BTJunkie - Editors Choice
It's funny because BTJunkie was a site that I had never heard of before, barely made the top ten list, and it turned out to be the largest BitTorrent index. BTJunkie also indexes private trackers which tend to have faster, higher quality torrents. I spoke with the operator who claims their success is due to having an automated web crawler similar to Google, which captures torrents from thousands of web sites. The site also has an innovative feature where users can have BTJunkie search the new torrents daily and e-mail them the results. The site is fast with powerful search options and the layout is "windows" like. Overall this is my number one pick due to it's huge index of active torrents, hats off to BTJunkie!
This search engine is operated by the founder of the BitTorrent protocol, Brah Cohen. The site lacks a directory service and does not store most torrents directly on their servers. This is probably due to being Incorporated in the United States and trying to avoid any legal troubles. The quality of the matches returned were mediocre at best, and only provided very limited "for dummies" information. Their index seams to be based mostly off of a few major indexes included in this study. The site was offline several times during our testing period too so they loose points for uptime. I personally expected better from the "creator".
BushTorrent & TorrentReactor
I was surprised to find out these two sites shared the same index and operator. The index is a good size with a very flexible and easy to use search. Most of the initial matches of searches were good but near the end were several non-relevant matches. The search gives you powerful control options for your queries by giving you the ability to match with OR or AND. Torrentreactor has definitely overkilled the ads and includes pop-ups.
Very basic site heavily integrated with usenext advertisements. The search is very limited, the only special option is to limit by category. The index is one of the largest but the incoming daily torrents are a little lower then they should be for such a high number.
This is the 2nd most popular BitTorrent site despite having around an average of only 1/3 as many torrents as other sites. The speed, quality, and simplicity of Mininova are what keep their users happy. Mininova was the largest successor of Suprnova's shutdown.
The Pirate Bay
The Pirate Bay is the largest BitTorrent tracker in the world. Famous for their blatant disregard for intellectual property rights, they are a beacon of light for a neutral Internet. The web site is easy to use and efficient with limited capabilities. Their index is comprised of only torrents they index on their tracker, but don't worry because there tracker has almost 350,000 torrents.
Torrent Portal is famous for there large following of faithful uploaders. They had the second most incoming daily torrents with 468,000 indexed, so they have a pretty good standard for active torrents. The web page is loaded with ads that can be reduced by becoming a member. The search gives powerful options to it's users.
TorrentSpy is the most popular BitTorrent site. They had the nicest interface and features out of all the sites we tested. They scored low where it counts the most, only an average of 640 torrents a day. We were surprised by this because it is the most popular yet it has such a poor index. The site has advanced identifications for torrents like languages and subs that are set by the users. Users can also report passworded archives within the torrents. Heavy on the ads and includes pop-ups. They are also currently being sued by the MPAA.
Torrentz is similar to Bittorrent.com in that it doesn't actually store the torrents on their servers but outsources to many of the sites included in this study. This is one of the only search engines that gives you the ability to search for files within the torrents. They only index torrents that have tested active with at least one seed which makes the quality of there index the best. It is not the best option if you are looking for something that is hard to find, torrents that have no seeds pull themselves together all the time.