We’ve written plenty of posts on warez forums and release blogs here at FSF, but one aspect to direct download links we’ve neglected to touch deeper on is the ever-growing world of warez networks. Also simply known as “DDL-indexing” sites (think: Katz.cd), by their own right these are indeed full-fledged networks with complex inner workings. Well, perhaps not the majority of them. In this article we’ll do our best-effort to explain the internal nature of the warez network scene, the competitiveness within it, and which sites are the best - and why.
Chances are you’ve already heard of Katz.cd and PhazeDDL; two sites which are universally accepted to be at the top of the warez network pyramid. In a nutshell, these networks provide leecher traffic to warez forums and release blogs around the Net. But mostly forums, not blogs (especially true for these top two networks which use a site rating system
- we’ll explain this later). At first glance it may appear these warez networks act as meta-search engines for DDLs, when in fact this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. They aren’t really “searching” at all. Links are manually submitted, or even auto-submitted, or else mirrored from other networks.
The reason why these networks have become so popular is that they allow leechers to search across hundreds of warez forums (and blogs) to find what they need, without even registering on these external sites. They also show up frequently on Google result pages and gain traffic that way. The forums are required to add a link to the host network (say, to Katz.cd) in order to get listed; but they also link with other forums/blogs for SEO purposes, and to gain members from other boards.
How ‘Warez Networks’ Operate
For now we’ll focus on Katz since most people would consider it to be the top-dog among all networks (plus, it’s easier to focus upon the internals of just one site rather than two or more). PhazeDDL (and a few others) have adopted a similar indexing style, but it’s Katz that pioneered the current system to what it is today. It could even be suggested that other warez networks are just copycats and/or borrowing the same motif; and generally they’d be right. We’ll elaborate more on this point later in the article.
The Perpetually Updating Katz Index…
One might ask, ”Where does Katz.cd get all those new links?” or ”How is it that thousands of verified links appear on Katz every day?”. As crazy as it may seem, Katz doesn’t employ a unique search utility to find links, nor do they “spider” forums/blogs for links - they don’t have to. You see, the links come to them.
Forums (and blogs) are more than willing to supply their links to Katz in exchange for traffic. But not the traffic you’re thinking of; there’s no SEO or immediate link exchange to the forum (from Katz to the host site). To elaborate on this; Katz doesn’t link directly to these forums, but instead launches the host site within its own browser “frame” as soon as a user clicks a link. Smartly, all traffic is kept within Katz which keeps it popular and high-ranked among other sites. As seen below, this practice is not only exclusive to Katz but one that’s quite common within the warez scene.
Even from within this frame, Katz’ readers are able to easily find working links to 1-click hosters to download the files. While these forums don’t get anything in return for being indexed on Katz, they still stand to earn money or other comps from their own direct-download links which are most often connected to affiliate accounts on the filehosters. Indeed it pays to be indexed by Katz even if they won’t link back to you. Truth be known: many of Katz’ top-rated forums have terrible Alexa rankings (on their own) yet still prosper because of Katz. Clearly this is a successful mutualistic (ahem, symbiotic) relationship which benefits all entities concerned.
Katz ‘Site Rating’ System
Sites indexed by Katz are rated on a system from 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Those that are rated 4/5 will often appear on the main Katz.cd page as well as within the top listings for each specific browse category. It’s safe to conclude then, that the deeper back into the offered pages you go (pages are listed 1 - 100 on the browse), sites that are indexed far away from the first few pages will naturally receive less exposure. And on any given day there are *at least* 4,000 newly added entries to Katz, although we would assume it to be much higher.
It’s a tough system to get into - and a very competitive one - mostly due to the fact that Katz is incredibly popular (ranked #1,075 overall among all websites by Alexa), thus warez sites are heavily inclined to get indexed there. Notably there are some strict conditions, mainly;
- • All DDLs must be publicly available & accessible to non-registered members.
- • Forums must first link to Katz.cd using a Katz banner in order to become eligible for ranking inclusion (and thus being indexed).
- • Blogs will seldomly reach higher than a rank of 2 or 3.
Submitting the Links
The forums need to submit any downloads that they want to be listed through a submission page like these examples shown below. This would be considered the manual method for submitting links:
Webmasters who submit downloads to a range of networks prefer to use an auto-submitter script such as these listed below. This is how the content is mirrored across many warez networks.
http://rardownload.net/auto/ (126 sites listed)
http://www.ddlsubmitter.com (113 sites listed)
http://warezlinkers.com/auto/ (95 sites listed)
http://www.gotphaze.com/submit/ (limited array of supported sites)
http://www.mechosubmitter.com (just 14 sites)
(It’s worth noting that some webmasters choose to use a built-in mod on their forum to submit, as found in this vBulletin example).
