Most people that know me, know that I have a very ‘us against the machine’ attitude. I don’t shy away from a try before you buy mentality when it comes to media and software. Why charge £15 for a digital copy of Avengers: Infinity War when it’s already grossed $1 billion in the box office? Surely you could give us poor consumers a little discount as we probably already went to the cinema to see it, ay? Mates rates?
In a more just world where mega-companies didn’t own it, $1 billion would be enough, after the film left the box office they’d give out the digital copy for free so that everyone, including the people who can’t generally afford to pay £15 for one movie can enjoy it. If it’s someone’s favorite movie? Fair enough, they can buy a special hard-copy then.
But, companies won’t do this. They’re only after one thing, profit. Luckily for us, the internet has tipped the scales.
One of the traits of Saving Ninja that is documented on the About page is that we will discuss any and all ways to save money. This involves speaking about things that a lot of people may frown upon or think immoral.
There is a large population of the world that are using these methods to save money, so that means that we have to discuss them here. I am in no way condoning anything in this post, but I want you guys to understand what’s available to you so that you can make your own decisions. Remember, we’re Ninja’s not Samurai.
[Please note that everything documented in this post is for educational purposes only. Even though it may never, ever happen, content creators have the right to prosecute you and seek compensations if you get caught trying to sneak off with more of their money, so don’t do it.]
- Country Spoofing
- Account Sharing
- Affiliate Hacking
- Free Trial Spamming
Pirating (Yarrrg!) has been around since the 1980s. It’s the process of removing the pay-wall from a piece of software or media and distributing it to the masses for free. The most successful pirates are kind of like the modern day Robin Hoods of the world. But this post isn’t about them. It’s about us receiving that free booty that they throw ashore.
A lot of people shy away from ‘pirating’ or ‘torrenting’ as they either don’t understand how to properly do it, think they’ll get arrested, or probably most of all; they think they’ll get the dreaded ‘virus’.
First things first; you won’t get arrested. Downloading torrents isn’t actually illegal. It’s against the wishes of the copyright holder, but the most they’ll ever be able to do is take you to court and try to fine you for the cost of the product. The people who are taking the real risks are the people hacking and distributing this stuff. They’ll be at risk of being fined for all of their losses. If they bother to, those are the people they’ll go after.
Viruses are virtually non-existant if you know what to look for. There are so many good torrenting sites that they even can auto-detect if a virus is present. You’ll be able to find anything you’re looking for from a reputable pirate which will have tons of comments about the quality of their content. Even without this, torrenting software has gotten so advanced that it will let you know if the file you’ve downloaded seems to be malicious and will let you inspect the files before begining downloading.
So, before we get stuck into actually downloading our first torrent, what actually is a torrent?
A torrent is s file that contains metadata holding various information, this information usually contains the location of the ‘trackers’ which are computers that help participants in the system find each other. Collectively all of the trackers will form an efficient distribution group called a swarm. These swarms are then used to download the file, bit by bit, onto your computer. That’s the reason downloading a torrent can be much faster than downloading a normal file if the swarm (or ‘seeders’) list is much larger.
The reason pirates use torrents for distributing files is because they’re not trackable. There’s no one server or person to take the blame as the files are hosted on thousands of peoples home computers. This also takes the blame away from the torrenting websites which direct the torrents.
To change a torrent into a file that you can actually use, you need a torrent streamer application. You can get these for free and the one that I recommend using is called uTorrent. It’s only a tiny 20MB software application. Here’s the download page.
Films and TV Shows
Video is by far the easiest thing to torrent. It’s also the quickest way to get free HD films without having to deal with any adverts. The one rule of thumb to go by is this: If the content has been released on DVD, it should be available to torrent. If it’s not yet available as a DVD, be prepared to suffer through shitty audio and video quality as it would have been recorded by some dude in a cinema. If the content went straight to television, it should also be available to torrent.
Let’s move onto the walk-through. For this, I’ll be using uTorrent, but any other torrent streamer will also work. I’m going to time how long the process takes from start to finish to show you how quickly you can get your film. The film I’ll be searching for is Avengers: Infinity War.
1. Go to unblocked and select ThePirateBay. If the service is running, load up one of the PirateBay proxies. If it’s down, do the same thing but with Limetorrents.
2. Search ‘Infinity War’. Be sure to close any adverts that pop up on the proxy site. If anything doesn’t work, try another day or try Limetorrents.
