1337x: The Best Torrent Tracker You Don’t Know About
Some torrent trackers, like The Pirate Bay, make headlines all the time, while others stay under the radar and try not to attract too much attention to themselves. 1337x belongs to the latter group, and we’re convinced that it might just be the best torrent tracker you’ve never heard about.
1337x Meaning and History
1337x is pronounced like the word “leet,” which is hacker speech for “elite.” The word “leet” was first used with its current meaning in the 1980s. Back then, computer enthusiasts and early software pirates used to roam bulletin board systems (BBS) and discuss a variety of topics, including cracking, hacking, and file sharing.
Of course, not all BBS participants were all talk and no action. Some had used their programming skills to crack copy protection mechanisms, break into private systems, and develop groundbreaking software and hardware solutions that earned them fame and the elite status.
1337x follows up on this tradition by providing a directory of torrent files and magnet links used for peer-to-peer file sharing through the BitTorrent protocol. Being a public torrent directory, 1337x is open to everyone, not just a select few elite hackers with the skills to bypass bleeding-edge copy protection mechanisms.
But just because anyone can register on 1337x doesn’t mean that all 1337x are equal. Users registered on the site are ranked according to their contribution. For example, all VIP Uploaders have demonstrated that their uploads are completely legitimate, high quality, and original.
1337x Blocking and Censorship
Like most other torrent directories, 1337x has faced a number of shutdown attempts. Arguably the most severe one came in 2016, with Google’s ban of the site from its search queries following a request by Feelgood Entertainment in 2015.
This forced 1337x to switch to a different domain name to at least partly evade the block. Currently, 1337x’s official domain name is 1337x.to, which is ranked as the 300th most visited domain name on the internet.
1337x is also blocked by several countries, including United Kingdom, Australia, Russian Federation, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Spain, Singapore, Belgium, India, and Iran. 1337x users living in these countries are forced to embrace various technological means that allow them to circumvent government censorship and anonymously access 1337x and other blocked websites.
1337x Proxy Servers
Perhaps the easiest way for people living in countries where 1337x is blocked how to access the site are 1337x proxy servers. A proxy server is a server that acts as an intermediary for requests from clients that are seeking resources from other servers. When you access 1337x through a proxy server, outside observers, such as your ISP or the government, only see that you’re connected to the proxy server and don’t see that the proxy server is relaying data from 1337x to you.
1337x proxy servers are sometimes confused with 1337x mirrors. A 1337x mirror is simply a clone of the original site with a different domain name and servers. On the other hand, a 1337x proxy server is an independent site that facilitates the connection to the original 1337x and often to other websites as well.
In practice, it doesn’t really matter whether you connect to 1337x through a proxy server or using a 1337x mirror as both provide roughly the same degree of privacy.