What is a Mirror Site?

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: November 10, 2023
Read time: 3 minutes

Mirror sites are a common thing on the internet. Let us tell you what they are and why they are so popular.

Mirror sites are online replicas of popular websites pulled offline for different reasons. These sites appear online to satisfy the original site’s users and evade the banning attempts. However, not all mirror sites are reliable. Often, many of them belong to scammers who attempt to exploit the original site’s popularity for malicious purposes. Therefore, users must practice caution when browsing mirror sites.

A mirror site is an exact copy of a website or any collection of files hosted on a server other than the original one.

And why would anybody just produce an exact copy of anything online, we hear you ask?

There are plenty of reasons. For example, software companies create several mirrors of their repositories to ensure access from anywhere globally. Others do it to plagiarize a successful website. Another good reason is to prevent server overload when there is an increased traffic flow. Less commonly, a mirror site can be a backup for the original one.

The types of mirror site

Mirrors come in several flavors. The most common one is the static copy. This type of mirror is a snapshot of the original one that doesn’t update itself. Keeping it up to date requires the mirror’s owner to update it by hand.