These proxy sites sometimes go down.
3. Click on the result that has the most streamers and/or is published by a verified pirate (has an icon) and/or has some comments. Make sure it says ‘DVDRIP’ or ‘WEBRIP’ in the title if you are looking for a film to ensure it will be of good quality.
4. Check out the comments, and look through the description to ensure it’s in the language you want with no subtitles.
5. Click ‘download torrent’, ‘get this torrent’, or ‘magnet link’. This should now open up in your uTorrent application. If the ‘magnet link’ isn’t working, download
6. Click ‘OK’ to start the download.
7. When complete, right click on the torrent which now says ‘seeding’ and click remove.
8. Navigate to your downloads folder, open your video file, and enjoy!
That’s it! It only took me 7 minutes and 33 seconds to find and completely download Avengers: Infinity War. I can now enjoy a film that would generally cost £15, for free. It would be even more worth-while if you were downloading whole series to watch, as you’d only have to download a torrent for each season. Make sure to add unblocked as a bookmark so you can easily get to it next time.
I’ve left out one step. What if you wanted to watch the film on your TV? You used to have to route out
Videostream & Chromecast. This is my preferred method of streaming. A Chromecast is a Google device that plugs into the back of your TV, you can buy one for £30. You’ll then be able to ‘cast’ things from your mobile phone or computer. Check them out here.
Open Video Stream -> Select ‘Choose a Video’ -> Select your file -> Click ‘cast’
Plex. This software is a media server. It has an application on most popular devices including the Amazon Fire Stick, and the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. You just have to download a companion application on your personal computer/laptop and once it’s set up you’ll be able to browse through your video files as if you were on a video streaming website like Netflix directly from your TV. Check it out here.
This method is a bit more involved, I’d only recommend it if you either have a PC on all of the time, or have a bunch of seasons you’d like to load onto your server and flick through without having to cast them individually.
The good thing about this method is that it will automatically play the next episode in a season that you’ve downloaded.
Music downloading works in the same way as films, although you’ll probably want somewhere to store your music collection. You can use a service like iTunes or Google Play Music to do this.
Once you’ve downloaded your music file, you can simply drag and drop it into your music aggregator service.
This is the most involved action of the three. Most of the time, but not always, you’ll have to download the torrent like normal, then perform some kind of action to either ‘crack’ the software and/or block it from accessing your network. This is because the actual download is normally some kind of trial, then the ‘cracking’ is effectively making it last a life-time.
All good torrents will come with some kind of instructions in a README.txt file. Make sure you read the torrent comments to see if the ‘crack’ works before downloading.
Below I’ll be showing you how to download and install a cracked version of Microsoft Office
1. The downloading of the file will be almost exclusively the same as when downloading a film. So, start off by going to unblocked and selecting ThePirateBay. If the service is running, load up one of the PirateBay proxies. If it’s down, do the same thing but with Limetorrents.
2. Search ‘Microsoft Office’. Be sure to close any adverts that pop up on the proxy site. If anything doesn’t work, try another day or try Limetorrents.
3. Click on the result that has the most streamers and/or is published by a verified pirate (has an icon) and/or has some comments. Make sure that you give the comments a good read and see what the vast majority of them say. You may have to refer back to the comments when setting up your software.
The second item in the results looks the most promising as it states ‘Precracked’, that means that we shouldn’t have to do anything once downloaded to actually crack the software. Go ahead and select this result, then click on “GET THIS TORRENT” to begin your download.
4. Once downloaded you’ll have
5. Read any README.txt file that the pirate has left for you. These files should give you all of the instructions you need to download the torrent and apply the crack, if you run into trouble, check out the torrent comments.
6. Turn off your internet and double click on the setup.exe file to install the software.
And we’re done! The process took 8 minutes and 39 seconds. We’ve now got all of Microsoft Office for free. Other popular software choices are offline games (try before you buy), Photoshop and video editing software.
There are so many free media services in the UK: 4 OnDemand, ITV Player, 5 OnDemand. But these are nothing compared to other countries. The USA has loads! ComedyCentral, Marvel, Fox, HBO. These are channels you usually need a Sky subscription to get access to, they’re actually free to all US citizens. The best streaming service I’ve found is actually NZTV (New Zealand TV). These guys stream some of the best shows out there for free on the day of their release, including The Walking Dead! Who knew you could watch The Walking Dead for free? :]
With country spoofing you have access to all of these awesome services and it’s SO easy to do. Best of all, you’re not actually doing anything wrong.
