The torrent community has lost another major player with the self-imposed shutdown of ExtraTorrent, which claims it will be gone for good.
After the shutdown of KickassTorrents and Torrentz.eu last year, the options of individuals fond of illegal downloads have become further limited as another major torrenting site, ExtraTorrent, has decided to shut down and abandon its operations. According to reports, ExtraTorrent's decision to shut down came as a surprise as no one saw it coming.
Reportedly, earlier this week, users of the said torrenting site were greeted by a brief message saying:
"ExtraTorrent has shut down permanently. ExtraTorrent with all mirrors goes offline.. We permanently erase all data. Stay away from fake ExtraTorrent websites and clones. Thx to all ET supporters and torrent community. ET was a place to be...."
While there were some who were initially skeptical about the site's announcement, TorrentFreak reached out to an ExtraTorrent operator named SaM, who eventually confirmed the veracity of the message on the site. However, the said ExtraTorrent operator did not offer an explanation as to why it was shutting down and only said that it is time for the torrenting site to bid farewell.
However, TorrentFreak eventually got a word from SaM that the torrenting site's release group ETRG is already gone, and that the decision to shut down all boils down to lack of funds. Nonetheless, it is suspected that a legal pressure may have prompted ExtraTorrent to abandon its illegal operations.
With the unexpected shutdown of ExtraTorrent, reports claim that illegal downloaders have flocked to The Pirate Bay, RARBG, and YTS/YIFY.ag. However, with the prosecution on torrenting sites getting stronger and top software companies, such as Microsoft, developing software tools that can detect and block illegal downloads, it may just be a matter of time before these three follow the footsteps of ExtraTorrent.