The United Kingdom has been actively blocking torrent sites for years, starting with ThePirateBay in 2012. The list of UK blocked sites continues to grow, and now includes over 120 blocked domains. Even torrent proxy sites have been added to the blockade, the UK being one of the first countries to do so.
But there is still hope for would-be torrent users.
There are several quick ways that you can get around the blockade, and easily access any active torrent site in the world.
Most of the methods we will share are completely free, though the paid solutions do have some distinct advantages, (like enhanced privacy while downloading).
Before first, let me show you how your ISP is blocking you in the first place, so you can better understand how we will get around the block. Or just skip ahead…I won’t tell.
Let’s get to it.
How (and why) UK Torrent Sites are Blocked
Though torrent sites in the UK are blocked by court order, it actually takes the cooperation of ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) to implement and enforce the ban, since they are the gatekeepers to the internet.
The UK’s 5 largest ISPs are: Sky, Virgin, BT, TalkTalk and EE. They are all participating in the blockade.
How the sites are blocked
Every time you type a domain name into your web browser (like ‘www.google.com’) your computer sense a request to a DNS (Domain Name System) server. This DNS server connects the domain name (google) to the physical location of google’s servers on the internet (ip address).
Internet Providers in the UK use a technology called ‘Transparent DNS Proxy’ that ensure all DNS requests you make are routed to their DNS servers.
This means they know every website you visit. They found it for you, and they transferred the data to your computer.
This makes it incredibly easy to block any website they choose. They simply refuse redirect your computer to the appropriate internet address.
Ok so how to bypass it?
How We’ll Unblock Torrent Sites
To get access to blocked sites, you need to achieve the item #1 below, and sometimes #2 as well (depending on your ISP).
To Unblock a site you must:
- Use a DNS server not controlled by your ISP
- Encrypt your data transfer (so your ISP cannot tell you’re visiting a blocked site)
This may sound complicated (and in fact the technology behind it is) but you can easily achieve both steps for free, with just a few clicks.
Unblocking UK Torrent Sites (FREE METHODS)
Before we start, here’s one important caveat:
These methods will unblock access to torrent sites, but it WILL NOT prevent your ISP from seeing your actual torrent downloads. They will still be able to monitor, throttle, or even block your actual torrent downloads.
To make your torrent activity more anonymous, you need good VPN (try this one. It’s perfect.)
For more information, read our awesome guides:
- How to use uTorrent Anonymously
- How to use Deluge Anonymously
- How to use Vuze Anonymously
- Guide to hiding torrents in the UK
Now, onto the unblocking tools:
Unblocked.pw is the best place to start, because it’s the quickest/easiest solution (assuming it works for you). Basically they have links to proxies for 20+ of the most popular torrent sites in the world. And virtually none of these proxies are on the blocked list (and if they are, they’ll be updated).
Just pick a site…click…torrent.
2. Tor Browser
If you’re not already familiar with Tor, you should be.
It’s the world’s most popular anonymous web browser. It encrypts and hides all your browser traffic inside multiple layers of anonymous proxy tunnels (for free).
You don’t need to know all the techy stuff, cause it just works right out of the box. In fact, it’s just a custom skin of Mozilla Firefox, with all the anonymous proxies configured internally, so you don’t have to mess with anything.
Tor makes your web browsing virtually untraceable, and it’s totally encrypted so your ISP won’t have a clue what your doing online. Download Tor Here.
3. Use a free HTTPS web proxy
There are dozens of free web proxies available. Basically they work like this:
You type the site you want to unblock, and instead of redirecting you to the site, the web proxy fetches the site on your behalf.
They then transfer the fetched site to you wrapped in https encryption (so your ISP can’t see it).
Here are some good free web proxies (tested and working with torrent sites):
- Hide.me proxy (click the free proxy tab at the top. They have a free VPN too!)
- KProxy.com – (also offers a free chrome extension)
Unblocking Torrent Sites with a VPN (Pro Method)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is #1 recommended tool to unblock torrent sites and download torrent files.
- It works seamlessly with your browser and torrent client
- You can choose the VPN server location (no google results in French)
- It anonymizes your torrent downloads, and keeps peers from monitoring your identity or torrent history.
Yes, a (good) VPN will cost a bit of coin, but the benefits are much worth more than the £ 5 it’ll cost.
VPN’s I Like:
Torrent Sites that Aren’t Blocked by Sky
One of the most commonly asked questions by UK Bittorrent users is: Which torrent sites aren’t blocked by Sky?
In reality, SKY (and the other major UK Internet Providers) have been incredibly effective at blocking the high-traffic torrent sites worldwide.
But according to TorrentFreak, several sites may have slipped through the cracks including:
Also, most ISP blockades only block Public torrent sites. Private trackers are left pretty much alone, so if you can get invited to a private tracker, SKY’s blockade won’t be much of an issue.
If you’ve read this far, then you definitely have at least one working method to unblock your favorite torrent websites.
To recap what we’ve learned, there are several ways to access torrent sites
- Use Unblocked.pw
- Use Tor
- Use a web proxy (like kproxy)
- Visit torrent sites that aren’t blocked (yet)
- Use an anonymous VPN and make your torrent history private
Thanks for reading! Please share this site with a friend, I know they’ll appreciate it.