Private trackers

Private Tracker Flowchart (outdated)

In this article, you will be guided in how to get into (and survive) the world of private trackers.

Commonly asked questions that everyone is tired of hearing

What is a private tracker?

A private tracker is a torrent website that provides the same functionality as a public tracker, but is generally invite-only. This means you need to be a member to view the contents of the site and download its torrents, but you cannot register to be a member without having been invited by an already existing member (who in turn must be authorized to give out invitations). Within a tracker, there is usually an extensive set of rules covering how much one can download, what kind of content one can upload, what precautions one must take when logging into the site, etc. Such rules and content vary from tracker to tracker, and go from rather liberal with little enforcement to ultra-paranoid and autistic. Advantages of private trackers include:

How secure are private trackers?

This depends entirely on the precautions of the operator. Some are shady and will use your information for profit, some are not. Two important precautions to take:

What are the best private trackers?

There are two kinds of trackers, content-wise: specialized and general. /ptg/ frowns upon the regular use of general trackers as they tend to be a jack of all trades, lacking in all areas while only being good for mainstream shit. They can however be a good supplemental source of content as trackers often go down or get busted for various reasons. The following is a global consensus on what is considered the best tracker in their fields, namely: Music, Movies (both mainstream and obscure), TV, HD (yeah this gets a separate category), Games, Books, E-learning, Porn, Anime, Scene and General. If you are a /ptg/ regular and disagree with this (especially the lower-tier ones), edit what you think is wrong.

Music Movies (mainstream) TV HD Movies (obscure) Games Books E-learning Porn Anime Scene General
Tier 1 RED PTP BTN HDB KG GGN BIB TG EMP AB RTT IPT
Tier 2 NW None TVV HDT CMK UGC MAM BM PB BBT AR NC
Tier 3 RT PTN MTV AHD SC PB TG BS PL AT DH TD

How to get into private trackers (and survive)

The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether your needs are satisfied by what you currently have at your disposal (DHT/public trackers (TPB and KAT), DDL, newsgroups, streaming, Soulseek, Tribler, DC++, Kad/eDonkey, sneakernet...among other things), because private trackers may not be actually worth your time, depending on what you want. Joining private trackers isn't hard, but it takes time. Do you just want that one specific file you've been searching in vain for weeks? If so, you'd be better off asking someone on /ptg/ (or /r/trackers) to snatch it for you and call it a day. Do you want to build a comprehensive library with consistent and superior quality such as good encodes, proper music tagging, retail ebooks? Then you should try to join one of the specialized trackers. Do you live in a copyright-cucked shithole and are afraid to get raped by the MPAA/RIAA and associates, but care little about music or HD? Then a general tracker should suit you. Depending on your goals, whether they are long-term and short-term and whether they are currently satisfied, the amount of time you will have to invest will vary.

From now on, it is assumed that you are familiar with most top trackers in their respective niche; if you aren't, please consult the flowchart everyone's been passing around these days. Past this point, all trackers restrict random user registration to a limited number of cases, mostly invites from existing members and a few other special cases for some trackers:

I have X account Y. Can I get an invite to tracker Z with it? I have ratio/upload/buffer A

Ask yourself, am I in a higher user class on a site that has access to an invite forum (usually unlocked by getting to power user or the equivalent, with requirements that vary)? If not, then no in 99.95% of cases because MOST RECRUITERS *ONLY* CARE ABOUT YOUR CLASS AND NOT YOUR XYZ RATIO/BUFFER/UPLOAD. (unless you have a friend/Good Samaritan who will invite you because of your ratio/buffer/upload which is not a feasible situation in most cases.)

On Ratio Proofs and Seedboxes

Ratio proofs tend to be demanded by regular users who are offering invites NOT OFFICIAL RECRUITERS so you should not worry yourself over not having 'sufficient ratio proof'. Official recruiters will often only require user class on the particular site that they are recruiting from (often PU+ or the equivalent). Though if you stumble upon a HDBits recruitment thread it doesn't hurt to have better stats than the minimum requirements.

Seedboxes are often unnecessary for most members. It is possible to do quite well even on hard sites like Bibliotik even on a 100 kb/s upload speed provided you upload. However, people who wish to use additional seedbox features (such as a VPN, Plex etc) or download extraordinary amounts (or are obsessed with HD/FLAC quality) or want to jump user classes will most likely want one.

On being /pure/

/pure/fags argue the following

anti /pure/fags argue the following

On being /marked/

Staff have confirmed that browsing /ptg/ will result in your account being "marked". This does not mean that you will be disabled, but staff will be less lenient with you if you break the rules in the future

Avoid clicking on any links that are posted in /ptg/. If you have to click on a link do it a day or two after. Avoid searching for any torrents that are posted on /ptg/. Staff search the logs to find /ptg/ members. Keep a low profile and use your head.

Ghostleeching

Refer to the Ghostleech article

What NOT to do

Generally speaking, you should avoid invites from random dudes on the internet if you can; you most likely have no idea of their standing and they could very well fuck up later, resulting in an entire treeban and you getting banned through no fault of your own. It's unfair, it sucks. Stick to official invites (interview, application, recruitment threads) and no one will bother you.

