One of the world’s biggest torrent sites has abruptly shut down.
Torrentz, a search engine for finding torrent files has ceased operations, telling users: “Torrentz will always love you. Farewell.”
The site, founded in 2003, differs from many other torrent sites (like The Pirate Bay) in that it doesn’t host any torrent files itself. Instead, it acts as a “meta-search engine,” searching other search engines for whatever the user is looking for.
Torrentfreak, which was the first to report on its closure, says it was the largest meta-search engine for torrents around.
If you go to Torrentz’ website now, it has a banner along the bottom informing visitors that “Torrentz was a free, fast and powerful meta-search engine combining results from dozens of search engines.”
If you try to search for anything, or click on a link, it is replaced with a new message: “Torrentz will always love you. Farewell.”
Torrenting is a popular method of file-sharing. Users download a small “torrent file” associated with the actual file they want to download, which then connects them to a decentralised swarm of users that has that file — downloading bits of it from multiple sources simultaneously. It can have a bad rep as it’s often used for piracy, but has plenty of legitimate uses too.
The abrupt closure of the 13-year-old site comes hot on the heels on the shutdown of KickassTorrents, the world’s biggest torrent site, and the arrest of its alleged owner. Torrentz may not have hosted torrent files itself, but its operator may well still have been feeling the heat.
Torrentz’ owner was not immediately contactable, but told TorrentFreak they did not want to comment on the closure.