Lack of ‘Scene Tags’ on Releases
One aspect which confuses a lot of torrent/scene users is why they don’t use the full release name in download titles. On warez networks you will not find tags such as “DVDRip”, “HDTV”, “720p”, “TS”, “CAM” etc; codec tags like “XviD”, and group names like “IMAGiNE”, “NeDiVx” are purposely omitted on the actual network search/browse page. The download titles are kept clean, it’s easier to search and cleaner to represent - this is another reason why warez networks and forums have become so popular. Warez leechers sometimes get confused by those tags, which is why they don’t use them on the actual warez network itself. Forums that submit downloads to the warez networks submit the downloads without tags, but they will often use the full release name in the forum post so experienced leechers know what they are downloading.
The Evolution of Warez Networks
Everyone can agree that the Internet is already overcrowded with warez forums, blogs, and even these networks themselves. In relation to the networks, there are crucial defining features that separate the trendsetters from the rest of the pack. Here are two of them.
1. Site Rating System:
The rating system as we know it was established by Katz.cd and is considered to be the de-facto standard among top warez networks. Looking at traffic stats, one could conclude that sites that aren’t using this method are being left behind in favor of ones that do. A perfect example of this is PhazeDDL, easily regarded as the #2 network to Katz, recently copied Katz’ unique rating system. Others are following suit, such as DDL0.com which has begun to gain traction in the community.
The purpose of ranking/rating warez forums & blogs is two-fold: Firstly; it promotes a system for forums to be honest and reliable as to provide valid links, and at the same time they’re encouraged to stay active. Secondly; it removes the element of uncertainty among shifty warez forums which could potentially contain detrimental factors to the average leecher. In short - a rating system regulates the quality of releases and the sites which post them, and thus effectively filters out the scum.
2. Filehoster on Display:
Warez networks which allow the option to choose/filter between certain filehosters (or at least display the DDL options) have an distinct advantage over ones that don’t. This doesn’t necessarily render the competition obsolescent, but this feature has certainly raised the bar somewhat. A leecher who has just one premium account at either RS, HotFile or FileServe can easily discover in advance which forum (and thus which release) contains his/her preferred hoster links. The same tactic can be applied to downloaders who are adept at using “interchangable links” in order to download for ‘free’ from multiple filehosters.
As far as we know, this was also a “first” to come to Katz. Others have adopted it (but curiously not Phaze). DDL0 uses it, as well as as a handful of others:
Rapidshare may be dying a slow death among 1-click hosters, yet there are still plenty of premium members holding onto ‘rapids’ and/or a yearly subscription. This is why most sites still offer RS links, at least for the time being. A feature that clearly stands out on Katz is the ability to sort filehosters within the search results. Shown below, users can toggle the positioning of filehosters which are to be displayed within a search query. Simply click on the “File Hosts” link and enable it, then drag-n-drop hosters within that window to your desired order of results. TIP: This only works when a search string is entered; when used, this feature is not applied to the main ‘browse’ page of Katz nor to selected categories (although we would highly recommend such a feature to be integrated into both in the future).
The Top ‘Warez Networks’
There are two places where you’re most likely to find unique (and mainstream) content, and they’re at Katz and Phaze, but there are others which are growing quickly. Some newer networks are turning out to be big competitors in the warez scene. Most others are just small-time networks which are basically copies of the two larger networks; they get their content by feeding off the auto-submitter scripts. Below is a list of the top networks on the warez scene, in our opinion. The rest are just full of duplicate content that can be found on any of the sites in the list below.
Alexa Rank: #1,079. SiteReport: #1,365.
Katz needs no further introduction. If we had to pick just one network that has distanced itself from the rest of the pack, it’s Katz. Undeniably Katz is the preferred network for warez downloaders, notably because of its clean and up-to-date layout, strict rules for networked websites, not to mention their original rating system & unique uploader tools. Their filehost filtering is an added bonus; a feature that will hopefully spill over to more networks. Katz continually evolves & reinvents itself to set a higher standard. It’s great to see other networks that adopt similar benchmarks; this can only be viewed as a positive for the warez community.
Alexa Rank: #2,238. SiteReport: #2,067.
PhazeDDL is considered to be the underdog to Katz; their #1 contender. Both networks are the oldest in existence and there’s been a lot of history (and competition) between the two in the past. Founded in 2002, PhazeDDL has a sleek easy-to-browse layout and also uses a rating system (from 1 to 6, instead of 1 - 5 like Katz). In any given month expect to find in excess of 100,000 new links at Phaze. To their detriment, there is no immediate method for displaying links which contain certain filehosters - a ‘click-in’ is required first.
