The 12 Best Private Torrent Sites Still Working in 2023

Contents

Security is the fundamental principle on which VPNs are based and operate, so it’s an important consideration in our list. For enhanced security and privacy, which torrenting requires, we set the minimum criterion to AES 256-bit encryption.

Top private torrenting sites

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The 12 Best Private Torrent Sites Still Working in 2023

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Discover the 12 most reliable private torrent trackers and sites for downloading diverse digital files alongside the best VPNs to access them.

Sneak peek at using private torrent sites

Private torrent sites are the safest source for downloading torrents, providing quality content with minimal friction. However, joining them is almost always difficult since most private torrent sites are invite-only. Though this practice helps keep malicious users at bay, it also blocks those harmless users who merely want a safe torrenting site for downloading their desired content. This guide shares details about private torrenting and lists the best private torrent tracker sites to help you enjoy safe torrent downloads.

Torrenting emerged in April 2001 to minimize the long wait times that characterize downloading files from a central server or another person’s computer. It eliminated this problem by making every downloader an uploader, establishing a P2P file-sharing arrangement.

Since its launch, torrenting has been widely adopted as the preferred method of obtaining massive and private files. Torrent files, or “torrents,” can be downloaded from torrent websites, saved, and opened.

Public torrent sites are accessible by anyone and are often the targets of government agencies and other organizations. Private torrent sites have stricter registration and membership rules and use specific effective approaches to keep approved members active.

You’re in the right place if you’re looking for a list of the most reliable torrent private sites and trackers. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular 13 private torrent sites across different categories. This includes those that allow downloading and watching movies online. We’ve also discussed the highest-quality VPNs for torrenting.

Top 12 best private torrent sites – The quick list

Below is a quick overview of the 13 best private torrent sites:

  1. IPTorrents – The best general-purpose private torrent site. IPTorrent’s massive library has earned it the title “Private The Pirate Bay.”
  2. Bibliotik – A private torrent website exclusively for ebooks. This site was established in 2009 and is more popular than many public torrent sites.
  3. PassThePopcorn – Most popular private torrent site for downloading movies. PTP has been discussed in many torrent forums and has made many lists as the best site for downloading movies.
  4. Redacted – The site’s logo is a pair of headphones, indicating it’s a torrent for music. On it, you can find and download different genres of music and music-related files, such as live recordings.
  5. Gazelle Games – A highly rated torrent site for games. Gazelle is known for its extensive catalog of games and dedicated community members who help keep the site active.
  6. Nyaa – A popular anime-dedicated torrent index. Nyaa helps you watch anime of different genres, mangas and other Aast-Asian media.
  7. BroadcastTheNet – The largest and most popularly known torrent site for TV shows. Relatively difficult to join, but it’s an entire paradise of TV series and shows once you’re in.
  8. AudioNews – Another popular music-themed private torrent. However, AudioNews may be more useful to producers, composers and DJs than music listeners.
  9. AnimeBytes – Another private torrent website and tracker dedicated to anime. Hard to declare which is better between this and Nyaa, but both offer premium anime and manga content.
  10. MyAnonaMouse – A large torrent site and tracker dedicated to audiobooks. Alongside audiobooks, you can also download ebooks of various sizes and also find musicology and radio content.
  11. Karagarga – The classiest site and tracker for movies. Getting an invite to join KG’s exclusive community is so difficult and staying there is even more challenging.
  12. SpeedApp – A dedicated tracker and site for media and entertainment files. On SpeedApp (formerly TorrentBits), you can download movies, TV shows and games and find other interesting content.

What does torrenting mean?

Torrenting is a way to share files on the internet quickly and securely. It’s a decentralized peer-to-peer network for downloading and uploading files without any central server or network.

A “torrent” is a file containing information about a program, application, or another file you wish to download.

Unlike traditional downloading, a file or an application is sent to your device in bits and streams from a server. Torrenting creates a network of downloaders and uploaders sharing pieces of a desired file with themselves.

It works due to a server called “tracker,” which analyzes the torrent file from your computer. The torrent file, or simply torrent, contains numerous information, including the pieces left to complete your download so that you can have your whole file.

The tracker then finds others called “peers” having pieces of the same file to download to your computer. As your download progresses, you also become a source, sharing your pieces of the file with other computers which may desire them.

This principle of making every downloader an uploader removes the constraints associated with traditional server download systems and makes torrenting suitable for massively large files.

Read our complete guide here to learn more about torrenting, how it works, and how to remain safe when downloading torrents.

How to use private trackers safely with a VPN – A quick guide

To ease how you use a VPN with a private tracker, you may follow our quick guide below:

  1. Register with a reliable VPN – You may choose from any of our VPNs as these have been carefully selected based on their strong torrenting support and privacy and obfuscation features.
  2. Launch the VPN and connect to a server – Most VPNs have a smart location feature that helps you automatically connect to the fastest and most reliable server, but you can still select manually.
  3. Start browsing – Close the VPN and visit any private tracker containing your desired file.

The 12 best private torrent sites today – Detailed analysis

Below, you can find detailed information about our best private torrent trackers for downloading any file you desire:

2. Bibliotik

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
bibliotik.me Ebooks, audiobooks, written media Ebooks In certain regions Working, but a limited number of open registrations per year None

Bibliotik is a private torrent tracker and website for sharing various types of ebooks. Launched in 2009, this website has become a dedicated and active ebook tracker, with over 300,000 torrents and about 7,000 active members.

The site’s design also contains helpful features when navigating and searching for files. For example, it has categories and an order-by-search filter that helps you find any particular book quickly.

As with most private torrents, the only way to access Bibliotik’s files is to receive a membership invitation from an already-existing member. After joining this site, you can access journals, magazines, and audiobooks alongside the ebooks that the site is famous for.

3. PassThePopcorn

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
passthepopcorn.me Different genres and categories of movies Movies Blocked in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands Working for existing members but closed to new registrations None

As a movie lover, PassThePopcorn should be at the top of the websites and trackers you visit. It has a vast catalog of different kinds of movies, entertainment-related files, and a helpful community of members.

Being a private torrent, membership is necessary before downloading or uploading any file. However, PassThePopcorn has closed the registrations to new members, which means the site only currently works for existing members.

This site is among the best movie torrent websites as it has classic and new movies in its library, and you can download them in varying sizes and quality, including HD.

4. Redacted

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
redacted.ch Music Music In specific countries Working and accessible by anyone who is a member None

Your one-stop tracker for music and any music-related file. You can find all types and genres of music on Redacted and download them quickly and easily.

This site contains albums, full discographies, individual songs, and everything else. While still a relatively young site, Redacted has over a million torrents and 27,000+ users.

It is one of the largest music websites and the most active private torrent trackers by both library size and the number of active users, respectively.

5. Gazelle Games

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
gazellegames.net Older and newer versions of video games Video games Blocked in certain countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands Working but closed to new registrations, existing members, however, have access to the site None

While there’s a substantial number of torrent trackers for games and game-related media, only a few are as known and active as Gazelle Games. It has over 15,000 active members and contains classic and modern titles.

Gazelle Games is currently active, but only current members can access the site and its content. You may also confirm whether it’s available in your location, as different countries have banned the service.

6. Nyaa

Nyaa

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
nyaa.eu Anime, manga, live-action East-Asian drama Anime Blocked in certain countries, including France, Australia, and the United Kingdom Working and accessible to all its members https://nyaa.si/, https://sitenable.ch/o.php?u=, https://nyaa.si/, https://nya.iss.one/

While Nyaa is primarily known for animes, it hosts many manga, games, audio, and live-action movies. This website was launched in 2005 and has since established itself as the biggest hub for anime and any East-Asian-related media, having more than 50 million monthly visitors.

Nyaa’s massive popularity has made it the subject of attacks and crackdowns. In 2014, the Japanese government launched a series of DDOS attacks on the site, and in 2017, the site’s main domains (nyaa.se, nyaa.eu, and nyaa.org) were deactivated.

Despite these attacks, Nyaa has remained active by launching new websites containing its entire index. As this site has also been blocked in many countries, many proxy pages make it possible to access all its content and bypass geo-restrictions.

7. BroadcastTheNet

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
broadcasthe.net TV shows, documentaries, classic and modern content TV shows No Working but closed to new registrations. None

BroadcasTheNet was founded in 2009 and is one of the most popular private torrent websites, with over 34,000 members. Membership of this site is difficult and extremely exclusive. However, it has no upload-to-download ratio as found on other private websites.

BTN is best used to download and watch TV shows, but you can also find documentaries and classic and modern series. Its library contains over 200,000 torrents, including local and international releases.

