Pirate Bay Launches A New Netflix-Like Video Streaming Service
Those people who thought the rise of Netflix would be the demise of The Pirate Bay should think again as the notorious torrent site takes another sojourn into the world of streaming.
The new Pirate Bay streaming site gives users the option of accessing content directly without waiting for the download process to complete. The Pirate Bay’s new site, called BayStream, operates just like Netflix, Disney plus, Amazon Prime, or any of the other big streaming sites.
It may not have the same user-friendly layout nor be completely legal to use, depending on the content you decide to stream, but it will no doubt attract a significant following, especially given the rising prices of today’s streaming subscriptions and limited availability of Disney plus.
Before leaping into the BayStream, however, we recommend exploring the potential dangers of streaming on The Pirate Bay and how to stay safe.
What is BayStream?
BayStream is The Pirate Bay’s latest attempt at offering streaming services to its torrenting clients. While in the past, Pirate Bay users could only download content, legal or otherwise, the new service means they can watch movies and listen to music without leaving their web browser.
At present, if you simply enter “BayStream” into a search engine and follow the links, all you’ll see is a page inviting you to upload and share content. In other words, it appears to be nothing like the inviting and colorful streaming services we’re used to. If, however, you head over to Pirate Bay (making sure your journey there is encrypted by a VPN, of course), you’ll find a new icon nestling beside some titles.
By clicking on the green play icon to the left of the title, Pirate Bay will automatically redirect you to a whole different side of its BayStream site. This version is somewhat more familiar and resembles the YouTube player interface, although getting to it does require a little patience.
Depending on whether you’re trying to access content from the original Pirate Bay site or one of its proxies, it will, unfortunately, impact on the success of your BayStream experience. At present, some links are broken, although accessing the most popular content seems to be a smoother process, regardless of your starting point.
Not only is the Pirate Bay streaming service simple and free to use, but it’s also offering high-definition quality, which is bound to give some of its streaming rivals a few sleepless nights, especially given the technical glitches Disney plus experienced during its US launch. After all, if you can watch The Mandalorian in HD for free, why bother signing up to a service like Disney plus and shelling out a monthly subscription fee?
Top VPNs for BayStream
The best VPNs for torrenting are often the same ones that offer the most secure yet streamlined streaming experience. The most important features are, obviously, speed and security. The following five VPNs have both of those in spades, as well as few other features that make them some of the best VPNs for streaming videos.
ExpressVPN has a reputation for being the fastest VPN in the world… and it is. Not only is ExpressVPN capable of producing fast, reliable connections from almost anywhere in the world, it also has one of the industry’s most robust and watertight privacy policies. ExpressVPN doesn’t just operate under a strict no-logging regime, it also uses zero-knowledge DNS, making its users even more secure.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming on BayStream because it offers the following features:
- Over 3,000 servers in 94 countries
- Military-grade encryption
- Strict no-logging policy
- Based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands
- Zero-knowledge DNS
- DNS leak protection
- Network Lock
CyberGhost may not be as fast as ExpressVPN, but it’s not lagging far behind either. With one of the largest server networks of any VPN provider, CyberGhost is both versatile and user-friendly.
CyberGhost is a user-friendly and affordable alternative to ExpressVPN and includes the following features:
- Over 5,900 servers in 90 countries
- 7 simultaneous connections
- Dedicated streaming servers
- Based in Romania
- Regular transparency reports
- Extra security with NoSpy servers
- Supports PPTP, L2TP-IPsec, and OpenVPN protocols
Surfshark combines ExpressVPN’s impressive speeds with some more advanced features offered by other leading VPN providers. Although Surfshark has only been around for a couple of years, it’s made quite a splash in the cybersecurity world by offering protection for an unlimited number of devices. A strict-no-logging policy is reinforced by its choice of the British Virgin Islands for its headquarters, while the WhiteLister and Clean Web features give it more versatility than many of its rivals.
- 1040+ servers in 61 countries
- Unlimited devices
- Multi-Hop VPN available
- Affordable plans
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Bypasses geographical restrictions
- Kill Switch
Known for its cutting-edge security and strong encryption, ProtonVPN is a reliable choice in terms of protecting you from malicious streams and preventing your ISP from throttling your bandwidth every time you visit BayStream. Based in Switzerland, ProtonVPN’s P2P-optimized and streaming-optimized servers are all situated in countries with strong privacy laws, giving its users even more protection. Affordable prices and a high level of customization make ProtonVPN one of the best VPNs for streaming, torrenting, while the addition of ProtonMail will encrypt all your emails and guard against phishing attacks.
- 628 servers in 44 countries
- Always-on VPN for public Wi-Fi protection
- P2P servers in privacy-friendly countries
- Tor over VPN
- Based in Switzerland
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Robust no-logging policy
The History of Pirate Bay Streaming Site
This isn’t the first time Pirate Bay has dipped its toe into the turbulent waters of streaming. Its first streaming attempt took place in 2011 and came in the form of a file-sharing service called BayFiles. While this was, in effect, just a sophisticated kind of cyberlocker, it was designed to make “sharing both effortless and efficient”.
