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Riper

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riperam.org

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Introduction

With so many torrent trackers all over the web, finding the perfect site for your torrenting needs is not always the easiest task in the world. Oftentimes, the only trackers that people end up hearing about are the most popular ones, such as The Pirate Bay, 1337x, and RARBG. But these are far from the only torrent trackers worth knowing about on all of the world wide web. There are plenty of underdog torrent sites that are just as effective as the big-name ones (and sometimes even more so). Finding the best torrent site, then, is really more a matter of trial and error and of finding what works best for you.

Which is why you may have never heard of the Russian torrent site, Riper AM. Yet another public torrent tracker, it may seem, at first glance, like just another droplet of water in the ocean. But there are, it turns out, many things to love about this massive, versatile, and actively engaged community of Peer 2 Peer file sharers. As far as torrent health is concerned, Riper AM is a formidable tracker. What is it, though, about Riper that has its userbase so enthused?

One part torrent tracker, one part forums site – Well, the most unique component of this site, as far as I can tell, is the way in which it is something of a hybrid. It combines all of the elements of a torrent tracker (the ability to download and upload torrent files, verified torrents, etc.) in a forums format. Whereas many torrent trackers use a simple search and retrieve protocol (as well as perhaps a section for comments on each given torrent), Riper’s entire layout is that of a complex labyrinth of forums.

I have a feeling that this is something users will either love or hate, right off the bat. If you have a great deal of experience using online forums, Riper will be a natural fit. However, if you are not quite as well versed with the forum site format, it may take you a little longer to get accustomed to it.

Using a forums format, of course, has its strengths and weaknesses, in my opinion, but one thing is undeniable: it creates a very actively involved community of users. And as any veteran of torrent file sharing knows well: a torrent tracker is really just as good as its community of peers is active. So, this does bode well.

Navigational preferences aside, we will take a look at Riper today from as objective a state of mind as possible. As I do in all of my reviews, I plan to take the site as it is, and evaluate it based on its execution when it comes to site design, features, user experience, and effectiveness of its torrent downloading capabilities. And with that, let’s dive in, shall we, and see whether Riper has what it takes to be considered one of the best torrent trackers of 2020!

Design

Upon visiting the site for the first time, Riper looks, more or less, like an average torrent tracker. In other words, there is not much of an immediate indication of the fact that the site will manifest itself later in a series of forums. In fact, at first glance, Riper looks to be one of the more meticulously organized torrent trackers I have seen recently. I like the layout of the home page a lot … it makes for easy and trouble-free navigation of everything that the site has to offer.

Home page – Speaking of the site’s highly organized layout, the home page makes this clear immediately. Below a large site banner donning the site’s regal logo (a crest of sorts), you’ll find a slight user menu (not to be confused with the site’s rather elaborate and convenient site navigation menu … which we will get to in a moment). Here, you’ll find some helpful quick-access links. Instantly jump to New Riper files, a thread on how to download here, chat, discussions, community, top 10 users, login, and FAQ – a useful selection of options for newbies and veterans of the site alike.

In the spirit of new user initiation, Riper also greets visitors first thing upon arriving on the site. Below this slender user menu, you’ll find a nice welcoming message that lays out what the site is all about, as well as links to instructions regarding how to use the site (from downloading a torrent tracker to the unique protocol of Riper). Keep scrolling down the middle of the page to find site news, a radio stream, and a few featured new uploads.

Spanning the left-hand side of the page, you’ll find a comprehensive site navigation menu. It is separated into 3 main categories: Content, Help, and Miscellaneous. Under the content header, you can quickly jump to forums that are separated by content type. Again, it is nice to see a special section devoted to providing new users (and new file sharers) with resources on how to use the site (and how to torrent more broadly). Miscellaneous offers resources for potential advertisers, copyright holders, contact info, and terms of use.

Similarly draping the right-hand side of the page is a long list of the top torrents of the day. This is useful for those days when you aren’t sure what to torrent and could use some suggestions. Riper is, by far, one of the most helpful and user-friendly torrent trackers that I have seen in a while.

Inner pages – The further into the site you travel, the more like a forum it begins to look. Clicking, for instance, on the Movies section of the site brings you to a forum devoted specifically to film. There are several mega threads here, organized by origin. As a Russian site, you’ll find sections labeled foreign films (for anything not Russian in nature), cartoons, erotic films, Russian films, and Soviet films.

Whatever topic you click into, you’ll access a completely separate and searchable directory. I quite like the way that they executed this forum layout. In addition to being able to view each torrent file as its own post within each specialized thread, you’ll also find a carousal of thumbnails representing recent and popular files. Click one of these to instantly be brought to the torrent. Or, alternately, you can search by torrent, comment, topic, or everywhere.

I do think, however, that the search function could be improved. The site advertises an advanced search, but the link was broken when I tried to use it.

Content and Features

Riper offers just about every kind of torrent that you could hope to find. The complete list of file types provided by Riper can be found in the site navigation menu. Download torrents of movies, cartoons, xxx, TV series, documentaries, sports, anime, music, games, software, apps, books, and magazines. Riper, uniquely enough, also has a live radio stream, Radio Old Hit, that plays Russian pop music – providing the soundtrack to your torrenting and chatting experience.

Additionally, there are plenty of community features to be enjoyed on this site. With the ability to follow users, chat with them, and partake in discussions on the many forums, you will never run out of ways to kill time on Riper. With all of the community, entertainment, and torrenting features that Riper has, hours could pass on this site before you even know it.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

Those of you who prefer to torrent on the go will be thrilled to learn that Riper is completely usable on mobile devices. Whether on your smartphone or tablet, you should have no issues accessing the site. That being said, could the site be slightly better optimized for smartphones? Yeah, probably … I am always a fan of complete layout changes for mobile devices, but I have certainly seen much worse than this.

However, it should be noted that, whether you are accessing the site on a mobile device or desktop computer, the downloading function needs improvement. If you are not a registered user, downloads bring you to a new page, on which you are subjected to a minute of ads before your torrent download proceeds. I am not a fan of this setup. It can be resolved, though, by simply taking advantage of the free registration. This eliminates all ads.

Pricing and Plans

Riper is a free torrenting community that thrives on donations. So, if you find that you really love what this site has to offer, I encourage you to donate a little something (if you can afford it). This majorly helps keep the site free for all of us!

Likes & Hates:
Active and engaged community of peers
Tons of chat, discussion, and social networking features
No ads (upon registration)
Tons of torrents (versatile range)
Not the easiest downloads for visitors
Very Russian-centric
Could be better optimized for mobile