When most people think about file sharing, with a negative connotation, they think of BitTorrent. The protocol, used for sharing large files via a peer-2-peer network, has gotten a lot of bad reputation over the years. People using it have sued countless times and big BitTorrent related sites have come under fire as well.
But, perhaps because of this constant assault, BitTorrent is not the preferred way of sharing files for most people.
Instead, file hosting and sharing services, so-called cyberlockers, are dominating file sharing.
As a list compiled
by TorrentFreak shows, the only two sites related to BitTorrent to enter the top 10 biggest English language file sharing sites in the world, are The Pirate Bay and the Torrentz search engine.
The most popular site for sharing files is, by far, 4shared, with an audience of some 55 million monthly unique visitors.
The numbers come from Google's Double Click AdPlanner top 1,000 sites list, which is only a reference for advertisers to get an idea of the size of a site.
The list is not provided as hugely accurate and plenty of people dispute the numbers posted by Google. Overall though, while the numbers may not be exact, the ranking should hold.
The top five biggest file sharing sites, Megaupload, Mediafireo, Filestube, Rapidshare and 4shared, of course, are all cyberlockers or, in the case of Filestube, cyberlocker search engines.
The Pirate Bay comes in at number six with 23 million unique visitors, half of what 4shared manages to get. Torrentz, the other BitTorrent site on the list is at number 9, with only 15 million monthly unique visitors.
The number of visitors to the site is one thing, BitTorrent traffic may still be larger on the internet, especially since larger files are usually shared via BitTorrent rather than cyberlockers, which can be slow and have file size limits.