately report it.
What was the outcome of the Pirate Bay Trial?
After a lengthy trial and appeals, each of the defendants spent several months in prison – Gottfrid Svartholm was sentenced to one year, Fredrik Neij was given 10 months, Peter Sunde got eight months, and Carl Lundström received four months. They were also fined 47 million kroner, roughly the equivalent of US $4.6 million.
Where can I find Pirate Bay merchandise?
If you want to promote the idea that knowledge is for everyone by wearing a Pirate Bay T-shirt, there is, unfortunately, no official store run by TPB. However, you can find merchandise with The Pirate Bay logo at Redbubble.com – T-shirts, face masks, decals, etc.