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Are you in the market for a new torrent site? Maybe you want a torrent site with a greater sense of community. Perhaps you want a torrent site that is less American and Eurocentric.
If any of this sounds like you, perhaps it is time you considered a private torrent tracker. For today’s purposes, though, I want you to do me a favor and bracket everything that you know about private torrent trackers. Zamunda is not your typical torrent tracker. This Bulgarian torrent tracker is less a private torrent tracker (in the strictest sense of the term) and more of a semi-private torrent tracker and torrenting social network.
Let’s break down in a little more depth what exactly that means. So, as you may or may not already know, there are various types of torrent sites. There are torrent indexes, there are torrent search engines (sites that aggregate torrents from multiple different indexes), then there are torrent trackers (sites that track the activity of its users to ensure healthier torrents and a fairer experience overall.
Torrent trackers are, more often than not, private. Sometimes they are even extremely exclusive. Many of them tend to cater to a specific niche in terms of content, and the majority of them only allow users to register who have invite codes. In other words, you have to have essentially been recommended by a current user of the tracker in order to sign up for an account.
Furthermore, traditional private torrent trackers can be very strict about their regulations. They can, in short, be a little high maintenance. Some are very difficult to adhere to. Others are a bit laxer, but all are likely to have some form of regulatory protocol regarding seeding, downloading, uploading, and leeching. If you are not a torrenting expert, if you don’t want to invest in a seed box, and you don’t want to have to continuously donate every other month in order to artificially tend to your ratio, perhaps one of these very strict and exclusive private torrent trackers is not for you.
Don’t give up hope quite so easily, though, and think that you are doomed to either continue accepting the one size fits all torrent indexes or building your entire life around torrenting in order to keep up with one of these fascist private torrent trackers. There are sites that fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, too. Today’s site, Zamunda is one such site. I would call it a semi-private torrent tracker.
I use this term because, whereas you do not have to have an invite code to register as a user, you do have to register, nonetheless (so long as you catch the site at a time that they have open registrations). There are also restrictions regarding how many torrents you can download at a given time based on your ratio, as well file size restrictions. However, you are not going to have your account restricted or blocked the way that you would on stricter torrent trackers for not adequately meeting expectations.
Instead, your download power simply gets limited on a sliding scale according to your ratio. It’s more of an ‘invisible hand of the market’ philosophy – what happens, happens, according to how you download and upload torrents on the tracker. There are consequences for your actions, but they are not imposed by the torrent tracker itself. It’s a much more chill approach, if you ask me, than is taken by most fully private torrent sites.
Add to this the fact that Zamunda offers an incredibly active and friendly community and plenty of social networking features, and you have the recipe for one of the most unique and noteworthy torrent trackers on the web today. Is Zamunda the right torrent tracker for you? Well, there is only one way to find out. Let’s take a closer look at everything that this semi-private Russian torrent tracker has to offer, shall we?
So, for anyone who has read any of my private torrent tracker reviews in the past, it is no secret … I am generally not a huge fan of the way in which these sites tend to be designed. Have you seen some of these private torrent trackers before? They look like they were designed in the mid-90s and then left to rot over the last 25 years or so. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Zamunda will prove to be the exception to this rule…
I am disappointed to say that it most definitely is not the exception to this rule. Zamunda is just as terribly designed as the lion’s share of other private torrent trackers out there. Okay, maybe it is not fair to say that it is equally bad (there are some that are simply unforgiveable). At least Zamunda incorporates images and seems as if they have attempted to provide an intuitive and user-friendly experience. The site is not impossible to navigate. It’s just clunky and clumsy is all.
When you land on the site’s splash page, for instance, you might find yourself slightly confused as I was. There is a site menu bar at the top of the page (below an undiscernible blue and white egglike logo), the icons of which are comprised of cheesy clip art. Below that, all you will find is a login portal. You can register (at least at the time of this review) by clicking the link just below the login.
Other than that, it’s nothing but a white background. Once you do register and begin browsing for torrents and perusing the forums, you’ll find that the site is nothing special from a design standpoint – it is, more or less, the standard table of torrents. There is, though, to Zamunda’s credit, a good deal of additional media here. You’ll be able to find, in other words, screenshots, covers, sometimes trailers, etc. Many torrent trackers can’t say that much for themselves even.
Content and Features
This is where Zamunda gets funky, carving out its own space for itself among the throngs of torrent trackers on the internet. You have, first of all, a wide array of torrent types available here. Pretty much any kind of free indie torrent can be found here. Where Zamunda gets interesting, though, is in its social networking features.
You will, in addition to thousands upon thousands of free indie torrents, also find in-browser games to play, which are the perfect way to kill some time while you are waiting for your torrents to download. There are also very active and lively forums, allowing you to chat with your peers about a number of different topics. There is also a Zamunda blog for you to keep up with, a calendar of community online events, and a shopping tab.
Yes, you read that right, there is a shopping section of this torrent tracker. It is not quite as innovative as it sounds, though, once you realize that it simply links users to Shopi.bg, but without leaving the Zamunda website. Still, as far as extra activities to kill time while you download torrents is concerned, Zamunda is second to none.
All this aside, I wouldn’t want the quality and quantity of this site’s free indie torrents to be overshadowed. There is a wide array of free indie torrents available here, many of which are very well-seeded. It is nice to see that this tracker does not get its priorities out of whack in light of all of the extra features that are offered.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
Whereas I would not say that Zamunda is the most mobile friendly torrent tracker on the web, it works decently. The layout is not quite as optimized, in my opinion, as it could be. The sizing, for instance, does not fit smaller screens all that well. However, if you are ever in a pinch, torrenting from your mobile device is, at the very least, possible.