8. AudioNews

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
audionews.org Music apps, editors, effects, music tutorials Music production In certain regions Working and accessible to all its members None

AudioNews is a music-dedicated torrent tracker. However, rather than for music listeners, this site contains torrents needed more by musicians and music producers.

It contains music apps, editors, effects, music tutorials, and other musical instruments or accessories you may need as a musician or music producer.

Founded over a decade ago, AudioNews has become the go-to torrent website for music industry insiders, fans, and aspiring musicians. Many new users may find it difficult to keep up with its ratio as you must keep it over 0.8 to keep your membership.

9. AnimeBytes

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
animebytes.tv Anime, manga, original video animations, Japanese-related media Anime In specific countries Working and accessible to all its members None

Animes are generally exclusive content. Hence, it may be difficult to access them if you’re not registered with major distributors, such as Crunchyroll or Funimation. AnimeBytes contains more than 249,000 torrent files, giving you access to mainstream and obscure anime and Japanese media.

Besides being massive, AnimeBytes’ library is also private, which gives you an expanded list of options and increased privacy. This site currently has more than 17,000 members, and unless you’re recruited or invited, there’s no way for you to join the site.

10. MyAnonaMouse

MyAnonaMouse official

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
myanonamouse.net Ebooks, audiobooks, sheet music Ebooks Blocked in certain countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands Working but has limited open registration periods throughout the year https://ww25.unblockit.app/?subid1=20230414-0634-3066-aa8e-046bb5b73525

Not many trackers and websites compare to MyAnonaMouse regarding ebook and audiobook files. Its vast index contains an eclectic selection of books, ranging from hard-to-find, old classics to current blockbusters.

MAM also has a vast collection of sheet music, radio content, and musicology and is highly recommended for any bookworm or learner. Currently, it has over 800,000 torrents in its index and 70,000+ users.

There’s generally a positive overview of the website by users, with praises for its no harsh rules, friendly staff, and large e-learning content. MyAnonaMouse has also been commended for its lack of erotic content, despite its large catalog and has been praised for its easy-to-maintain ratio.

11. Karagarga

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
karagarga.in Rare and hard-to-find movies, cult classics, international movies Movies In certain regions Working, but limited open registrations throughout the year None

If there’s any movie you watched and enjoyed growing up and wish to watch again but can’t access, then you may find Karagarga beneficial. This torrent tracker contains about 227,000 files of rare, hard-to-find movies and TV series.

Launched in 2005, the platform’s catalog has been expanded to include books, magazines, albums, and television series, thanks to the combined effort of its 16,600 users. If there’s any obscure or rare movie that you’re looking for on the internet and can’t find on this site, you may not find it anywhere else, whether on public or private torrent websites.

Membership of Karagarga is exclusive and strictly available by invitation or recruitment only. It also uses a ratio system, similar to other private trackers, to determine whose membership is retained and whose is revoked.

12. SpeedApp (formerly TorrentBits)

Direct link Content types Best for Geo-blocked Is this site or tracker currently working or not Mirror links
speedapp.io Movies, TV shows, music, games, software A wide range of content Blocked in certain countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany Working and currently accessible by all members None

SpeedApps, formerly known as “TorrentBits,” is typically the ideal tracker to visit for anyone who utilizes torrents to download a significant number of differing contents. On this tracker, you can search for and download music, videos, television shows, animes, and other types of content.

Joining SpeedApps is relatively straightforward, considering many other websites’ exclusive membership nature. You can apply for free registration by filling out a simple form. Nonetheless, before clicking on the “Submit” button, make sure to read the fine print beside the checkbox that reads,

I understand that I will be blocked from download if I don’t seed minimum 48h

When your join request is approved, you typically receive a SpeedApp username and a password for accessing the site. It’s currently offered in English and Romania and is free from viruses or malware.

Criteria for choosing the best private torrent trackers

After reviewing the extensive list of private torrent trackers above, you might wonder how we selectively picked them. So, here we describe the criteria for identifying the best private torrent tracker. If you want to use any site other than those reviewed above, you can easily assess its feasibility by following these parameters.

1. Content library

A reliable private tracker is one with an extensive and diversified content library. Of course, it will be highly inconvenient if you have to join multiple trackers for different content types. So, ensure your chosen one has a huge and regularly updated library.

2. Community

Another way to detect a reliable torrent tracker is the size of its community. Having more members indicates that the site exhibits frequent content updates and can handle speedy and stable torrenting.

3. Strict moderation

Ensure your preferred site implements a strict moderation policy covering content quality, naming, and categorization.

4. No intrusive ads or web trackers

Nobody wants to go through the hassle of finding and joining a private torrent site only to get riddled with malware later. Thus, before joining in, research the site’s reputation for content safety and steer clear of those with the slightest hint of hosting malicious content.

5. Usage requirements

Review the site’s requirements for fair usage, particularly the download/upload requirements. A reliable one demands a considerable download and upload ratio without extensively limiting the users.

Why do you need a VPN for private torrent trackers?

There are very few torrenting websites that you’ll visit without getting reminders to use a VPN. This holds truer for private VPNs that focus more on privacy and anonymity with their exclusive membership.

Torrenting websites, whether public or private, are generally banned or blocked in many countries due to concerns about their role in the illegal distribution of copyrighted or licensed materials. Due to this, internet service providers (ISPs) often monitor your activities when you’re on these sites.

Using a VPN helps you mask your IP address and online activities to browse these sites and find and safely download the files you need. Yet, we highly recommend that you only use these sites for legal purposes to adhere to extant regulations and avoid fines and lawsuits.

Usually, hackers also use private and public torrenting websites to deploy malware on your device and corrupt some files or steal certain information. VPNs can help keep your file and information safe through their in-built malware and ad blocker.

When choosing a VPN, review it first and ensure it supports torrenting and has sufficient security and privacy features. Choose one from our list of the best VPNs for torrenting, as these have all the features necessary for a good torrenting experience.

How to choose the best VPN for private torrent trackers

Using a VPN when torrenting is highly recommended to avoid numerous privacy and security concerns. Below, we’ve provided three powerful VPNs for your torrenting needs.

The criteria we considered in selecting these VPNs include the following.

1. Speed

A fast VPN lets you download files and watch shows and videos without lagging or buffering.

A VPN’s speed generally depends on its number of servers. Having many servers ensure less server congestion and faster speeds, significantly improving your internet and browsing experience.

We measured download speeds exceeding 100Mbps for several VPNs on our list. Sometimes, download speeds may reach 400 Mbps or more, but usually between 100 and 150 Mbps.

2. Security

Security is the fundamental principle on which VPNs are based and operate, so it’s an important consideration in our list. For enhanced security and privacy, which torrenting requires, we set the minimum criterion to AES 256-bit encryption.

AES 256 is the industry standard for data encryption and the protocol deployed by government agencies, military intelligence, and space agencies.

All the VPNs must also feature DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a no-logs policy, and an active kill switch. Registering with a VPN with these security features significantly minimizes the chances of your data and information being compromised or hacked.

Each VPN above has all these features, and some provide additional security to guarantee your safety further.

3. Customer service

We also researched the customer service of each VPN and how friendly, responsive, and quick they are. As a baseline, for a VPN to make our list, it should have a channel that provides 24/7 customer assistance.

This may be via email, phone, and live chat. It should have a resource library that serves as a knowledge database containing FAQs about the VPN, tutorials, and quick guides.

Regardless of which you choose from the VPNs above, you can rest assured of customer-centric support. Some, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, also have dedicated support centers on their websites where you can search for help and find answers even more quickly

4. Device compatibility

If you need to use your VPN on multiple devices, knowing which operating systems it supports and its number of compatible devices can influence your decision to register with it.

Generally, our VPNs can work on phones, tablets, computers, tablets, and even Smart TVs. This helps you securely connect to the internet from your device, regardless of location.

You can set up these VPNs on all the major operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Mac. They’re also developed for Chrome OS, routers, Fire TV, browsers, and gaming consoles.

5. Logging policy

Our list above contains VPNs with a verified no-logs policy. That means, as you browse the internet using any of them, your network traffic, session information, browsing history, used bandwidth, connection time stamps, and IP addresses are discarded.

This makes it near impossible for your data and information to be stolen and used by hackers for nefarious purposes.

6. Cost

Quality VPNs often cost money, but you typically receive service commensurate with the amount you pay. As numerous VPNs are available, each wants your attention, and you can often find affordable deals with free trials.

These VPNs also offer discounts and promo codes, whether on their anniversaries, through their brand ambassadors, or on lengthy subscriptions. They all promise money-back guarantees after a specified period if you find their service unsatisfactory.

The best VPNs to use for private torrent websites

We’ve critically analyzed dozens of VPNs available in the market today, and the three below are the best that we found for torrenting:

1. ExpressVPN

A multi-tasking VPN service for safe torrenting. It has highly reliable servers scattered across 94 countries.