Alexa Rank: #6,694. SiteReport: #4,839.
Very few networks can continue to get away with being as successful as DDLSpot, all the while with no adaptation to current schemes (rating system / filehost listing) or other extras. Due to sheer traffic stats alone, we ranked this one #3 in the list although evidently there are superior networks listed below (at least in our opinion). DDLSpot uses a codebase which is akin to what most older networks are using: a no-frills conventional layout combined with a steady stream of new additions. Their ‘category browsing’ is a bit of a drag: Only the most recent 50 added links are on display, with no available option to browse deeper into the database within a selected category. The search button is your best friend here.
Alexa Rank: #39,754. SiteReport: #40,396.
Twilight.ws is a network that incorporates both site ranking and 1-click hoster display on the browse, plus they offer some extras such as YouTube trailers when applicable to films & TV (nice touch!). From what we can tell, Twilight has indexed an estimated 175,000 new posts during the past 30 days (see twilight.ws/page-4370 which displays results stemming back to June 25/26, multiply this by 40 results per page to get to our 175K results). We placed Twilight.ws at #4 because of the staggering amount of content, some of which can’t be found at Katz or Phaze due to these two latter sites’ stricter policy towards site inclusion. In this case, more is certainly better.
Alexa Rank: #67,609. SiteReport: #61,707.
DDLO.com is a newcomer to the warez network scene but don’t let that spook you. There are no sneaky links that intentionally point to pay-2-download sites as witnessed on some of the older-style networks. Having indexed more than 100,000 posts since April 2010 is no minor achievement. DDL0 uses both site ranking and filehoster display (similar to Katz & Twilight) within categories and on the browse. An added bonus is that they include some information on the host site, instead of just listing all releases from a chosen forum (click on the forum name in the “Provider” column to retrieve info about the site, as well as offered links - see screenie below). This one’s going places!
Alexa Rank: #19,641. SiteReport: #20,911.
MechoDDL also employs the rating system for forums/blogs and indexes approximately 50,000 new listings per month. Other sites worth mentioning include:
- • Warezko.com
- • Undernation.com
- • NexusDDL.com
- • DDL2.com
- • Xenu.ws
- • Downloadwarez.org
- • Atomicwarez.com
Remember the golden rule, folks. If any “featured download” (external link) asks you for money, you’ve inadvertently clicked on the wrong link.
lol only nublets didnt know this
i did thez yerz ago then i sold ma site and earned a buck and i got fly yo white nigga in the house pimpin them dawgz yo. anw nice article. hez to say sumthang nice rite
Atlast a true FSF article after ages lol.Nice read of DDL Indexers Demystified :D.
3rd. 3rd. 3rd.
And don’t delete this post thanks.
I can show hundreds of books, wares etc that were not available on the top 2 DDL
but were available on warez-bb
what about warez-bb???
Hotfile Forum Says:
A very well written article, thanks for the good read!
sharing is sexy! Says:
Its good to be back to DDL’s for a change,from torrenting.
Keep up the good work.
Is this a fucking joke?
Some people actually use these? The horror …
one click gayness.
to numbah 10 Says:
Yeah, katz and phaze together bring normally 20K UV per day if you are 5*
yeah, and when you got banned, your traffic drop to 5k
I still go to OneDDL.com over any of these sites.
A good DDL list site can be found at http://ddlrank.com
oneddl.com will die along with rapidshare anyway
Interesting article, though I’m an experienced torrenter, I know nothing about Warez. Would it be possible for you (or other readers) to add some commentary? What you consider the strengths & weaknesses or Warez, what you think of it, etc?
people actually use these ? i always thought those are only ad spam sites
david love Says:
get in http://www.scenetime.com
“”””””””””””Remember the golden rule, folks. If any “featured download” (external link) asks you for money, you’ve inadvertently clicked on the wrong link.””””””””””””””
LOL……. rapidshare , hotfile ,filserve links……
you NEED to pay to get any real use from those sites.
oh…. all the links are basically there to make money. Thats why hotfile, rapidshare are used.
AVOiD rapid$hare , Hot-Money-File ect……..
IF FREE users can’t get a decent use , then avoid.
ALWAYS REMEMBER…… The uploader is trying to make money from sharing on a few hosters.
Megaupload is good. . If a file is >200mb then the uploader gets NO rewards.
You’re suggesting MegaUpload because the uploader gets no rewards instead of suggestion a host where the free user gets the most out off? Sounds like you want to deprive the uploader more than benefit the downloader.
You’re an idiot. If all these filehosts removed their reward systems, then there wouldn’t be ppl uploading to them anymore.
Uploaders spend THEIR TIME uploading stuff, so its only fair that they get something out of it.
