Why KickassTorrents Is The King Of The Pirate Sites

Why KickassTorrents Is The King Of The Pirate Sites

As another season of Game of Thrones approaches its finale, legit streaming services have failed to slake our thirst for piracy –– with KickassTorrents becoming one of the world’s most popular websites. While The Pirate Bay tends to make more headlines, efforts to knock it offline last year saw rival KickassTorrents steal its crown as the world’s most popular BitTorrent search engine, according to Amazon’s web traffic tracker Alexa.

The site’s popularity continues to grow, with KickassTorrents now becoming one of Alexa’s highest-ever ranking file-sharing sites – hitting 70th spot to surpass The Pirate Bay’s high of 76th spot. It’s a blow to global pirate hunters who have struggled in vain to block access to BitTorrent search engines and chase down users.

So what’s the key to KickassTorrents’ success? File-sharing news site TorrentFreak attributes it to impressive indexing, a slick interface, fast page load times and a vibrant user community – an overall user-friendliness valued by both paying customers and pirates.

It could also be KickassTorrents’ decision to stick with downloadable .torrent files while many other BitTorrent search engines have abandoned them in favour of magnetic links.

As The Pirate Bay can attest, becoming the world’s most popular BitTorrent search engine isn’t necessarily a good thing, attracting a lot more attention from the copyright police. KickassTorrents has changed its domain name several times to stay ahead of the game but hasn’t faced the same down-time issues as The Pirate Bay.

KickassTorrents has already been name-checked in Australian efforts to force ISPs to block access to BitTorrent search engines. The site has also joined The Pirate Bay in offering access on the dark web via the TOR browser, making it much harder for the service to be blocked completely.

Australia’s anti-piracy efforts are in disarray with the Dallas Buyers Club case thrown out, the three-strikes laws abandoned and site blocking yet to take effect.

As another season of Game of Thrones approaches its finale, we seem no closer to defeating piracy. How are you watching Game of Thrones this season? What would it take for content providers to win back Aussie pirates?

This article originally appeared in Digital Life, The Sydney Morning Herald’s home for everything technology. Follow Digital Life on Facebook and Twitter.


  • What would it take for content providers to win back Aussie pirates?

    The complete abandonment of Foxtel. It’s radioactive. They could offer twice what Netflix does at half the price and I’d still rather buy it from a dodgy street vendor on VCD than sign up for Foxtel.

    Aside from that there’s not much else to do. All we really need to do is get over the hurdle of regional delays and we’ll have TV back to a point where pirates are just the people who won’t pay for something they can get for free. That group will always exist and there’s no point trying to pander to them.

  • I’m more than happy to pay for content. I was using unblock-us and paying for Netflix and enjoying their whole catalogue, and my piracy decreased dramatically. Then Netflix caught on and blocked all unblockers and proxies, and now with only access to the Aussie Netflix my pirating is back up through the roof.

    I’m definitely not happy to be scammed by foxtel who can only provide substandard offerings for loads of money in STANDARD DEFINITION! What year do they think this is?

    Basically Foxtel needs to be stopped. It’s monopoly offers no choice for consumers and merely makes us turn to other less desirable methods.

    Oh, and also no ads, thanks. I won’t pay for ads.

  • Damn. I really liked KAT.

    Time to find a different search engine for when this one drops offline.

  • What would it take for content providers to win back Aussie pirates?

    1. Pricing
    2. Stop artificially restricting geographic access to content
    3. Stop artificially restricting access based on time.
    4. Stop expiring content
    5. Stop fragmentation

    Pricing for netflix/stan is decent, but they suffer from 2,3,4 and 5.

    2. Neflix US has different content than Netflix AU

    3. Most new content is not always available on VOD.

    4. All VOD companies cycle out content after a certain period, so you could be in the middle of a season and bam its gone, or you may have a hankering to watch a particular episode of a series, only to find its no longer there.

    5. Stan offers different content to Netflix, i don’t want to sign up to 2 different providers that brings 1 back into play, and then you have to find out what content is on what provider and use the right software for it.
    Some people might not have an issue with subscribing to 2 providers cost wise, but the managing split content would be a killer, if they combined forces and developed a universal VOD environment, so the one app can connect to stan and netflix then combine the content views so its transparent that goes some way towards solving the issue for those people.

  • What would it take for content providers to win back Aussie pirates?

    They can’t, we gave them 3 strikes at it and they are OUT!

    Seriously the people setting the price need to look at what they themselves would be willing to pay for a basic tv series offering service and what they would put up with in terms of limitations, access delays and expiration, then for them to still including ads on top of their dodgy/limited services, get out of the game!

    If you have a good business model/price on a good product you wouldn’t even need to advertise, because word of mouth would spread like wildfire and you would be the equivalent to KAT in popularity but a legit service in no time. If the US don’t respect Aussies enough to offer the same deals as their locals (it’s just a webserver cache needed) then we’ll continue to enjoy the benefits that KAT gives us, instant access with problem content fixed within hours instead of days.

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