Has a server network of over 3,000 nodes present in 90+ countries

TrustedServer technology (for enhanced security)

Protects connection with reliable AES-256 data encryption

Does not keep log of user traffic usage

A split tunneling feature that works as claimed

Has Network Lock (kill switch) feature

Supports Tor over VPN

Peer to peer connection allowed on most servers

There are five simultaneous connections allowed per account

30-day tested pay-back policy

  • High-speed VPN with optimized interfaces for varying features
  • Dependable no-logs policy to ensure privacy
  • Accepts Bitcoin, Paypal and credit card payments
  • Limited simultaneous device connections

ExpressVPN’s legacy is based on its network of global, ultrafast internet servers and trusted security privacy and security features. Its 3,000+ servers in 94 countries, including the US, means you can watch Paramount Plus at high definition up to 4K resolution and also have unrestricted P2P file sharing and torrenting.

It uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is expert-tested and currently considered the most secure. This is very handy if you’re torrenting and need your privacy and anonymity to be assured.

ExpressVPN also applies the no logs policy. As you stream, your DNS queries, browsing history, and IP addresses are either unsaved or hidden, preventing anyone from tracking you with them.

For a positive user experience, this VPN is compatible with all major devices, including iPhone, Windows, Mac, Android, and web extensions. You can also complain or make inquiries through its live chat and customer support, available 24/7.

2. Private Internet Access (PIA)

An impressive and ideal VPN vendor for torrenting that puts users’ privacy first. It has an extensive server network with advanced features.

A large network of over 35,000 VPN servers present in 82+ countries

Peer to Peer connection supportive servers

Secure connection with reliable encryption; AES 128-bits and 256-bits

Robust protection against malware and adware with in-built MACE

Enforces a policy of zero logs

Runs on RAM-only VPN servers (benefits privacy)

The split tunneling feature works as expected

Boasts a feature-rich kill switch

Each account allows connection to ten simultaneous devices

30 days no-questions-asked money-back guarantee

  • Customizable encryption for better connectivity
  • 256-bit encryption and a dependable no-logs policy
  • Has built-in ad-blocking and malware protection
  • Inconsistent server speeds

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a lightweight, low-cost VPN that provides many of the features you find in other higher-end and expensive server networks. With over 35,000 servers in 60 countries, it’s one of the largest VPN providers by the number of available servers.

More than half of PIA’s servers are in the US. Almost all are fast and support high-definition videos up to 4k resolution. Fast servers also mean you can download large files quickly, which torrent sites and indexes are particularly known for.

PIA focuses on users’ security and privacy, featuring DNS leak protection, malware and ad blocker, and 256-bit encryption. It also has a customizable kill switch in case of network changes to ensure your privacy isn’t compromised.

3. NordVPN

An old player in the VPN market that provides stealth security and privacy for seamless torrenting.

5,000+ speedy VPN servers scattered in over 60 countries

Reliable threat protection (malware, tracking, and ad blocker)

Industry standard, most secure encryption available: AES-256

An easy-to-use kill switch feature

Split tunneling feature with high efficiency

Offers multi-hop VPN for double encryption

Provides seamless Onion over VPN functionality

Ensures that no logging is done

Users can connect up to six devices simultaneously with each account

A 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked

  • Compatible with multiple devices including Raspberry Pi, Firestick, and Kindle Fire
  • Friendly customer support for a positive customer experience
  • Dedicated IP addresses for assured anonymity
  • Some servers do not support torrenting

Released over a decade ago, NordVPN has over 14 million subscribers and established over 5,600 servers in 60 countries. It doesn’t allow torrenting on all its servers. Yet, there’s plenty to choose from from its P2P-optimized servers in Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, and 42 other countries.

Nord secures your data with AES 256-bit encryption that stops snoopers or hackers from stealing them. It features a kill switch for when the connection drops, an ad and malware blocker, and DNS and IPV6 leak protection.

Its customer service and support are available in multiple languages so that you can raise queries conveniently. On their website, you can access customer support through various channels, including email, live chat, and a dedicated support center.

How do I join a private torrenting site?

Some torrent sites are private because they require your membership before you can access their content. While this sounds fairly straightforward, registration isn’t always as simple as submitting your email address and tapping the sign-up button on a registration webpage.

Some private torrent websites restrict registration to once a year; others may request an interview before granting you access. Methods typically vary between sites and change as times go by, but below are some of the ways to join and watch the best private torrent sites:

1. Invites from existing members

Numerous sites, including some of the ones provided in our list, tend to be invite or recruitment alone, meaning you can only join when an existing member lets you in. Invites are typically sent in various ways, including in torrent forums, on social media, and through begging for access from someone you know directly.

2. Open registration days

Some websites have also adopted the strategy of making registration available only once throughout a particular period, usually a year. Ensure you monitor the site as often as possible, the day for this registration may not be announced, and the opportunity itself may only last a few hours to a few days.

3. Forum registrations

Some exclusive private trackers may advertise member registration and share invitation codes on their IRC channels and online forums. If you wish to join these sites, follow the instructions in the resources shared on these channels.

Are private trackers and torrenting websites safe and legal to use?

Popular private trackers with numerous torrents and multiple users are often safe, but you must be wary of malicious files, especially when downloading unverified torrents. These websites also may contain ads that, when clicked, lead to dubious malware- and virus-filled webpages.

Torrenting, whether on a public or private website, isn’t illegal as long as copyrighted or licensed materials are not being shared. Find out enough information about the file you wish to download and avoid grey areas to not end up on the wrong side of the law.

What is the upload-to-download ratio on private torrent sites?

When you decide to join a private tracker, you must understand what a ratio is as most enforce it. An upload-to-download ratio represents the torrents you’ve downloaded to the number you’ve uploaded.

Most websites set the baseline for this ratio to 1, as this is the value at which you give back as much bandwidth as you use. It’s, however, advised that you stay above this ratio to establish yourself as a helpful member of the site and to eliminate the chances of the site admin or staff removing you.

Keep a good ratio on any private torrent site by constantly seeding your downloads. Seeding means uploading a torrent file and leaving it open for other users to download.

Leave files open for as long as possible to have numerous active downloads. This can have a significant effect on your ratio and increase it.

Another way to increase your ratio is by using a seedbox. These offsite services function like the premium version of a remote torrent client that constantly seeds your site, even when your computer is switched off.

Seedboxes work on a subscription model, so you may pay a certain amount to access their services. Besides, not all trackers or sites allow them. So you may first check with your torrent client before signing up for one.

Why can’t I download something from a private tracker?

If you cannot download from a private tracker, check your VPN and confirm it supports torrenting. If you’re using a VPN that doesn’t support torrenting, the tracker may detect torrenting use and prevent you from downloading any file.

You may also be prevented from downloading files from a private tracker if you don’t meet the required upload-to-download ratio. Most sites require at least a ratio of 1.0, but you may ask other users or find the information section.

How do you download and open a torrent?

You can typically download and open a torrent by following these steps:

  • Download a BitTorrent app, such as Utorrent or qBittorrent, or visit their website.
  • Search and download the file or right-click and open it if you already have a torrent file.
  • Click on I agree to the pop-up menu.
  • Select a desired location to save your file.
  • View the file.

Conclusion

The governments of many countries are banning torrent trackers and websites, but they remain one of the most effective ways to download and share files. We, however, recommend that you use these sites only for legal purposes and connect to a VPN when using them for privacy protection.

If you’re unsure which VPN to use, you may start with ExpressVPN due to its enhanced P2P-sharing, torrenting support, and advanced obfuscation feature. You can also share your opinions or make further inquiries by commenting below.