Good job sharky
lag response Says:
BEFORE I RESPOND…
To get reasonable use from rapidshare , hotfile and some others.
YOU NEED TO PAY. ( reality )
quote : “”You’re suggesting MegaUpload because the uploader gets no rewards instead of suggestion a host where the free user gets the most out off? “”
Sorry I came across a bit wrong….. Megaupload gives a great service to free users. (thats why I mentioned it )
It also rewards uploaders. And has a super premium service.
I am not against rewarding uploaders. (alougth it is a bit scetchy)
I am against uploaders who , dont care how long it takes a free user to download the files.
OR that requires payment to download.
Their primary aim is to make money from people downloading the links. Not sharing the files.
lag response Says:
You’re an idiot. If all these filehosts removed their reward systems, then there wouldn’t be ppl uploading to them anymore.
With that logic… torrent sites would not exist.
P2P would not exist.
This site would not exist. ( it is FileSHAREfreak after all )
NO files above 100mb would exist on megaupload…
…oh guess what ? they do exist [ QUOTE “” idiot “” ]
What about most DL blogs ?
they allow comments containing links.. they make money from adds/donations not links.
Its not my fault you bought a rapidshare premium account.
Lols. Good point I guess…
There would still be uploaders, but not that many, and not that fast…
And no I didn’t buy a rapidshare account. Why would I want one when I have access to private trackers…
A very well written article, thanks for the good read!
I’m surprised warez-bb isnt here. D=
@027 - Warez-BB is a forum, these sites let you search over a network of forums.
@LAG - I own a hotfile, rapidshare and megaupload lifetime premium account, you’re just a cheap ass who doesnt look at the bigger picture, we don’t have time to mess about with all these different torrent trackers and such. Its so much easier to download files directly from a server through http without all the hassle’s of torrenting.
I dont need to find a torrent invite, I just download.
I dont need to check for peers before downloading, I just download.
I dont need to install peerguardian, I just download.
I dont need to keep up a good ratio, I just download.
Search and download, its as easy as that.
It seems like a good article for the newbies lol. Good job explaining everything!
Search download, and pay by the month.
lol bitch get a grip
It remind me the old time ! BBS !
mrwarezguy well not everyone know about all the aspect of piracy even if they are one, and using the hydra (torrent, ddl…etc).
That’s not because you have access to a network that you can describe, explain, give tricks about all what’s going on inside, around (police, mpaa…etc). It’s true for any network… pirates, dating, finance… Most actors of those fields don’t know most things happening because they are not the one acting (high experimented users, administrators…), they just leech.
You need good magazines like this one to sum up all the information and have a clear view of what’s going on.
Remember all the fanzine like 2600, phrack…etc There were there to create a common culture and community. Without it you would be with your own limited information.
Without it you wouldn’t be as experienced as you are because you wouldn’t have access to information that feed your imagination, your skill.
You are just another epainis guy. Like the one willing to be part of FTN just because it’s hyped and are wannabees that wanna be the top.
Sorry to shoot on you, but i like that.
Don’t be touched,
http://www.xblade-scene.org Brand new torrent site looking for staff and uploaders to help site grow fast
how do you filter for 720p tv shows?
Nope stay away from those and stick to public torrent tracker ^_^. haha some people here actually don’t know how to use these indexers? hahaha if you spend 5 minutes on katz.cd and you still don’t know everything about it then it’s not for you.
I’ve found new site, http://lenix.org/
Great article, thanks. I’m a member of several good private trackers, have a seedbox, have a premium Usenet account and premium Rapidshare & Hotfile accounts, yet somehow these networks slipped under my radar all these years. Thanks Sharky!
we offer the best grade encryption for our openvpn servers. They are located in the US and in the UK, so they also good if you want to watch Hulu form outside the US or the BBC iPlayer outside the UK.
We also provide very cheap seedboxes hosted in Germany, France the US and the UK. Give us a try!
Blazing and Pimping Says:
This once invite only torrent site Dragons-Dungeon.com has open there doors once again. Due to a hack attempt and server problems (from the hack attack) they have since then moved to a new and better server company and are up and running again. All member accounts were lost, so they have been forced to open the doors. This is a fast growing torrent site that has lots and lots of torrents added daily. They have lots of dedicated uploaders unlike so many other places out there (not just a few staff members uploading like other sites). The shout box always has chatter going on. All torrents are upped on a seedboxes or dedicated servers. Staff are very friendly and helpful. So come join and check out this fast growing torrent site you wont be disappointed at all. http://www.dragons-dungeon.com
Nice Info,Katz Rullzz
brown handbag Says:
Are you positive that you simply have the facts straight? I’ve read a variety of articles that contradict what you stated here, so I don’t know what to believe.