1st June 2023 – (New York) Rarbg, a popular torrent website known for fuelling illegal downloads of movies and TV shows, has closed down. Users who tried to access the site on Wednesday were greeted with a message announcing its demise, according to Torrent Freak. The statement released by Rarbg informed users that the decision to shut down the site had been made due to numerous difficulties faced over the past two years, including staff loss due to Covid and an increase in operational costs due to data centre price hikes and inflation. The statement also mentioned that Rarbg had been directly impacted by the war in Ukraine, with some of its employees fighting on both sides.
Rarbg allowed users to download torrents, which are small files shared online by numerous users in small fragments over a BitTorrent software program. Although torrenting itself isn’t illegal, it has become closely associated with the distribution of copyrighted content, such as movies, TV shows, video games, and pornography, which is against the law.
Founded in 2008, Rarbg became an alternative to Pirate Bay following its numerous legal battles and subsequent shutdowns. Between 2015 and 2016, several major torrenting sites were also closed, including KickassTorrents, Torrentz, and ExtraTorrent, which may have acted as a further catalyst for Rarbg.
According to web traffic counter Similarweb, Rarbg had 40.8 million total visits last month. The most popular torrents on the site were usually the latest episodic TV andstreaming shows from platforms like Netflix, high-quality films ripped from the internet or dodgy camcorder recordings from cinema screenings, anime series, and pornography. These were typically split into different sections, with top 10s and top 100s that users could browse.
While Rarbg may be gone, it remains to be seen whether the site will live again. Pirate Bay has gone dark in the past, but it has surfaced online again thanks to proxy websites and alternative domains.
However, despite the closure of Rarbg, many other torrent sites remain. According to Torrent Freak, the top three sites are YTS, 1337x, and NYAA.