Private trackers

In this article, you will be guided on 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 invite-only. This means you need to be a member to view the contents of the site and download its torrents. A tracker can either be semiprivate, where you can create an account for free by just registering your details, or fully private, where another user has to invite you. 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:

  • Speed: If you’re familiar with torrents, you probably know that the bigger the swarm, the faster you download. Private trackers encourage their members to seed torrents for as long as possible, thus increasing the chances of a torrent having a healthy swarm for longer. Not only that, but many members use seedboxes, which are just servers based in data centers offering very high speeds and excellent peering. Enough to max out anyone’s home connection.
  • Retention: Similarly, private trackers usually enforce rules that encourage long-term seeding. A few peers on private trackers will perennially seed many torrents for obscure content that you wouldn’t normally find any peers for on ThePirateBay or KAT.
  • Selection: Some content simply isn’t available on any public site and will only be found on private trackers. Sometimes you can’t even legally buy it at all, ironically. Some trackers specialize in obscure or rare content, ensuring that it doesn’t get lost from the Internet.
  • Quality control: A major asset of private trackers, albeit one that can vary a lot across trackers. Good private trackers have stringent rules on the content format, quality, and organization. Music trackers will ensure you don’t get horrible 92kbps transcodes, movie trackers will ensure you only get good encodes, ebook trackers will ensure you get retail quality, etc. Members and staff review and approve each torrent. Trumping rules and the removal of duplicates ensure you only get one community-approved source for the specific content and format. This, coupled with a decent site layout, makes private trackers much more orderly than public ones.
  • Security: There are two reasons private trackers are more secure, albeit they may not apply in the future. The first one is that most of them are obscure enough that no one really knows or cares about them (security through obscurity). The second one is that copyright trolls would rather focus on huge public sites that are easy to fish for peers rather than small communities that are hard to join. From a monetary point of view, it’s more worthwhile to stop 10,000 casuals from downloading two torrents than to stop two neckbeards from downloading 10,000 torrents. There are some caveats to this though, copyright trolls will aggressively pursue the source of leaked pre-release media, such as screeners. As a result, many private trackers do not allow this content. Fortunately, leaked screeners are generally very popular and will be easily found on public trackers anyway. Large prolific piracy groups such as scene or well-known release groups are huge targets for copyright enforcement.

How secure/safe are private trackers?

There are two aspects to this: one is your own personal security, the other is the security of the tracker itself. Due to the nature of private trackers, they will often require you sign up for an account using your home IP address. In order to keep track of banned users, banned regions and so on, most private trackers will log everything you do on their platform and keep that data forever. Private trackers are all inherently illegal and you are trusting some unknown person or group with a pretty considerable amount of your data. You don’t know if the staff have nefarious intentions and you don’t know how competent they are with their own op-sec. There have been numerous cases of tracker security breaches over the years due to incompetent tracker developers. Many old trackers store your password in plaintext, don’t have 2FA, don’t secure their sites correctly or a host of other things. There are, however, a few things you can do to minimize the risk.

  • Never use the same password across multiple trackers. To be safe, don’t use the same usernames either. This doesn’t do a great deal but it will at least stop regular users from stalking you across trackers. Some tracker admins in the past have been known to use username/email and password combinations of users on their tracker to try to log in on other trackers and steal accounts. Using two-factor authentication is also advised, where available. A different email address for every tracker is maximum tinfoil but go for it if you want to. At a minimum, you should use a different username and password for every tracker and for God’s sake don’t put links to your other track profiles in your profile bios.
  • Don’t tie any personal information to your tracker accounts. This includes a non-throwaway email address or personally identifiable information of any kind. Staff have said in the past that users have signed up for private trackers using their work email addresses, full name included and everything. Idiots. Information like that could be used to harm or track you down should it fall into the wrong hands. The tracker staff may be legitimate, but the site itself can be busted or defaced by hackers. Don’t post about yourself in the forums and for fuck’s sake don’t post in any of those “post a pic of you” threads. Torrent trackers are not social networks.
  • Again, remember that you are entrusting your information to an unknown and effectively unaccountable second party. The email you use, your IP, your snatchlist, everything. Once you sign up for a tracker, you lose control over who has access to this data. It’s simply a risk you must take if you wish to join the private tracker community.

What are the best private trackers?

There are two kinds of trackers, content-wise: specialized and general. General trackers will often serve the majority of your needs, while bigger general trackers will usually have plenty of niche content. Popular public trackers are general trackers: RARBG, RuTracker, ThePirateBay, etc. Due to their broad scope, they will still never match the niche trackers in their particular area of specialty.

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 (yes, this gets a separate category), Games, Books, E-learning, Porn, Anime, Scene and General.

  • Green trackers are the cabal — the holy trinity of PTP, BTN and HDB. These are the best, most reputed trackers in the torrent community. They are objectively the best in their respective categories and rule the torrent world. Do not fuck with cabal staff as they will gang up on you and have you permabanned from all cabal trackers along with any other trackers willing to cooperate with them (and many often do).
  • Yellow trackers are subject to the cabal — if you’re banned from the cabal, you will get banned from these as well. On the other hand, a good ratio proof on one of these will be well-considered if you apply to another cabal-subjected tracker. However, because of their niche or subpar content, they don’t get as much exposure as the cabal.
  • Red trackers are primarily shady — they are either the IPT mafia empire or are run by staff known for shitty practices such as trading accounts, DDoSing other sites, encouraging pay2leech and storing passwords in plaintext. They are the cabal’s worst enemies, so don’t expect ratio proof on one of these trackers to be taken into consideration on cabal sites. They may still have good content and be worth joining, just don’t give them any money for any reason whatsoever. Being in the cabal means you can afford to give little to no fucks about your account on one of these. For instance, if your IPT account gets purged, you can just get another one.
  • White trackers are either open or not known to cooperate much with the cabal, but they aren’t known for shitty practices either.
  • Audiobooks: MyAnonamouse (note that the best general source of audiobooks is Audiobookbay and occasionally RuTracker/kat)
  • Piano sheets: MyAnonamouse
  • Comics: 32pag.es (dead)
  • E-learning: TheOccult (esoteric), TheVault (business), TheShow (entertainment), ThePlace (seduction),
  • Older TV not available for purchase: MySpleen
  • B-movies: Cinemageddon
  • Older movies/TV: MySpleen, Karagarga, TV-Vault, Cinematik, Cinemaz
  • x264 media: x264.me
  • Hentai: AnimeBytes
  • Korean porn: Sinderella
  • JAV: yourexotic, M-team, Sinderella, ExoticaZ
  • J-Pop: Jpopsuki
  • Rhythm Games: Bemaniso
  • Music Software: Audionews
  • 3D software, graphic design, vfx, /ic/’s favourite permanently freeleech tracker: CGpeers (note that a lot of the content on CGpersia is not on CGpeers)
  • Magic: ArtOfMisdirection, MagicTorrents
  • Weird shit: SocietyGlitch

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 etc.) 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 /r/ 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, or 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 or short-term and whether they are currently satisfied, the amount of time you will have to invest will vary.

  • Open-signup trackers: This is the easiest step. All trackers have to start small and build up a decent userbase before they can afford to limit entry, and thus some trackers are open to signup for a time. Numerous websites keep track of these (opentrackers.org, opentrackers.net, btracs.com, /r/OpenSignups), unless you’re looking for something specific, just go to RuTracker (rutracker.org). Yes, it’s entirely in Russian, but who cares? All registration forms look the same, and you weren’t going to post in the forums anyway, right? (More on that later.) RuTracker is really nice because it’s comprehensive, well-seeded and has high standards despite having very few ratio restrictions. In fact, 99% of the needs of most users are met there. If you are looking for porn, it is recommended to open pornolab (pornolab.net). Yes, it’s in Russian too. Here’s a guide from a Russian speaker to RuTracker.
  • Pay2Pirate: Some trackers will invite you for a fee. The idea is to prevent potential cheaters from abusing the system (in ways defined at the discretion of the staff) since any fuck-up would cost them their account, and thus their money. Pay2pirate trackers are generally considered low tier, since they are run for-profit and several, notably IPT, have a history of shitty behavior. There are no trackers worth paying to join, at all. Almost without exception, they can be joined for free with easy-to-obtain user invites. The content that paid trackers offer is rarely, if ever, better than what is offered by the good public trackers.
  • Application: Some trackers have a special page with an application form in one way or another. Their goal is to keep a moderate influx of new members they can control by assessing your willingness to join and what you have to offer. Different trackers have different requirements: some will require proof of good ratio on other trackers, some will only require that you show genuine interest and good will in your application form even if you are new to the tracker scene. Some mostly care about what material you have to offer to the site. Try to be sincere, honest, lengthy and don’t forget to provide an email address so they can notify you of their response.
  • Interview: A few trackers have an interview system; it means that you are going to join an IRC channel and answer questions to their staff. It’s mostly a way to control members’ origin as almost all of them will ask that you join from your home connection.
    • Redacted interview: READ THIS GUIDE FOR REDACTED.CH and THIS ONE TOO before interviewing. Generally, the best way to get into good trackers. The interview is extensive and similar to what.cd (easier because the spectral analysis section appears to have been toned down). You can fail if you don’t take this seriously. Currently, Redacted.ch is the most reputed tracker known to maintain an interview system (essentially the new what.cd)
      • Myanonamouse interview: This is more of a chat, questions are mostly about the rules, you will not pass or fail so there is no need to worry.
        • Bakabt interview: More of a 3-minute chat about whether or not you understand the rules.
        • Invite forums: Once you’ve established a good standing on one of the aforementioned trackers you’ve hopefully managed to get in, you will be able to move on to more restrictive ones. Most top trackers require new users to have a past of good standing (i.e. Power User or Elite userclass) such as one that can be shown on a tracker whose staff they trust – the tracker scene is a small world, and tracker staff often cooperate (or fight) with each other. As such, there are recruitment threads on various trackers so they can exchange good-standing users for the benefit of all.
        • Super Exclusive Sekrit Klub: Once you’ve made it to the big ones, the rest is up to you – you may try to join some of the ultra-closed trackers such as EXIGO or HDBits but at this point your needs should be pretty much covered unless you are looking for something really specific or just doing it for e-peen.

