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Torrent sites, unfortunately, come and go all the time. That is what makes it so hard to find a dependable torrent tracker. As soon as you familiarize yourself with one, become comfortable with it, and start to rely on it as a go-to resource for finding the best torrents on the web, poof, it can disappear. This is just the nature of the torrent tracker. It is a very risky and volatile enterprise, for those that wish to launch a torrent tracker. Legal entities, companies, and governments all want to see torrent sites be taken down. So, there are many enemies of P2P file sharing for a torrent tracker to be weary of.
There are, though, some torrent trackers that are too important, too good to fail. These sites either have extremely relentless founders who refuse to let their passion project be killed so easily and, thus, are willing to move their domains constantly around the world whenever one gets shut down. The perfect example of this would be The Pirate Bay. I cannot even count how many times that show has been shut down and reincarnated under a new domain name.
Cloning a site back to life – In other instances, though, a site’s userbase cares too much about it to let it die. In this case, when a torrent tracker goes offline, users may create mirrors and clones of the site, keeping it alive long after the owners intended to kill it. If a torrent tracker that has been shut down still exists in another form, this is a great indicator that the site in question is exceptionally good. Why else would people care so much and put forth so much effort to keep it alive? There must have been something special about it.
We have seen this occur with a select few torrent trackers over the years. But perhaps there is no site more iconic when it comes to being kept alive by clones than Extra Torrent. There is a lot to love about Extra Torrent, and once you start to unpack it, it should become readily apparent why this site’s userbase would go the extra mile to keep it going.
Too beloved to die – Extra Torrent was, at its peak, for example, the largest torrent tracker on the web. In fact, right before the creators of the site pulled the plug, Extra Torrent was the 291st most popular website (not just torrent site, website) on the internet. It may not immediately sound like the most impressive statistic, but when you take into account just how many websites there are, being within the top 300 most visited sites is definitely no small feat.
Fans of Extra Torrent loved the size and enthusiastic nature of the site’s community. Almost every torrent on the site had thousands of seeders associated it. This, of course, added up to some of the fastest torrent download speeds of all time. The more people that are seeding a file, the faster the download can be executed.
This also resulted in an unprecedented sense of community, with tons of active users partaking in conversations on the site’s forum, as well as useful comments on many of the torrents as well. At its peak, Extra Torrent had just about everything you could hope for in a torrent tracker.
Extra Torrent was founded in 2006 by an administrator under the username “SaM.” In celebration of the site’s 10-year anniversary, in 2016, Extra Torrent briefly changed their logo to look more celebratory – along with the quick makeover, the site also put into motion a contest in which users could guess the most downloaded movies on the site in order to win prizes. This is yet another example of the unprecedented community engagement on this site.
Lights out – All seemed to be going well and people loved the site. However, on May 17, 2017, Extra Torrent mysteriously ceased all operations out of the blue. The website was taken down altogether and replaced by a message from SaM, which stated that Extra Torrent (alongside all of its mirror domains) would be wiping the entirety of its content and data from existence. To this day, nobody knows why Extra Torrent voluntarily wiped itself off the map like that.
Shortly after the shutdown occurred, though, several clone websites began to pop up around the web. One of the most popular clones lived at the domain of extratorrent.cd. This clone was so good, in fact, that people began to speculate that it might have been an official rehosting. However, later on it was discobvered that extratorrent.cd was nothing but a reskinned proxy site of The Pirate Bay, which provided precisely the data from The Pirate Bay, under the branding of Extra Torrent.
Resurrection – It has taken quite a bit of time, but it appears as if a true working clone of Extra Torrent has finally surfaced, in the form of Extratorrent.si. Not only does this site have everything that Extra Torrent ever had on it, but it also is constantly growing and allowing new members to register. Extra Torrent has risen from the grave, it seems, and is picking up right where it left off.
Extra Torrent still has the same iconic layout and design that it had when it originally reigned over the torrenting kingdom. Users of this site can expect a white and blue theme that is crisp, clean, organized, and easy to navigate.
Home page – Extra Torrent offers up a great deal of information and text on its home page. But not in a way that is too overwhelming or cluttered. This is due to the fact that everything on the page is clearly separated and organized. Once you learn the format, it becomes second nature quickly.
In the center, you’ll find a list of the site’s most popular torrents, separated by category. They appear in an index, just like just about every other torrent tracker out there. To the left of this index, though, you will find a collection of the site’s latest articles, most searched torrents, and news (not that this is updated ever). The news section, too, I should note, appears to be now defunct.
Towards the top of the page, you will also find a site menu bar. Here, you can browse Extra Torrent by clicking on any of the following options: Browse Torrents, Search Cloud, Site Stats, Community, and FAQ.
Inner pages – The torrent info and download pages are pretty par for the course as far as torrent trackers are concerned in general. In fact, if you have spent any time on The Pirate Bay, then the format will be familiar. Find all of the torrent info in a chart at the top of the page, description about halfway down (along with any accompanying media if the user included it, such as screenshots and the like), and a comments section at the very bottom. It gets the job done, even if perhaps there are more interactive ways to do it
Content and Features
As is often the case with clone sites such as this one, you cannot really expect a whole lot in the way of currently active features. What this site is going to be best for is simply to be used as a means of downloading tons of torrents. It is little more than an index, in other words, and many of the original Extra Torrent features are no longer applicable. That being said, it is one of the largest torrent indexes in the world.
A great deal of the items in the site menu bar, for instance, simply bring you back to the site’s home page. Clicking “Forum,” for example, does this. As does trying to view articles, search cloud, and FAQ. The Browse Torrents section, though, still works, offering up a handy way to browse the site’s massive collection of files by category.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
As far as mobile-friendly torrent trackers are concerned, you will probably be able to find much better ones than Extra Torrent. However, you will definitely be able to find worse as well. The site is not fully optimized for mobile devices, but it does load and is usable, nonetheless. You’ll just find yourself doing a lot of zooming in to read file names and whatnot.
On the other hand, though, it’s not nearly as ad infested as other torrent trackers, so, that’s a plus.