The service that I’ve found that is the easiest to use for country spoofing is Unlocator. You only have to set it up once and then you will automatically unlock all of the above content without having to lift a finger. This is a paid service, but check out Account Sharing to find out how you can get it cheaper. If you think it’s good enough to buy, here’s a handy affiliate link :]
There are other ways to do this, including paying £5 per month for your own VPS (Virtual Private Server). With a VPS you can use it to be ‘extra-cautious’ whilst torrenting software, or become a pirate yourself! It can also be used to spoof your country and/or Matched Bet on a second account. It’s a much better investment (and a fraction of the price) of a TV license.
Country spoofing also gives you access to a wealth of new content from paid streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. They have a whole different roaster for their USA audience, so you can get much more value from your membership.
Services like Spotify are pretty necessary if you want to listen to music these days. No one wants to buy individual tracks of albums anymore. They want all the music of the world available at their fingertips. Although, £12.99 is bloody expensive for any service. It’s much more expensive than Netflix and Amazon Prime and offers much less.
There’s actually a much cheaper account service that Spotify sells. Savvy streamers can get their very own Spotify accounts for as little as £3 per month. The way they do this is by setting up a family account which costs £14.99 per month and each person owning 1 of the 5 accounts that Spotify gives you. This is not really classed as account sharing as you get your very own account.
This could actually be drilled down even further into actual account sharing. Spotify has an offline mode that will allow you to play all of your downloaded playlists and albums whilst not connected to the web. They’ll allow you to stay in this mode for 30 days. This means that any number of people can actually connect to a single Spotify account, switch it into offline mode and stream music simultaniously. Momentarily going back online when they want to download new tracks. This can reduce your bill down to next to nothing.
There are a lot of other services which operate extremely well whilst sharing accounts and offer no down-side at all:
Netflix. For £10 per month, you can have 4 devices streaming Netflix at the same time. I share with my parents and
If you don’t have a family of 4 that all watches Netflix at the same time in different rooms, you’re not using Netflix to it’s fullest and you’re overpaying.
Matched betting software. Most people only need access to matched betting software so they can use the odds checker. There’s nothing stopping you from sharing your account with 10 other people reducing your monthly bill by 10x.
In recent times, the software has the ability to integrate your exchange accounts and easily lay each bet without leaving the software window. If account sharing, you won’t get access to these features. But if you only matched bet occasionally, or you’re only using no-lay techniques, there’s nothing stopping you.
Unlocator. My favorite country spoofing software has no check for account sharing. It should cost $4.95 per month, with account sharing you can reduce this cost to pennies.
You can account share on most online services that you can think of. There are even whole communities set up so that you can find other people to share with. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your subscriptions, these monthly direct debits really start to add up if you’re not careful.
There are a whole lot of services out there that offer affiliates if you refer people. If you find a service yourself, why not nab the affiliate income for your own personal use? It’s only fair.
All you have to do is check if there is an affiliate program for a service before you sign up. Amazon is a popular one, so let me walk you through that process.
- Sign up to Amazon Associates and wait to be accepted. Make sure you register in a different name to the Amazon account you will be buying from and if possible, a different address too.
- When on the main associate’s page, search for your product in the keyword box and find it in the results.
- Click on ‘get link’ then email that link to an email address that isn’t your affiliate email.
- Click on that link and buy the product!
For better results have your product sent to a work address and under a different name that isn’t associated with the affiliate Amazon account.
When affiliate hacking a service that is a monthly subscription model, the benefits are even better. You’ll sometimes get half of the subscription cost back! Remember, these direct debits add up.
Free Trial Spamming
This ones a little extreme. But if you ever want a service for just a little while, why not free trial spam? The process involves signing up for a free trial of a product and before it is up, cancelling to get your money back.
The best example of this is with web hosting. A lot of hosting packages come with a 90 or even 180 day money back guarantee. You could host your website for free forever taking advantage of all of the free trials one after another.
You want to get the top £100 per month hosting for your website? No problem, it won’t cost you a penny, as long as you transfer to another provider before your trial is up.
This approach is a little more involved than others, as you’d need to actively switch, altough if you only need something temporarily or are short on cash, it can be a great tactic.
Extra Tip: This can even be used with the new mattress companies. You can rotate between Simba, EVE, and Otty every 100 nights to perpetually have a free £850 mattress.