A list of file sharing sites you should avoid - and why.
Undoubtedly, whenever something becomes popular - even hip - unsavory entities will always smell money and seek ways to capitalize on the hapless misfortune of others. We cannot find a clearer example of this than to look at P2P file sharing - it abounds in misdirection, half-truths and flim-flams. It’s the quintessential poster child for scam artists everywhere. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Never open your wallet for P2P programs, software or services.
Fake ‘File Sharing’ program sites.
These websites attempt to masquerade as an official P2P website in hopes to catch unsuspecting visitors who don’t know the difference, or, they were once great P2P sites but don’t exist anymore, and the domain was snatched up by same bullshit company that ruins the Internet with these shameless takeovers. Some of these sites attempt to cash in by using a brand-name of file sharing software, such as BitComet and Azureus. The scam is that these programs are already free. Here’s some examples.
— bittorrentdownload.com - They even use the
original BitTorrent client logo in hopes to lure users.
— www.officialares.com - There is absolutely nothing official about this Ares site whatsoever.
— bitcomet.hillbillysofts.com - or anything else by hillbillysofts.com (azureus.hillbillysofts.com)
]5 (or any other)
]6 (or any other)
— www.suprnova.com - Suprnova is now a scam site.
— xbits.xtorrenst.net - links up to the Suprnova scam site.
— http://www.allpspgames.com - Big scam - they actually released a “program” at www.download.com which is nothing more than a plug for their pay scam site. I’ve seen better cracktros! Avoid!
— http://www.pspgoldmine.com/ - all “PSP” links through this scam site point to rip-off PSP-style pay sites. Avoid!
…and there’s many more.
These websites listed below have been taken over by a stealth Internet company known as MusicLab, LLC. Originally, these were the official homes to good file sharing programs, some of which still connect to millions of file sharers, even today. But you don’t want to be visiting these links anymore to get the latest versions, we can tell you that.
— www.bearshare[dot]com / www.bearflix[dot]com
If you weren’t already aware, “warez” is a catchall for the illegal trade, release and distribution of any copyrighted materials - but generally it relates to illegal software. A long, long time ago, the word “warez” was an underground term used only by “the scene” community; nowadays since its widespread inception, it is a term primarily avoided by anyone in-the-know. The two exceptions to this are the newsgroups - many a good warez program still come out of newsgroups with warez in the title; and the second is IRC. Warez is a popular keyword to use in an IRC channel name - it brings sought-after traffic from new and old IRC users alike.
Warez and malware/viruses.
While it is rather commonplace to find malware, trojans and viruses in illegal software, or warez - this usually depends on how far down from the top of the illegal distribution pyramid that the software was acquired. Software that is directly released by ’scene’ release groups will contain zero malware. It is the process of its arrival to you through the many layers of file sharing/distribution that introduce these undesirable attributes. Thus file sharing at the “Limewire” level (being at the bottom of the pyramid) will always contain the most malware - it’s been ’stepped-on’ too many times to be trustworthy.
That said, the biggest occurence of malware doesn’t come from the actual warez itself. It comes from searching for warez on the Internet, primarily in a web-browser.
Do not search for the keyword “warez” in your Internet browser.
While many sites are honest, just as many are not. You will catch malware from warez websites, should the dice decide to roll against you. As of late, the page rankings for bad warez sites are steadily on the decline in the search engines. This is largely due to the increased popularity of low-risk [Direct Download Links](../warez-hosting-websites/ “Finding illegal files on DDL ‘warez’ sites”) ‘warez’ websites that have taken over the top spots. If you want to find illegal content in a browser, search for ‘Direct Download Links’ instead of the keyword ‘warez’.
Here’s a few examples of warez sites that will load malware into your computer as soon as you enter them: (NOTE: We removed the hyperlinks for safety reasons - you don’t want to visit these sites).
Warez and money.
Some warez websites charge fees to download or subscribe. An unscrupulous example of this is www.warezquality.com. In order to ‘access’ the warez (if there is any), users must first purchase a 3-day trial account for $4.87 from an adult website. What’s porn got to do with illegal software?! Oh, yeah: ripoffs. Explain that one to your wife who opened the credit card bill first - “Honey, I was just trying to download some illegal software, it has nothing to do with porn!”. Other examples include:
http://www.pirateaccess.com - Another 3-day porn-pass site. Save your money, save your dignity and save your self-respect. You’ll feel cheaper than a bukkake porn star if you fall for this flim-flam!
http://directfileaccess.com - What is it with these $4.87 scam sites?! Yet another example of a 3rd party ‘affiliate’ adult-subscription site. And this one is the same - http://www.fullreleasez.com.
http://www.sharingzone.net/ - Not cheap - we’re more than certain that once you gain ‘access’, you’ll only get links to files hosted on rapidshare.com that can be found for free. This scam is on par with those file sharing scam sites that charge money only to receive a free file sharing program.
