When reading manga and comics is dangerous

Any superhero or otaku fan knows how expensive it is to keep up with their latest comics and manga. It’s no surprise that the passion for this expensive hobby has spawned many different platforms that allow users to read their latest series at no cost.

While these hosting sites seem to offer the perfect solution, they can come at a price. Many of these sites not only take money away from our favorite creators, but pose a security risk as well. Knowing a little more about illegal hosting sites helps you make informed decisions about where to read.

Why do people use illegal hosting sites?

Lady reading comic book

Readers of manga and comics tend to be quite passionate about their fandoms. It’s a surprise to many that these proud fans visit any site that hasn’t been explicitly licensed.

For one thing, illegal hosting sites often don’t offer the best quality you get from the best comic book apps. The use of the sites also impairs research into the popularity of a series and takes money away from writers and illustrators who work hard to provide content.


Some fans turn to these sites to save money due to the high costs associated with following a series. Some fans just don’t want to wait for the latest releases to arrive in their home country (especially for manga readers who follow fan-translated chapters). In many cases, users visit these hosting sites without knowing the legal issues surrounding them.

Is it illegal to use these sites?

When these sites do not have permission to share the content they post, they are breaking the law. The creators of the platforms can face serious legal consequences if they are caught in the act. Unfortunately, catching these abusers is complex, and the legal niceties often end up with the abusers with a slap on the wrist and a disabled site.

Whether or not it is illegal to use these sites is also a gray area. While the laws differ from region to region, the general rule is that sharing copyrighted content is a big deal.

Generally, just using the Sites does not violate any law. However, downloading torrents causes users to download content when they download simultaneously. Torrenting things is illegal (and punishable) in many countries.

While you probably won’t suffer the consequences for using their services, that doesn’t mean they’re entirely safe to use. There are several things you should consider before jumping on an illegal manga hosting site.

What are the risks of these sites?

Wonder woman

In addition to ethical and legal risks, these sites present security threats. Consider the following threats before revisiting an illegal hosting site.

Poor security measures

Illegal websites are not known to have the most secure servers, which leads to a lot of problems. Unsecured servers mean that your computer can be at risk just by being on the site. Be extremely careful when sites invite you to provide information, even if it is just your name and email address.


Malware is a major concern for any illegal hosting site. Illegal sites are often full of all kinds of advertisements. While most internet users now know that they should never click on these ads, consistent ad placement and pop-ups sometimes make the click of an ad or two inevitable.

Clicking on these advertisements may cause viruses to download to your computer. These compromise the health of your device and your privacy.

Accidental torrents

Viruses aren’t the only unintentional downloads you need to worry about. Unintentional Torrent Downloads Can Turn Your “Legal” Visit Into A Crime

Signs of illegal manga sites

Some red flags let you know that you are on a vague site. If you notice any of these things on your manga or comic book hosting site, you should consider exploring other options.

Everything is free

There is a saying that “nothing in life is free”. While there are series or chapters that publishers make available for free, consider it a scam if the site offers a library of the latest hits at no cost.

Torrent options

While torrenting isn’t always illegal, it’s a good indication of patchy activity if you find it on a media-sharing site. An official manga or comic book platform wouldn’t invite you to torrent.

Download analyzes

Modern comics and manga download high-quality digital copies of all of their content. If you find the last downloaded comic in accurate scans, it probably wasn’t shared legally.

Lots of announcements

Hosting a website costs money (and many web hosts are looking to make money). If they don’t get money from your subscription, they often have to turn to ads.

Because they’re not legitimate, sites don’t need to care as much about creating a user-friendly environment as other trusted sites would. Illegal hosting sites are notorious for having inappropriate ads or hordes of pop-ups.

No affiliation

Legal sites must have specific permissions from content creators and publishers. If you don’t see any official affiliations mentioned, they probably don’t have any licenses.

Alternatives to illegal hosting sites

Children reading comics

Not all manga and comic book hosting sites are illegal. Consider exploring the options suggested directly by the editors. These may come with a subscription fee, but the quality is generally better and the costs are relatively low.

Some successful manga series, such as “Fruit Baskets” or “Ouran Highschool Host Club”, are available legally and for free online. There are also tons of free comics available on other official platforms offered direct through Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse. Subscribing to certain services also allows you to collect series at a significant discount if you really want a particular series not to be offered for free.

If you prefer physical copies, you can also check your local library or just wait for the collections to be published. There are even some excellent collector’s editions that are worth the wait and often contain exclusive content. When shopping for physical copies, it’s always nice to support your local bookstore or comic book store. Maybe you can even make a friend or two to share your collections with.

Should I use illegal manga / comics sites?

Waiting for the legal release of your latest manga or comics can be a problem. Although visiting illegal sites is tempting, it is essential to take into account the concerns of using and supporting such platforms. It’s a good idea to explore possible alternatives to give your creators the recognition they deserve and keep your internet business secure.

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