        Generally speaking, open-signup trackers will not offer you a pathway into more desirable trackers. Some trackers have application signups and you can progress from there, but you’ll be taking months if not years longer to climb the pyramid if you do this. It’s even harder to remain /pure/ as well. The standard method of progressing is to join RED, regardless of your feelings on a music tracker. You can join via an IRC interview and it offers the best invite forum for new users. The RED interview is conducted like an online exam, they ask you to close everything except for IRC and then send them a screenshot of your desktop. You aren’t supposed to look at the prep material. They monitor the prep website and if your IP address shows up connecting to it they’ll stop the interview and ask you to admit to cheating. If you fess up you can try again the next day. If you lie they’ll permaban you, this is like a cabal ban as well so it can make life much harder for you. What you can do is cheat by saving the prep as a pdf. It’s all fairly simple stuff to remember and you’ll need to know it if and when you start uploading anyway.

        Next up is reaching the Elite userclass to unlock the invite forums. You actually get access at Power User, but better trackers require you to be Elite before asking for an invite. Some will have even more requirements, like a 6-month-old account or more. The requirements for Elite userclass are 50 uploads, 4 weeks of account age and 100GB of upload. The first two are easy, you can just upload shit from deezer, or transcode FLACs with no MP3 version. Getting 100GB is tricky. Without a seedbox you’ll likely get a 1.00 ratio on your uploaded torrents, so it will take considerably more than 50 FLACs. You can seed your initial uploads with a seedbox, which should get your better returns. You could also race by autosnatching. RED is very competitive however, so do this only if you have some experience using a seedbox and configuring it correctly. Pay2win is an option, you can usually get 5-10GB filling a request for an album from bandcamp or similar. Another option is to use the “premier” plugin for Deluge, which manipulates the swarm and piece distribution to only upload a new piece once everyone in the swarm has the previous one, which means you upload 100% of the torrent to every single user. Proceed with extreme caution though, this plugin is not specifically banned on RED, but if autosnatchers notice they are getting 0 upload from you they may add you to a blackl-, sorry, blocklist. If no one autosnatches from you at all you will only ever get upload from permaseeding or requests.

        I have ratio proofs on tracker A, can this get me tracker B?

        Forget about proofs for official recruitment. People asking for proofs are generally going to be regular users offering user invites (/impure/), or staff holding application signups (/pure/). All that should matter to you most of the time is getting the userclass required to access tracker A’s invite forums. Next you read the recruitment thread for tracker B, the recruiter will list the requirements they need from people requesting an invite. These are not negotiable. Trying to haggle with recruiters will get your invite forum access revoked and/or you banned altogether. They don’t give a shit if you have 100TB upload, they only care about the requirements they list.

        On being /pure/ and avoiding treebans

        Your account is /pure/ when you have only been invited to trackers via official channels, such as staff-run applications, or official recruiting threads. Staff will virtually never treeban an official recruiter since it would wipe out too many innocent users along with them. The benefit of being /pure/ is the assured knowledge your account is safe today and ten years from now. Remember that once you are in someone’s tree you are in it forever, you have no control over the other people they invite, or who those people invite. Your inviter might be a good dude, but if he invites someone who sells accounts you are now in a poisoned tree. Being /pure/ is not always easy.

        • Official recruiting requirements might be high.
        • You might get an invite way faster from a buddy, this can be a good idea if you know and truly trust this person not to give out user invites willy nilly. You can sidestep potentially years of pyramid climbing if you have a friend in the right place who you can trust implicitly.
        • Some trackers don’t have official recruiting at all. TVV, for example. Joining these trackers doesn’t really affect your accounts’ /pure/ status as they are generally not cabal associated. Obviously, you can still get in some trouble if the wrong person invites you, just be prudent with how you get your invites.
        • Some trackers are in no way associated with the cabal, so being /impure/ doesn’t matter. IPT is an example of this.

        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.

        • Exhibit 1 – No Leniency for 4chan
        • Exhibit 2 – No Leniency for 4chan Part II
        • Exhibit 3 – /PTG/ Users Getting Disabled

        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 it was posted. Avoid searching for any torrents that are posted on /ptg/. Staff members search the logs to find /ptg/ members. Keep a low profile and use your head.

        Ghostleeching

        Refer to the Ghostleech article. Unless you know what you’re doing, ghostleeching is very obvious and will get you cabal banned.

        What NOT to do

        • Cheating: The cardinal rule of thumb is that most cheaters end up with their account and their entire invite tree banned. Beware of any anon which recommends cheating. Cheating doesn’t just mean using some dodgy client to fake ratio. If you “seed” 1000 torrents and throttle them all to 1kb/s in order to farm bonus points without using up bandwidth, you will probably be in trouble if anyone ever notices. Any actions like this that are not in good faith will not be looked upon kindly.
        • Beg for invites: Autists on /ptg/ have taken it upon themselves to report every single email they see in /ptg/ threads to various tracker staff and spam crawlers (they’ve gone as far as combing the archives for emails in past threads and reporting those too). Tracker staff are known to lurk /ptg/ and will ban anyone they catch sending an invite to an email posted there. If you accept an invite you begged for, you will be found out and lose any chance of acquiring a legitimate account. Especially watch out for PTP staff as they will revoke invite privileges and ban you over the smallest of transgressions (such as, but not limited to, accidentally posting IP lists in screenshots or posting the email you use for trackers). Tracker staff have been known to autistically pore over /mu/, /g/ and /ptg/ threads (archived and live) for the express purposes of finding and banning inviters/ees.
        • Trade for invites: Tracker staff really, really hate this. If you are caught trading (and you eventually will be) they will go out of their way to ban you, your entire invite tree and will cooperate with other trackers’ staff so as to disable as many of your accounts on other trackers as they can. Don’t go on tracker trading forums such as torrent-invites and the like, even having an account there (especially with the same username) counts as a red flag to some staff. It is reported that sites such as What.CD formerly abused bugs in the browser’s web history to determine whether or not users were visiting sites such as torrent-invites and banned people based on this activity. Site staff are also known to pose as invite sellers to trap and ban naive users.
        • Buy invites: You’ll lose money along with the chances of getting in legitimately. Some staff will be lenient if you ditch your seller though, probably because they want to get at the source first. Invites are usually free (and easy enough) to get from gateway trackers so it’s not even worth buying invites.

        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.

        • Posting on the forums: Every post you make on the forum is an occasion of getting someone riled up, and that someone may very well be staff. You’re here for downloading and uploading stuff, not chitchat. Don’t use the forums.
        • Talking to staff more than necessary: Same reason as above, don’t give them any reason to ban you. If you happen to annoy a staff member in any way, causing them to ban you, the entire staff will rally behind them even if they wouldn’t have personally banned you themselves. It’s the mods’ word against yours, you can never win.
        • Being confrontational with staff: Simply assume they are always right, even (and especially) when you point out that they are wrong.

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

        Cabal is so hard to join, I just want some content. What do I do?

        A brand new user is looking at potentially years before they get into the desirable trackers such as PTP for movies and BTN for TV. These trackers are not the sole sources of content however, they are merely the most convenient since they have the largest archives. To get the best coverage of content, a new user should look to join a few decent HD trackers as well as a few general trackers. The more, the merrier. Staff don’t appreciate people collecting trackers they will rarely use. Fuck ’em. Join any tracker that you feel has interesting content or will compliment your ability to find the content you are after. Some decent and more importantly accessible HD trackers a new user could join would be Blutopia, BeyondHD and UHDbits. Couple this with IPT or TorrentLeech as your general tracker to fill the gaps. SecretCinema is an excellent tracker for people with a genuine interest in obscure/arthouse/weird cinema, as it has an active requests section with users filling from KG/PTP/TiK and so on. TVV will supplement your general/HD trackers for older or obscure TV content, if you can find an invite in the wild. Avistaz or ACM will fill your asian media needs. Don’t count out public trackers either: RuTracker especially is a top general tracker despite being public. BakaBT has IRC signups and its old archives will fill the gaps of obscure content you can’t find on nyaa. RED is the top music tracker and should be your first port of call, so that’s covered right away. MAM is also arguably the best book tracker and has IRC signups as well.