Other warez sites will charge a flat-fee to download the actual software directly, cleverly disguised as a reputable OEM software supplier, which they are clearly not. Often they will use screenshots and graphics taken from the software or original publisher’s website, and are hosted in faraway lands outside of the reach of InterPol or anti-piracy agencies. It is truly unknown what you’ll actually receive.
Searching for Cracks, Serials, Keygens
This is probably the most dangerous thing to do of all. Not because it slides a hand into your wallet, but because it can do some serious damage to your computer, antivirus or not. We admonish any activities associated with using a search engine to seek out serial numbers, cracks or keygens. However, we do do list a few safe serial/crack sites [here](/2007/12/12/using-serials-cracks-keygens/ “Good sites for Serials, Cracks, Keygens”). (NOTE: Lately Google has been removing some of the search results for serials, due to copyright laws and infringement).
Avoid sites that offer a free ‘premium’ account to popular file hosting websites such as rapidshare.com or megaupload.com. This is undoubtedly a scam. Read [here](../warez-hosting-websites/#free_rapidshare “‘Free’ Premium account upgrade scams”) for an example.
Avoid websites that sell codecs/codec packs for video playback. One such example is www.k-litecodecpack.com. Not only do they try to sell you a codec pack, they attempt to upsell you on a ‘download free’ movies package, as well. Codecs are freeware, and so are most P2P programs.
Avoid this site: http://fastspeedtorrents.com or anything that looks like it. For a while they were using http://highspeedtorrents.com as well, but presently it’s located at http://highspeedtorrent.com (notice the subtle difference in URL?). Scam city! And we’re more than certain that the same site will pop up again under a similar name, once it has exhausted it’s user-base of people it can scam. Read what torrentfreak.com has to say about it.
well which sites are safe, and have an extensive database of material other than usenext.
sharingzone affected Says:
I Was looking for something dificult to find and I felt down to sahringzone I paid for nothing. there is not much places complining about this…..
I’m curious to know if sharingzone.net is a scam site.
I have an account that I did not pay for, but I am new to this kind of thing so I cannot tell for sure. I’m a little bit suspicious because when directed to the members page, they tell you to download their default client “Ares”. And if I’m not mistaken is free software to begin with.
Is their something special that their doing? Or is it just another scam? I can’t really get a straight answer anywhere! I read numerous reviews, and they all seemed to love the damned site. (shrug)
I just want a straight answer from someone with greater knowledge to this kind of stuff, and not from some bloody kid always calling people retards and what have you.
please enlighten me.
Yes, it’s a scam site. There’s nothing special in what http://www.sharingzone.net is doing. I got victimized by a similar site - http://www.shareconsole.com. Checkout and compare their websites. Exactly the same sales pitch and similar claims of being rated #1 by CNN, AOL, CNET and MSNBC. Plus you will notice the same misleading ploys to make you think you will get some tremendous download access and “turbocharged” speeds when you become a member.
Ares Galaxy is a P2P software client. It’s shareware. You can download it from http://aresgalaxy.sourceforge.net/. There you will find more info. on how this works. If you go to this site and download the software, then run it, you bascially get the same thing as in getting it from http://www.sharingzone.net except you do not need to pay for it. P2P software is let’s you participate in a file sharing network. Other people using the same P2P software can share with you their files and you can download it.
In summary, these sites dupe you into thinking that they give you some special “value added” service in terms of “turbocharged” download speeds and implies that they have a library of millions of files under their control that you can download and is even enumerated in their download categories in their website. People who have used P2P software clients before will be extremely angry to find out that their membership only entitled them to a download of Ares Galaxy. Who wants to pay for something that’s free?
I know this for a fact because I was scammed by this site. I bought the membership and was aghast to see that all I get is a download of Ares Galaxy which I already use! I tried installing their copy to see if there is anything special in their copy. Nada! Nothing. It’s exactly the same as the free download you get from other shareware sites.
Even though mobile porn is seeing tremendous growth, I still think that the US is about 5 years behind the rest of the world :/