In short, either keep a low profile or suck staff's dick, as with all sites.

Getting acquainted with rules and maintaining your ratio

Okay, now we're going to assume you made it to a couple of private trackers - if you haven't yet, please read above part (TL;DR: get into an entry-level tracker; work you way up from there on either tracker's PU forums; if that's too much bother for you, use rutracker/pornolab and stop reading this). This is a guide intended to help those who already made their first steps in the elitist, restricted and highly autismal private tracker world. As you can see, things are quite different here. Rules, ratio, buffer, seeding, userclasses... what the fuck's all this? Things were much simpler on ThePirateBay where you could just search, click and have your stuff right there, right?

And you know what? You're right. Most folks on /ptg/ and elsewhere will tell you stories about how they did a kind gesture and invited a friend of theirs (or even a fellow Anon) only to see them log on twice into the site before never using it again, no matter how hard they begged and how convincing they sounded. In all likelihood, these people first logged on, their excitement faded when they saw that they couldn't just start downloading everything before signing off, found the rules too complicated, lost interest in the whole thing and settled for more accessible alternatives (which are, again, not necessarily bad, depending on what one wants). Since you're reading this, It is assumed that you're not one of these people and that you actually want to use the trackers you're on. Are they worth it? Well, that's for you to find out. Before you decide, here's a few tips that'll show you it's not that hard, if you can read that is.

First things first

Read the rules. Seriously, do it. Tracker staff are autistic, you get one account per lifetime and you don't want to start playing cat-and-mouse games with the admins that early. Most tracker rules are similar, and go on the lines of "Suck our dicks at all occasions; don't leak invites or torrent files to public places; don't trade or sell invites; don't be inactive" followed by specifics on content rules (what you may upload) and ratio rules (more on that later). Read all the details as there may be some specifics on each tracker. Some have exclusive content that you can't upload elsewhere; some prohibit the use of Tor or VPNs, or even expressively forbid that you log on from anywhere else than your home connection; and so on. Read it all so you don't get caught unawares on some autistic peculiarity.

Ratio issues and tracker economy

Now let's assume you're familiar with the rules, how about you download some shit? The only problem is that ratio thingy: surprise, when you're done downloading something, no one ever downloads it back from you, ever. That's because, unless you joined a low-tier tracker, the seeder-to-leecher ratio is extremely high, with everyone permaseeding everything while only leeching occasionally. This brings us to our main point: tracker economy. Trackers can be roughly sorted into three categories: those with no economy, those with a soft economy, and those with a hard economy.

No economy

Trackers with no economy are essentially ratioless. Torrent retention is achieved by imposing seeding requirements or individual ratio requirements ("you must seed with a 1:1 ratio OR for 72 hours"), and people get an incentive for seeding by acquiring bonus points that can be used for transcending userclasses. The most prominent example of a ratioless tracker is BTN. You won't have any problem there as long as you seed.

Soft economy

Tracker with a soft economy use a ratio-based system complemented by bonus points. These points are typically earned by doing specific actions, the most common of which seeding for an X amount of GBs, regardless of whether someone is actually downloading it from you. Some trackers will reward you for uploading torrents, idling on IRC or doing any kind of activity that contributes to the tracker and the site as a whole. Most trackers have a soft economy, from AHD to PTP, from MAM to bB or AB. Another kind of soft economy is a ratio-based system with a large amount of freeleech torrents, i.e. torrents whose download stats aren't counted but still earn you upload credits. Such trackers include SHD, SCC or bB, AB and MAM (again). You won't have many problems if you don't download everything like a retard: just grab some freeleech or small torrents, wait for your amount of bonus points to passively increase, get upload credit when you can, use that upload credit to download more, etc. The more you snatch, the more you seed, the more points you earn, and eventually you'll have enough buffer to freely download what you want.

Hard economy

Trackers with a hard economy are ratio-based but provide little to no means of complementing one's upload amount, like bonus points or freeleech sections. As a result, there's only a limited amount of upload credit (which acts as tracker currency, there are whole academic papers about it if you're into that kind of stuff) in the whole tracker, and whatever credits you earn, someone else has to spend. Getting upload credit is quite hard and you might have to work on your ratio before being able to download whatever you want without hindrance. On the other hand, since nearly everyone is as tight on ratio as you are, everyone will be permaseeding everything and torrents will have an excellent retention.

Trackers such as Bibliotik have a hard economy, and most struggles you hear about getting one's ratio up will typically be on one of those trackers. There are four main methods to get upload credit, on top of permaseeding everything (which you should do in every tracker anyway - you're doing that, right?): getting a seedbox, filling requests, uploading your own content and jumping on popular torrent swarms early.


Which kind of economy is the best?

