For most people, Bittorrent is the definitive way to find less-than-legal files on the web. On the modern web, however, it’s not necessary to use Bittorrent or any other p2p network to find the files you want; you can find them straight from your browser. It’s just a matter of knowing where to look. This is handy, because some ISPs block all p2p software – very few block the web. Some sites are dedicated to pointing out where such files live, but you can also make use of Google to find what you need. Let’s run through your options.
Dedicated File Finders
We’ve covered a few search engines that find what Google can’t in the past, some of which are very good at finding individual files.
For example:. This website searches, but not for pages; rather, it looks for files. Videos, music and pictures are among its features, but there’s more here than that:
Simply type your search term, then click the tab of the file you’re looking for. You’re going to need to browse a bit to find exactly what is you want, but it’s worth it.
You’ll need some patience of course, because of the famous Rapidshare timeout. Happily you can download from Rapidshare without waiting if you want to.
Just looking for a particular MP3? Check out azMP3s, a search engine for finding songs. Just type what you’re looking for it and see the results come in:
All of these sites are free, so check them out.
If you’d rather not use a separate site, however, it might help you to know that Google can search for files as well. It’s just a matter of telling Google what you’re looking for.
Here’s the trick: in your search query, type “filetype:” followed, without a space, by the kind of file you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for a PDF called the Facebook Marketing Guide, you’d type “filetype:pdf facebook marketing guide” into Google:
You can use this to search for pretty much any file type. If you’re looking for music, use “filetype:mp3“; for movies, try “filetype:avi“. You get the idea, I’m sure, but you can find more information on Google’s Filetype FAQ if you need to.
Finding the files you want doesn’t mean using dedicated software. It means knowing which sites to search. Whether you use Google or a dedicated file search engine, you can find what you want without resorting to p2p software.
Having said that, in many cases p2p software is faster than the above methods. What do you think is better? Share your thoughts in the comments below, because we love hearing from you and learning from you.