Legal complications and the constant blocking of online download platforms has resulted in many operators looking for new solutions for staying online in the future. Now, reports are pointing to Play, a new peer-to-peer (P2P) site for downloading torrents that is practically impossible to shut down and promises to be the latest technology to revolutionise online downloads.
The platform has appeared recently across ZeroNet, a Budapest-based open source site which is looking to offer a home to decentralised platforms which employ Bitcoin-crypto and BitTorrent technologies. Users visiting ZeroNet are not only viewing it, but hosting it also. In this way, once a user joins the network, and requests a page, they will be retrieving it from other ZeroNet users.
As no central server exists, every additional user is a further point of connection inside the network, helping to avoid potential failures. If one of the connections fails, this does not necessarily compromise the entire downloads platform.
As the first torrent site to appear on the network, Play can be accessed directly through a ZeroNet URL (only available with the tool installed). The site serves magnetic links sourced from RARBG, with which users can download films, series and other media files, in varying qualities. A YouTube link is also provided to the related trailer, where possible.
However, as TorrentFreak notes, ZeroNet is not entirely anonymous as user IP addresses remain public, unless Tor or a VPN is in use. While ZeroNet itself is not an illegal platform, Play is identical to any other P2P download site in that it could face legal challenges over violating copyright.
In January 2014, The Pirate Bay discussed its plans to create a P2P network which could help them avoid being taken down or blocked. While ZeroNet has achieved this aim, The Pirate Bay’s idea seems to have fizzled out somewhat. Last year, the company behind file-sharing client uTorrent, BitTorrent, also revealed plans to launch its own people-powered browser, called Maelstrom. The project still remains in beta testing – currently limited to Windows only.