Asking this question is a good way to start a shitstorm on /ptg/ and torrent forums alike, especially when you consider the different kinds of soft economy: 32p has an inkdrop system that treats essentially replaces ratio with points, AB has a very, very elaborate formula for calculating the amount of points you get from seeding, and so on. There is probably no objective answer to that question, as there are top-tier trackers with all kinds of economy (e.g. BTN is ratioless, PTP is soft and Bib is hard) and of course countless shit tier trackers in either as well; different systems for different content. That doesn't preclude you from having a subjective opinion and posting it on /ptg/, of course.

Notable staff

Notable private trackers

HDBits (HDB)
Large HD tracker, home to many high-profile encoders.
Art of Misdirection (AOM)
Large magic tracker, limited to professional magicians only.
Broadcast the Net (BTN)
Large ratioless television tracker.
Pass the Popcorn (PTP)
Large movie tracker. Content ranging from black and white obscura to the latest blockbuster.
Redacted (RED)
Created from the ashes of WCD, they've been getting back much of its former userbase and torrents.
Apollo
Another WCD successor, they have a larger userbase and smaller torrent count, but isn't as high quality as RED. Good alternative.
Bibliotik (BiB)
Large book tracker. Overdrive access recommended for users.
Animebytes (AB)
Large anime tracker with over 100,000 torrents. Many torrents are freeleech.
IPTorrents (IPT)
Large general purpose tracker.
Waffles (WFM/WCH)
Medium-sized music tracker. Was originally waffles.fm but they changed their URL. Recently came back from the dead.
TehConnection (TehC or TC)
Medium-sized movie tracker. Was regarded as PTP alternative. Dead.
Freshon.tv (TvT)
Medium-sized television tracker.
MoreThan.tv (MTV)
Small up-and-coming ratioless television and movie tracker.
What.cd (WCD)
The successor to OiNK, containing an even bigger library of music. Ran for 9 years before getting raided.
OiNK (OPP)
Predecessor to most general music tracker on the net.

Paths to getting into Private Trackers (or where should I start?)

Map of what trackers recruit where, and what requirements they have. Pretty outdated, but gives a general idea of where stuff is and how it all works.

Ever since What.CD closed, your best bet right now is probably to pass the interview at Redacted, rank up to Power User and get access to the reputable private trackers from the recruitment forum.

An alternative way is to pass the MyAnonaMouse interview, which is way easier than Redacted's, and rank up to VIP. But be advise; the recruitment forum is pretty poor as good trackers typically avoid recruiting there since it's so easy to get into.

Getting into the desirable trackers

BroadcasTheNet (BTN)

BTN is currently not recruiting. They have "invite lotteries" every few months where high-ranking users can bid their bonus points on invites for their friends, but don't count on getting in this way.

PassThePopcorn (PTP)

Only recruiting on HDB currently.

HDBits (HDB)

HDB is currently recruiting Elites and Power Users on Bibliotik. Power Users must have accounts that are at least 150 weeks old.

For limited times they have been known to have invite threads on PTP, BTN, AHD, SDBits, CN, KG and various other "well known" movie/TV trackers. If you want to get into HDB your best chance is to max out the userclasses on those trackers. Any application offers or invite offers you see on forums are fake because HDB does not allow users to give invites on other trackers.

Here's a list of requirements typically expected to get into HDBits when they recruit:

Art of Misdirection (AoM)

WIZARDS. ONLY. FOOL.

And professional wizards only too as they apparently want to watch your acts. Even thought you would be a professional wizard, it's almost impossible to get into.

Bibliotik

Bibliotik recruits from baconBits (3 month old account, Elite, plus Overdrive), PTP (6 month old account, PU, plus overdrive), RED and BTN. Invites for members are currently suspended.

The recruiter won't make you prove that you actually have access to the OverDrive you say you have, but it's in your best interest to have a source of retail ebooks because you pretty much have to upload to survive on Bibliotik. Here is a list of OverDrive libraries that you can sign up for online. Be aware that most will have some sort of catch (e.g. Boston Public Library will require a Massachusetts proxy), so it's probably best that you do some research and just get a card from the nearest public library with OverDrive.

AwesomeHD (AHD)

Invites are closed.

Karagarga (KG)

Members of KG have to manually ask for invites in the forum, so getting an invite is harder than before. They recruit on baconBits (6 month old PU account) and BTN.

baconBits (bB)

baconBits is a small tracker that's pretty strict about not going over their user limit of 6000, so they generally doesn't recruit anymore. Your best bet is probably to become a power user on reputable trackers like PTP and keep an eye on their invite forum. baconBits occasionally does short (~1 week) recruitment drives then takes the threads down once they reach 6000 users again.

AnimeBytes (AB)

Recruits on all the major trackers (PTP, Bib, AHD) with the usual PU + 6 months requirement. Has had applications in the past but they haven't been open for a while now. If applications ever open again, there are some limits. When AB hits usercap the applications temporarily close until they fall below the limit. Also apparently there's a cap on how many applications can be in the queue at the same time. AnimeBytes can be used as a path into ADC, U2, JPS, and any other site that specializes in Japan.

Glossary

See also

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