I would like to start by pointing out that I’m not endorsing copyright infringement with this post, however The Pirate Bay has a massive amount of totally free downloads, from music promos to open source software, which the music and movie lobby groups have managed to get blocked in the UK courts (just ISPs Virgin Media, TalkTalk, O2, BT, Everything Everywhere) and I believe in a free and open internet. That being said, I’d also like to point out that infringement is not the same as theft, no matter how many times they tell you illegal downloading is ‘stealing’. I believe that until they give people reasonably priced, easy to access to TV shows and movies on demand, piracy is only going to keep getting more and more prevalent.
I won’t stay with an ISP that censors the internet, until I’m out of reasonable choices. I’m currently contracted to Virgin Media (because 100 meg), but I will switch to a fibre connection from a smaller ISP that hasn’t been forced into censorship by the BPI and company.
The craziest thing about all this for me is the fact that this has given The Pirate Bay a free massive profile boost via what is known as the Streisand effect.
The easiest option is to simply bypass the blocks with a mirror/proxy site. Here is a list of such sites that are tested to currently work on Virgin Media (and should work on all other UK ISPs):
- https://tpb.ipredator.se (official mirror)
- Google Translate
Yahoo Babelfish Translate
Other sites that you shouldn’t use:
alt.ragerik.info - Doesn’t work properly
thepiratebay.ee - DO NOT USE. It is a scam site.
There is also a guide on how to make your own TBP proxy here
. I’d also like to point out that you shouldn’t try to login via a TBP proxy site, as your username and password could be captured. If you do want to attempt to login to your account you should use a unique password that you only use on TBP.
By far my favourite in that list is Google Translate which you can just use as a fast, advert free, web proxy. Using something as simple as Google Translate to bypass a court-ordered block of The Pirate Bay made me chuckle. Another good tip is that you can just add .nyud.net to any URL to access it via the proxy, so http://thepiratebay.se becomes http://thepiratebay.se.nyud.net.
A reader called amity19 left a comment on this post pointing out that you can use the Opera web browser’s turbo feature to access The Pirate Bay and other blocked sites, as it routes all the requests via Opera’s servers for optimisation. To enable it, just go to Preferences > Webpages > Opera Turbo and enable it. It’s a handy feature and seems to work well.
You can also configure your web browser to use an HTTP or SOCKS proxy quite easily and there is a list of free proxies here and here. For the more technically inclined, I wrote a guide a while ago that tells you how to setup an anonymous Squid proxy on Debian linux, so you could get yourself a Virtual Private Server in another country and use that. A much more simple option however is to SSH to a computer in a country where it isn’t blocked. There is an easy to follow guide on how to do that here.
The above list will give you access to The Pirate Bay from UK ISPs, however if you really value your privacy, the best option is to use a VPN. You can download your torrents via this anonymously as well as broswing the site. If you want to be even more anonymous you can also use a pre-paid credit card to pay for them (to protect your privacy). There is a list of VPN providers here, however iPredator is operated by The Pirate Bay themselves and a good option. There are also free services such as VPNReactor, which will give you 30 minutes free per connection, which should be plenty of time to find the magnet link to download the latest music promo, etc.
To go one better than a VPN for downloading, use a Seed Box (more info here).
There is also a petition against the censorship of The Pirate Bay, here.