Unlike The Pirate Bay, BayFiles operated legally, banning users from uploading or sharing any content that violated copyright legislation. Despite its efforts to stay above board and the fact that it attracted tens of thousands of users every day, BayFiles closed down in November 2014. Although the reasons for its demise remain unclear, many believe it was linked to the arrest of Pirate Bay operator and BayFiles registrant, Fredrik Neij.
After its first foray into the world of streaming, The Pirate Bay twiddled its thumbs for five years until, in 2016, it launched Torrents Time. This downloadable app is still around today and gives users the ability to download and stream at the same time.
Although it’s survived (so far), it hasn’t been without its problems. Within weeks of its launch, Torrents Time was attacked by a Dutch anti-privacy group who wrote to the site’s owners saying, “By offering Torrents Time, which is primarily engaged in the facilitating, enabling, and participating in the making available of infringing files… you are acting unlawful and infringe the copyrights and neighboring rights of others”.
While this isn’t the best news for the new Pirate Bay streaming site, the fact that Torrents Time is still up and running should be encouraging. Another positive is that nearly a month after the launch of BayStream, there’s not even murmuring about it – not even the usual cybersecurity experts have started jumping up and down about its potential dangers yet. Maybe this is an indication of things to come, or maybe it’s just the Christmas cheer that has so far kept BayStream safe from anti-piracy groups and copyright trolls.
Either way, whether you’re already a fan of Pirate Bay or prefer one of the best Pirate Bay alternatives, we predict it’ll only be a matter of time before you give in to temptation, click on that little green button and give the new Pirate Bay streaming service a test drive.
The Dangers of BayStream
Unfortunately, even without any challenges from anti-piracy groups and copyright trolls, BayStream could still damage your online reputation and your device. The Pirate Bay is notorious for the amount of malware that can be found bundled into its downloadable content and it’s highly likely BayStream will have to contend with the same problem.
British organization, the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), issued a report last year warning users, “You are 28 times more likely to be infected by malicious software when using illegal streaming!”. According to the FACT, illegal streaming services, like that launched by Pirate Bay, “offer virtually no security checks, do not employ moderation teams and offer content on a quantity first quality later basis”.
From ransomware to phishing attacks, identity theft, to plain old malware, the chances of picking up more than you bargained for on BayStream are high, which is why you need a VPN to keep those nasty viruses at bay.
Torrents Threaten to Flood Streaming Sites
The launch of the first streaming sites saw a sudden demise in torrenting’s popularity, but it seems that’s all about to change. These days, torrents are a lot safer than they once were, with research suggesting that, between 2015 and 2018, the percentage of torrents infected with malware dropped by around a third.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that all torrents are safe, and cybercriminals are all too keen to target the most popular pirated content, like Game of Thrones, or The Mandalorian which was available as an illegal torrent within hours of its first screening on Disney plus.
Although there are still some risks involved with accessing streaming sites like BayStream, increasing subscription charges and the proliferation of streaming services is encouraging more people to take that gamble. Furthermore, users are having to subscribe to more than one service to get the content they want. Given that most streaming services cost between $5 and $10 per month, this can become a serious financial burden which is why some people are turning to illegal streaming sites for certain content.
Another problem for some is that finding legitimate content is often difficult and time-consuming, so even though they may prefer to view legal content, they are equally happy to use illegal streams when necessary. It’s also important to remember that sites like The Pirate Bay are often the biggest spenders when it comes to legal content.
It seems the Pirate Bay streaming site has arrived at the perfect time, entering an online environment in which, some say, “You cannot scare people into not pirating things, you can only offer them better alternatives”.
The new Pirate Bay streaming site will no doubt find its niche in cyberspace, but it probably won’t be an easy road to success. Not only will BayStream users have to contend with the threat of malware infections, but they also need to be on the lookout for copyright trolls and illegal content.
A VPN can protect you, but it still shouldn’t be used for illegal activity, even if it’s something as seemingly harmless as streaming The Mandalorian. Piracy isn’t a crime that should be sniffed at and it’s believed to cost almost $30bn per year in the US alone.
Nevertheless, as streaming sites continue to hike up their monthly subscriptions, it’s little wonder The Pirate Bay is confident of the success of BayStream. The owners of the Pirate Bay streaming site must be a little concerned about its future, however, as it remains to be seen just how long the site survives before authorities start clamping down and ISPs start blocking it altogether.
If you’ll willing to take your chances with BayStream, its potential malware, and its illegality, then your best bet is to wrap yourself and your stream up in an encrypted VPN tunnel, preferably provided by one of the best VPNs for streaming videos, and keep an antivirus program running in the background to catch any infections that might slip through the net.