        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 in 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 in 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. Some of the most forward-thinking trackers do away with ratio altogether, though keeping seedpoints as the sole currency of their site. These are neither soft or hard economies as the economic levers are created by and adjusted solely at the discretion of the respective tracker.

        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 users get an incentive for seeding by acquiring bonus points that can be used to transcend userclasses. The most prominent example of a ratioless tracker is BTN, you won’t have any problem there as long as you seed. A tracker being ratioless does not give users leave to go on Hit n’ Run rampages however, as these kinds of trackers will routinely keep tabs on users with low average seedtimes who appear to be taking advantage of the economy.

        Soft economy

        Trackers 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 is 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 are doing that, right?): getting a seedbox, filling requests, uploading your own content and jumping on popular torrent swarms early.

        • Getting a seedbox: Basically pay2win but you might end up doing that if you don’t want to bother too much and have money to spend. A surefire way to build a ratio on any tracker. They also alleviate the risk for users in countries who hand out DDMCA notices. Seedboxes can also server as media servers and much more.
        • Abusing the fuck out of freeleech: /ptg/ers like to preference the most active torrents (especially staff picks) and the top 10 most active on freeleech days.
        • Filling requests: Can be tricky as people will obviously request stuff they can’t find elsewhere, so unless they’re particularly inept at googling and people didn’t catch on you won’t have any luck. If you consider the request to be worth it and you like the content requested you could also buy it, a less cheesy pay2win since you still end up with the physical medium as opposed to imaginary points on a website that might get busted at any moment, on top of the warm fuzzy feeling that you made someone you don’t know on the other side of the globe happy. Looking for requested material on other related trackers also works, though the process can be tedious.
        • Uploading your own content: This is a reliable way to get upload credit and satisfy the usual userclass promotion requirements; however, unless you’re operating from a seedbox or a very fast connection, you’ll have a hard time achieving a ratio much above 1:1. That’s because seedboxes usually snatch your stuff (especially if it’s recent or matches certain tags) before taking priority to distribute it across the swarm, since the BitTorrent protocol favors peers with a faster upload speed. You’ll still get upload of at least equal to your torrent size though, so you could survive on uploading stuff alone (also, if you keep uploading consistently good stuff, users will eventually “subscribe” to you and snatch everything you upload). On sites like Bibliotik, uploading enough content makes the entire site freeleech. You might also be able to get extra bonus points for uploading content.
        • /pyramid/: And finally, jumping onto popular swarms (aka /pyramid/ on /ptg/) is a risky though exciting activity that rewards those who catch on early and get to upload to everyone, while those who joined in on a later date only get a fraction of the original seeders’ credit, thus creating a pyramid scheme. Popular torrents include those about to become freeleech and the newest content from popular artists. /ptg/ regulars will often post about /pyramid/ tips, which means you could download from that torrent in the hope that it’ll grow and eventually get you a ratio above 1. If you have a seedbox or any kind of dedicated server, automatic tools such as autodl-irrsi will snatch stuff based on relevant information (such as tags, year etc.), however you run the risk of downloading too much stuff you can’t afford, even if some of it pays off. Use at your own discretion and beware, your upload speed and peering have an enormous impact on what ratio you will end up with.

        Other economy

        Economies that have no ratio requirements, but maintain a semblance of order and structure by relying solely on seedpoints, or bonus points, to function in a similar way to ‘hard’ ratio-only trackers. Rewarding long-term seeding while at the same time disincentivizing pump-and-dump autosnatchers, seedpoints are used in ways other than to simply download torrents depending on the tracker. Voting on requests, ascending the userclass ladder and purchasing goodies in a bonus points store are a few ways that seedpoints can be used. It is worth noting that many ratioless trackers use points to purchase optional functionality, BTN is an example of this. By changing the requirements for maintaining a ratio to that of spending seedpoints to download a torrent is what separates this category from the ratioless variety.

        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 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.

        Recruiting pathways

        “Help, I’ve been cabal banned!”

        I can just turn my router off and on again to get a new IP and start over, r-right? Wrong. The private tracker community is small, so unless you live near a large population center there’s a real chance you are the only person in your town or city using private trackers, which means it’ll be obvious when staff cabal ban a rural Danish IP and the next day a rural Danish IP is in the RED interview channel. Consider what exchange you use and what IP range range your ISP uses. As well as other data like the torrent client you have, browser version and so on. If you ever do get banned and want to get back in, it’s best to wait a few weeks, or better yet a few months. If you are creating a new identity, remember, do not check your old profile, especially just after joining the tracker. Some paranoid sysops are checking every new account’s activity for weeks, even for months. Do not act the same as you did before, especially if you were an active user on forums and were uploading a lot. And obviously, don’t use a similar username. Also, don’t use the password you used to have, because they can see every users hashed password. Generally speaking, just don’t draw attention to yourself and stay /pure/ by not inviting anyone or donating to your trackers, ever (by the way, what kind of cuck would you be, giving a donation to a tracker that cabaled you?). If you are ever cabal banned, consider all linked accounts to be tainted even if you can still access them. If you plan on starting over from the beginning, you will have to burn all of the accounts that could be traced to your cabal banned account, including the accounts that you think are not part of the cabal (i.e MoreThanTV, TorrentLeech, IPTorrents, foreign trackers and so on).

        Notable private trackers

        Broadcast the Net (BTN) General TV tracker, the best of its kind by far. Other TV trackers can fill specific niches but 95% of everyone’s needs can be filled with BTN. Ratioless. TV Vault (TVV) TV-only content that finished airing at least 5 years ago. Has lots of rare content not found elsewhere. Will fill much of your niche content needs if you don’t have BTN and sometimes even if you do. No recruiting, user invites only. Users get lots of invites to give out and they often do so on a variety of trackers so keep your eyes peeled. Currently beyond usercap though so don’t expect any for some months, Elite userclass can still invite though. Has some dated rules which are irritating. Pass the Popcorn (PTP) General movie tracker, the best of its kind by far. Other movie trackers can fill specific niches but 95% of everyone’s needs can be filled with PTP. Animebytes (AB) Anime, manga, Asian live action, soundtracks and general weeb shit. The best of its kind by a wide margin. Other cabal trackers were not happy about the loli/shota content hosted there. MoreThanTV (MTV) Ratioless tracker for movies and TV, though the focus is on the latter. The closest competitor to BTN however distantly. Has been down for some months and is being rebuilt by the EMP sysop, expected to go live in early 2021. A good alternative to BTN if you haven’t got it as it used to mirror the new content, while lacking the larger back catalogue. AsianCinema (ACM) Asian video tracker that is generally considered the successor to AsianDVDClub. If you ever admit to buying a DVD/BR, you’ll get at least one faggot in your inbox asking you to buy him shit. Full disc images and remuxes only. Karagarga (KG) A tracker for obscure, rare, arthouse, foreign and classic films. Mainstream not allowed. Also has a community of bilingual speakers who write subtitles for untranslated movies. SDBits (SDB) HDB sister site, for SD content obviously. Not a path to HDB. As SD has fallen largely out of favour, the site is slowly dying. Don’t waste your time. Cinemageddon (CG) Movies with no IMDB page, ANT) General movies, run by Alastor who has a storied history of public meltdowns. Seems to have chilled out in recent years. Shit tracker though easy to join. Nebulance (NEB) Sister site of ANT, also run by Alastor, Ratioless. Not terrible for new users, but still pretty shit. Cinematik (TiK) Untouched releases of obscure and rare content. Full Discs and so on. Very difficult to join as a user must vouch for you and then request an invite in the forums. Unnecessary for most users. Secret Cinema (SC) Ratioless tracker for obscure, weird or arthouse movies and TV. Easy to join with a very active requests section. Users often fill from PTP/KG/TIK/CG etc. so it’s an excellent source of that content for anyone without access to a more difficult-to-obtain tracker. The Horror Charnel (THC) Horror, sleaze, sci-fi, B movies etc. Boomer tracker through and through. An easy to join alternative to CG. Died in 2022, may come back? BakaBT (BBT) Old anime/manga tracker. Content is curated by staff so uploads come slowly. Has IRC signups. Good for old content to supplement nyaa. AsianDVDClub (ADC) Very much dead and buried. solcen (CTRL+F) bought the domain for an exorbitant sum and runs a failed and broken website, tracker and begging operation created through abuse of an autistic dev. No longer in development (still broken) but solcen is still begging for money, threatening bans and shutdowns whilst seething at ACM’s success. Solcen shut it down after a christmas begging event in 25/12/2021. JPTV (JPTV) Nip telly. You’d better be able to understand moon. New tracker that looks promising. AvistaZ (avistaz) Asian movies/TV. Probably the best tracker for this kind of general content.

