Arguably the most popular torrent website online, 'Kickasstorrents' has been blocked by ISP's in major countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Denmark and Belgium. Citizens of these countries trying to access the site by typing in its domain name or searching for it on their search engines find that their request is met with a message from their ISP's (Internet Service Provider) preventing them from accessing the site. This is why the recent influx of these 'proxy' sites, which allow users to effectively bypass this blockade, has been so prolific.
There are, however, some drawbacks to these proxy sites. If the site itself goes offline, due to a server issue or network issue as is frequently the case, these proxies stop working. Not to mention if the proxies themselves go down, as has been the case several times in the last few months alone. These 'simple proxies' are 100% dependent on the site they're proxying to be online. This approach also has other potential performance issues most notably that instead of a user's requests going directly to the site, they are making a detour through the "proxy" server that adds an extra delay to the speed of the page loading. This increases the network latency and end users can notice this effect. Also, for every page loaded on the proxy, a page is loaded on the site itself. This means that for every page viewed through a proxy, several requests are created in duplicate, adding up to extra bandwidth and unnecessary requests.
The solution to the problem is rather complicated. You can mirror the entire site - creating an entire copy of it - but this requires that you keep an full copy of the website stored at all times, and it is not practical or even feasible to crawl every single page a website contains at a rate which would yield fresh results without putting a huge demand on the site which you are trying to proxy. The solution, it seems, is to keep a smart cache of popular pages in memory, and store the rest on disk. If a page is requested that doesn't exist in the "cache", it is retrieved from the target website like a simple proxy, only that the page is then stored locally, so the next time it is requested it does not have to make that extra trip to the target site.
Gokickass has stared out by providing free proxy of the largest torrent site, Kickasstorrent, which has been banned in a lot of countries. As more visitors are finding that this alternatives allows them to access Kickasstorrent to bypass not only blockages but also downtime. Many are using it simply because it offers a speedy private alternative to the original site, even if it is still accessible.
Gokickass has a pretty lofty goal, and only time will tell if it will achieve its goal of proxying the entire torrent web. To try it out, head to: http://www.gokickass.net , or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org