People just love to torrent nowadays. So, it’s no wonder that torrent sites are becoming increasingly popular with each passing day. Many people don’t want to pay for the content they consume. The idea here is that they have no intention to pay for something that they can get for free. Torrent sites are perfect for fulfilling such desires. They offer paid content without charging a dime. That means users can download even those files for free that otherwise cost money. One such torrent site is KickAss Torrents. Now, the original website was declared illegal and shut down by the US government a long time ago. But, still many proxy and mirror sites of it are out there today. Let’s take a look.
What is KickAss Torrents (KAT)?
KickAss Torrents or KAT was a torrent site for downloading paid content for free. The original KAT website was shut down by the United States government back in 2016. The website was known for distributing tons of copyrighted material such as apps and games free of cost. It was the reason why the website was able to draw more than 1 million users every day. As the website was offering paid content to the public for free, it soon attracted the attention of the authorities. And, the result? The website was declared illegal and terminated for good.
But before going to those extremes, the US authorities gave it a chance to redeem itself. It was asked to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and remove all copyrighted content from its site. While the KAT staff agreed to do so, it was not the real case. The staff never complied with the DCMA and as a result, got their site taken down permanently.
The history of KickAss Torrents (KAT) facing blocks and censorship is indeed a long one. Back in 2013, the Internet Service Providers or ISPs in the UK started blocking KAT. It was a result of an order by the High Court of Justice in London to block access to KAT. Besides it, two other websites H33T and Fenopy were banned as well. The reason behind blocking those websites was the copyright infringement by them. On 14 June that year, the site changed its domain name and started using kickass.to. Such changes were quite normal in the case of KickAss Torrents.
Later, 23 June saw Google throwing the site out of their list due to an MPAA request. In late August of the same year, ISPs of Belgium followed UK ISPs and blocked KAT in their country. In January 2014, many Irish ISPs also started blocking the site. And, although short-lived, the next month saw Twitter blocking links to the KAT site. In June that year, the GOM walked the same path and blocked KAT in their nation.
In December that year, the sits started using the Somalia domain. So, it became kickass.so. In February 2015, it was listed as a banned site on Whois. This made the site shut down. Later that day, however, the site came back using its previous domain name kickass.to. On the V-Day that year, it became known that any texts stating kickass.to won’t be allowed on Steam chat. But surprisingly, sites like kickass.so were not blocked, only declared as potentially harmful sites.
Blocking and censorship
In April 2015, the site changes its domain name again and became kickasstorrents.im. However, it went down fast later that day. The very next day, it came with a new domain name yet again and became kat.cr. But by July that year, the website got thrown out from Google search results. It invited trouble, though. In many locations across the globe, searching for KAT returned a result that redirected users to a fake KAT site. This, in turn, infected their devices with malware.
In October 2015, The ISPs in Portugal blocked KickAss Torrents and many other famous BitTorrent sites. Besides that, Chrome and Firefox blocked KAT citing security and phishing concerns. However, both blocks became null when KAT cleared their doubts.
And, in July 2016, the US government seized and terminated the website. In mid-December, some former KAT staff tried to revive their website. It was launched under a new domain name. That is, katcr.co. While it had a lengthy run, the site became offline in July 2020. Still to this day, it is no longer active. However, mirrors and proxies like thekat.info, kickass2.cc, kickass.torrentbay.to, etc., are still working. They work just like the original site. Nonetheless, in order to access these sites, one must use a VPN. Or else, you might end up inviting legal trouble.
KickAss Torrents Alternatives
As the KickAss Torrents proxies and mirrors keep getting shut down, there’s no surety how long these will stay active. So, it’s best to know some alternatives. Here are some of those KAT alternatives:
TPB is one of the most amazing torrent sites today. It is, no doubt, among the best alternatives of KAT. The site currently boasts tons of torrents for users to download for free. The simple and intuitive UI is perhaps is its biggest asset. It makes the site easily usable for even the non-tech experts. Just search by your favorite movie or app name and that’s it. It will appear right on your screen. All you got to do now is to download it. However, it shows many ads in between your torrent session. But you got to bear with it as it is vital for keeping the site free.
RARBG is another great site for downloading torrents. In fact, it offers a much more organized experience than the KAT site. While the site mainly hosts movies and TV shows, it also contains a lot of games, apps, music, etc. While the site was once shut down back in 2008 for a week, it was the only time. Apart from that, the RARBG site is yet to see any major problems regarding its operation. So, if you are truly looking for a fit substitute for KAT, RARBG has to be the one.
Next, we have 1337x. It is among those sites that you have to mention in every discussion regarding torrent sites. When it comes to looks, there is no better site than 1337x. Also, it offers tons of content for users to download for free. And, the best part? The site lacks any partiality for any specific type of content. So, it can pretty much be a one stop shop for any content you might need online.
From apps to movies to games, this site has everything. That’s why you don’t need to jump around from site to site for downloading different types of torrents. Sounds convenient, right? Plus, the cozy atmosphere of 1337x encourages uses to leave comments under their downloaded content. The comments usually contain everything from the content quality to potential malware risks. Hence, the users can get a rough idea of what they’re in for before downloading their desired files.
Zooqle is another fantastic KAT alternative. While it is a newcomer in the torrent scene, it still delivers. In fact, the site has been able to gain a massive reputation within a short period. A great feature of Zooqle is that it offers constant updates to its content library. That means users get all the new movies and shows after their release, along with the classics. The website currently hosts over 3.5 million torrents with all of them being verified. So, you won’t have to fear infecting your PC or mobile with malware after downloading your favorite torrent. All these make Zooqle a solid alternative to KAT.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is KickAss Torrents a legal site?
No, it’s not. Any site that hosts paid content for free without the creators’ permission is doing wrong. It is not only unethical but also unlawful. KAT is known for indulging in such activities. So, it’s not a legal site.
Will the original KickAss Torrents site ever come back?
The original KAT site was terminated by the US authorities back in 2016. While many working proxies and mirrors of the site are out there now, the original still stays offline. It might come back someday. But for the time being, it seems highly unlikely.
Can I face legal trouble for downloading torrents from KickAss Torrents?
Yes. Sites like KAT promote piracy by sharing paid content with the public for free. And, as you may know, piracy is seen as a serious crime in our society. So, you can face legal troubles for downloading torrents from the site.
As you can see, the original KickAss Torrents is a thing of the past. And, while many of its proxies and mirrors are available today, they’re still indulging themselves in piracy. Therefore, it’s best not to download anything from this site and use legal downloading sites instead.