        HD trackers

        HDBits (HDB) General HD tracker with movies/TV and porn. The best and biggest of its kind by far. The biggest HD archive as well as the largest population of knowledgeable encoders. Encoders on other good HD trackers will often also be internal and release on HDB. BeyondHD (BHD) Notable for being very fast to get remuxes, even before scene. Good for 4k content. Allows un-encoded SD content if no HD version is available. Blutopia (BLU) Very good tracker, sir. All citizen of Pakistan banned. UHDbits (UHDB) Originally a Vietnamese HD tracker. Mediocre archive. Internal encoders are good. Recently had HDB invites offered in the forums to users with >200 uploads and high userclass. This has caused a flurry of activity with users reaching these same requirements in the hopes of getting HDB invites again. Unlikely to happen given HDB’s historically autistic approach to giving out invites and getting butthurt when people find out where they are being offered. HD-Torrents (HDT) Low-quality HD tracker, though easy to join for new users. Run for profit, requires users to download >15GB quarterly or get b&. Get it if you’re a brand new user but don’t sweat if you lose the account eventually. HD-Space (HDS) Somehow a shitter version of HDT. Same considerations apply.

        Redacted (RED) Music tracker which has solidified its position as the WCD successor. Controversial seedbox economy and its use as an invite stepping stone into other trackers has divided community opinion. Regardless it still has over 2 million torrents. Can be joined via IRC interview. Orpheus (OPS) Formerly Xanax, Apollo (a-poo-in-loo). Music tracker with a much more user-friendly economy than RED. The archive is considerably smaller than RED’s but it lacks a lot of the junk uploads people vomit onto the tracker for userclass. DolphinIsComing Music (DIC) Yet another Gazelle music tracker, and yet another music tracker with a much more user-friendly economy than RED. This tracker is English-friendly has a wide range of active users uploading music + admins checking music. There are also many exclusive music that are reposting prohibited, purchased/ripped by members. LzTr (‘LzTr) A soundtrack and classical music tracker. Small but useful. DeepBassNine (‘DB9) A tracker for DnB music. Because it’s reputedly hard to join, many people will try to get in just for epeen even though they don’t care about DnB, jungle or anything like that. Exigo (E****o’) Ultra sekrit tracker. As is typical with ultra sekrit trackers, it’s worth joining for epeen alone. jpopsuki (JPS) Jpopsuki, Asian music tracker. Sysop is AWOL, staff is chill, content is really badly curated. Good to farm uploads (if they are very carefully checked) for RED. TheMixingBowl (TMB) Semi-private music tracker for radio shows and sets. Open registration and easy economy. Very good if you want this kind of content. Pedro’s XBTMusic (Pedro’s) A reputedly hard-to-join tracker dedicated to lossless music. Basically a subset of What with very rigid naming and tagging conventions, high-dpi booklet scans, harsher ratio and upload rules as well as an incredibly autistic staff and community. “[People say we are] anal retentive. It’s true!” -Pedro. Currently dead. Waffles (WFM/WCH) Medium-sized music tracker. Was originally waffles.fm but they changed their URL. Recently came back from the dead. Even more recently died again. OiNK (OPP) Music tracker which was the genesis of the private tracker ecosystem we know today. Closed over 10 years ago. What.cd (WCD) Music tracker that replaced OiNK. Huge archive, huge userbase. Created the cabal and headed it. Pussy admins hit the self-destruct button at the first whiff of police heat. Closed in 2016.

        Books & e-learning

        Bibliotik (BiB) Large book tracker. Overdrive access recommended for users. My Anonamouse (MAM) Large book, music sheet, and audio tracker. Friendly atmosphere that borders on clutish. You are not allowed to swear. One of the best trackers a new user can join and immediately use. 32pages (32p) Formerly ComicBT, the best tracker for comics. Peculiar inkdrop system in lieu of ratio. Staff had a long history of breaches and general incompetence. Died in early 2020 and will not be returning. Use MAM for your comic needs in the meantime.

        IPTorrents (IPT) The largest and best general tracker. Run for profit by a fat Russian guy. Notable for being the sworn enemy of cabal with history of DDoSing cabal trackers and stealing peers. The sysop was doxxed a few years ago. Worth joining, just don’t give them any money. Filelist (FL) Romanian general tracker. The language is primarily in Romanian and some English but you can use a translator addon to read it. Decent tracker which mirrors a lot of content from HDB. AlphaRatio (AR) Middling tracker, more closely associated with cabal than the other general trackers. FunSharingCommunity (FSC) Another one of those sekrit klubs, for general content. Used to be the shit due to its exclusivity and focus for “community,” is now almost dead and has worse selection than public trackers. TorrentLeech (TL) Like a smaller version of IPT, slightly less scummy though not to be trusted. Has open signups so frequently they can be considered semi-private. Recently introduced freeleech which has made the seedbox-driven economy considerably easier. RuTracker (RUT) A public tracker entirely in Russian, but of unusually good quality. Hosts an enormous amount of content, some of which can’t be found on private trackers. Always worth having in your back pocket for the times you are desperate to find some content, or don’t feel like seeding it. Use a translator addon to read it.

        Empornium (EMP) The top general porn tracker. Not much more to say. A very easy economy and a large number of coomers willing to buy Onlyfans packs and share them. Sinderella (S) Korean porn tracker, as in run by Koreans. Porn is illegal in Korea. Used to have actual Korean porn and also be closed up tighter than a nun’s snatch. Admins purged all the Korean porn and started recruiting again early in 2020. Still gets frequent JAV uploads though. Currently experiencing extended downtime. FemdomCult (FDC) Femdom, obviously. Has open signups now and then. Good if you are a degenerate coomer. Beware the scat tag. M-Team (MT) Chinese general tracker with porn section hidden by default in settings. Rich and well-seeded in JAV contents and Chinese-subtitled JAV. Note that admins set several porn collections (500 GiB to 5 TiB size) on Sunday/Monday each week to freeleech, which makes it easier to build a ratio.

        GazelleGames (GGn) The top tracker for games. The economy itself is a game, with trading cards, item crafting and customizable avatars which affect your own personal economy. Also includes tangentially related videogame content such as artbooks and OSTs. Bemaniso (sows) Tracker for rhythm games and related music.

        Art of Misdirection (AOM) Large magic tracker, limited to professional magicians only. MySpleen (MTV) Old cartoons and nostalgic, hard-to-find content. Things like broadcast television cartoons from the ’90s with the original commercials included. Closed, but the usercount does tick up every now and then so it may be possible to join if you try hard enough.

        Notable staff

        • 312c: Also known as 312cuck, he’s a PTP “developer” and former mod of /r/trackers. Known for being autistic, powertrippy and an asshole in general. Notable achievements include getting his mod privileges stripped on /r/trackers for excessive and reckless faggotry.
        • Aldy: Aldy is a based god who makes AB /comfy/ as hell.
        • Azathoth and Spaghetti: A /g/ay couple that used to run Oppaitime although they are far too reddit for most other boards.
        • chunkylover53: A PTP recruiter who is known for taking very, very long for replying to PMs then getting mad when people go ask other, faster recruiters instead. It is advised that you refrain from requesting invites from him as he may take literal months to reply and will ban you if you PM someone else in the meantime.
        • Nala: Sysop for PassTheHeadphones.
        • PrettyGreat: Is PrettyGreat.
        • Readable: One of the BTN administrators, who had to face the daunting task of answering literally hundreds of invite requests on various trackers and despite this always replied in a friendly, timely manner. Because of this, he’s considered bro-tier by /ptg/.
        • sarek: The hilariously incompetent sysop for attempted what.cd replacement tracker nostream (rip). Was banned from cabal after doxxing someone from his own staff channel (lmao).
        • TARS: A What.CD staff member who reached meme status on /ptg/ by not releasing the freeleech within the promised timeframe.
        • tehlarsie: A chill admin of AHD who usually replies quickly to invite requests.
        • solcen: A hairless Vietnamese boy who achieved short-lived e-fame in the West for his singular testicle shaped like a Cornetto. Overfond of underage girls urinating in Japanese cartoons, and generally a rude and stupid person who couldn’t even scam weebs, of all people. Still mad at ACM being the real ADCv2.

        Glossary

        • Application: Some trackers will let new users apply for an invite instead of simply registering. These questions are typically all the same and range from existing ratio proofs, knowledge of torrenting, interest in the site’s content and what you have to offer to the site. The questions are usually very easy. Unless you’re an absolute retard and talk like you’re on 4chan, you will have no problem getting accepted.
        • Autosnatching (autosnatcher): Renting a seedbox and configuring it to snatch (new/freeleech/recent-year/etc) torrents, virtually always to engage in /pyramid/ schemes (see below). Effective, although autosnatchers are generally derided because most of them “pump and dump” to hoard ratio instead of permaseeding, which hurts the fragile tracker economy by letting worthless lossy-web Deezer comps die.
        • Buying: The incredibly moronic act of exchanging money for a tracker invite or account, usually via an invite forum. A good way to lose both your money and any chance of getting into the tracker you were looking to buy into.
        • Cabal: The staff of PTP, BTN and HDBits. Because they are objectively the best and everyone wants to join them, they rule the private tracker community and other trackers tend to align with them. Some trackers such as IPT are enemies of the cabal and supporting these in any way on cabal-controlled zones (such as cabal forums or /r/trackers) will get you into trouble.
        • Cheating: Using one of the various known methods to abuse ratio, get caught by staff and eventually banned on all cabal trackers.
        • Comfy: Used to describe a tracker with chill staff, a friendly community and easy bonus points. Examples of comfy trackers include AHD or AB.
        • Country ban: The practice of banning people residing in certain countries from registering (even when invited), applying for an invite or interviewing. Such country lists vary from tracker to tracker but often include India, thus leading to the curry meme.
        • Curry: As a noun, refers to a pleb who hasn’t gotten in any private tracker and cluelessly begs on /ptg/ by thinking that grovelling enough and saying “gimme gimme” will land them an invite, in the manner of illiterate internet users from third-world countries and most notably India (which is infamously banned on many trackers), hence the name. As an adjective, refers to any low-tier tracker with low seed-to-peer ratio, shit content, shit interface and/or shit administrators. Note that cabal trackers, although they may have shit staff, cannot be curry.
        • DELETE THIS: A meme on /ptg/ that mocks the secrecy some communities like to wrap themselves with, such as censoring their own name or URL (Exigo, h4h, etc.), forbidding people from taking screenshots of their site or refusing to reveal recruitment pathways into their tracker. The expression itself is a parody of the supposed anger from such people seeing such secret information being posted on /ptg/ and not being able to do anything about it.
        • Disabled channel: A purgatory where users are rumored to wait for weeks and months on IRC to get staff’s attention, only to be eventually told “no, you won’t get your account back and we won’t tell you why” or “whoops, we did a mistake, sorry about that”.
        • Epeen: Bragging rights on the internet. Used in a self-derogatory way to mock the way /ptg/ regulars brag about tracker membership when this is hardly relevant in real life, if at all.
        • Exclusive: The practice of restricting the diffusion of a torrent’s content to a single tracker. Frowned upon by /ptg/ regulars who like to point out the hypocrisy of the thing.
        • FL: Freeleech, when downloading a torrent doesn’t count against your ratio but uploading counts for it. Can be global, personal or specific to some torrents. The nature, incidence and targets of freeleech are entirely decided by the staff but usually occur on special occasions (Christmas, tracker anniversary, etc.).
        • Gazelle: A web framework geared towards private trackers, developed by What.CD. Because of its clean interface and organization, it has been widely adopted by other trackers in the torrent community, including most top tier trackers like PTP or BTN. However, it is regarded as shit coding-wise (notably, you have to rewrite the music-related parts if you want to deploy it yourself for something else) by /ptg/, its only redeeming quality being that other frameworks are even worse. Note that it is distinct from Ocelot, the torrent tracker itself.
        • Global ban: Ban from all cabal trackers. When one commits a serious offense (such as cheating, trading, buying or selling), tracker staff ban you and share your information to other staff of the cabal, eventually getting someone banned everywhere. Information retained by staff includes all the IP addresses you’ve ever used, location, ISP range, username, password hash, snatchlists and stylometry.
        • HnR: Hit and Run, the act of downloading a torrent without meeting seeding requirements (typically individual ratio and/or seed time).
        • Inactivity: Not using a private tracker (this usually applies to logging into the site and browsing it, not simply seeding). People who go inactive for too long eventually get disabled, and people who get disabled this way have to beg for it back at the disabled channel. Each tracker slowly loses some of its userbase due to inactivity and will recruit an appropriate amount to get fresh blood without growing too large. Some trackers even impose a minimum downloaded amount in order not to be disabled, most notably HDBits. That’s because HDB accounts are so prized that members would rather log in once in a while than get disabled, even if they were not using the site.
        • Invite: What you live for. A way to access a tracker by getting vouched for by an existing member. A member may usually only give out a limited number of invites under certain conditions and is completely responsible for the people they invite, so the act is never to be taken lightly.
        • Invite forum: May refer to two things which are completely different. Public invite forums such as torrentinvites etc. are places for scammers to trade, sell and buy invites and are to be avoided at all costs as they are actively monitored by cabal staff who frequently ban the gullible users buying or trading their way into private trackers. Even having an account is enough to warrant a ban on strict trackers. On the other hand, tracker invite forums are class-restricted forums on reputed private trackers where other tracker members offer invites to a given class of users. They are notably used by staff from other trackers to recruit members they trust to be in good standing on the forum’s host tracker. These are the ones you want to be on.
        • Invite privilege: The ability to give out invites. These are known to be revoked for the slightest thing, sometimes even without justification. People don’t protest too much though since that’d involve waiting for weeks in the disabled channel for something they don’t really care about since they never invite anyone anyway.
        • Invite tree: The set of people you’ve invited and their invite trees.
        • Interview: A conversation conducted on IRC with an official tracker representative asking a prospective member a series of questions, usually related to the tracker’s content and knowledge of torrenting in general. Interviews can range from a friendly chat (in MAM or bB) to a full-blown test where your knowledge is extensively checked and material to review is provided in advance (Redacted).
        • /impure/: Having been invited by a friend who isn’t staff or a staff-approved recruiter. Some /ptg/ regulars frown upon /impur/ity as it may lead to the invitee being banned in rare cases (such as a major treeban). It is sometimes the only way to get into some trackers though.
        • mRatio: Software touted by /ptg/ trolls to bait newcomers into ratio cheating and getting all their accounts banned.
        • /mu/: /mu/tracker, a dead tracker that used to be operated by /mu/ users. RIP in peace, not that it was any good to begin with.
        • Ocelot: Tracker software used by What.CD, is distinct from Gazelle.
        • /pure/: Having been invited exclusively though recruitment channels, thus ensuring that you will never be banned because someone in your invite tree’s ramification got caught in a selling scheme. Some trackers are impossible to get /pure/ on though, as they may not recruit from anywhere.
        • /ptg/: The private tracker general on 4chan’s /g/. Basically where everything happens. Note that no one ever goes on /t/ because /t/ is shit although /ptg/er influence can extend into boards as diverse as /gd/, /ic/, /wsr/, /lit, /a/, /tv/ and /mu/ due to their respective trackers.
        • #ptg: The name of two channels, one on Rizon and the other one on Oppaitime’s IRC. Both are hang out places for /ptg/ regulars, but only the one on Oppaitime is not dead. Both IRCs are now closed due to 312c’s mass banning of /ptg/ users. There is a rumored third IRC.
        • PTG: The private tracker game, an RPG where climbing userclasses is the equivalent of leveling up and joining other trackers is the equivalent of unlocking new abilities. Everyone on /ptg/ is playing the private tracker game.
        • /pyramid/: Once referring to the practice of jumping onto popular swarms (usually on What) to harvest upload before others like a pyramid scheme, it mostly now refers to the hierarchy of trackers from the entry-level ones like What or bB to hard to join ones like BTN or HDB. Climbing the pyramid describes one’s ascension of a /ptg/ regular through these various steps.
        • Ratio: Amount of uploaded data over amount of downloaded data. May be global or torrent-specific. Acts as an indicator of how much you contribute data to the community. If more than 1, you are a positive contributor; if less than 1, you are a leech. Note that on sites where the ratio is hard to gain, having a too high ratio is also frowned upon as you are essentially hoarding credit that could be used by other users to spend, thus reducing tracker activity and harming its economy.
        • Ratiocuck: Refers to someone who has to use a seedbox to get buffer or maintain a good ratio on a generally hard-to-seed tracker, or in regards to any user who seeds content instead of downloading with no responsibilities from usenet.
        • Ratio watch: A way to enforce ratio requirements on various trackers. A state of ratio watch is attained when the ratio falls below what the tracker requires, and acts as a temporary warning before harsher measures are taken such as the removal of leeching privileges or an outright ban.
        • Ratioless: A tracker with no ratio rules. It may still have HnR rules though.
        • Recruitment: An official way to get invited to a tracker, sanctioned by staff (or an official staff representative with unlimited invites) itself. Recruitment usually refers to class-restricted invite forum threads where staff or staff reps present their tracker and state the conditions for admission via PM request, but it can also broadly refer to any kind of official recruitment like interviews or applications. Open signup is not recruitment though.
        • Required ratio: The minimum threshold set by ratio-based trackers. It depends on each tracker and may even vary within a tracker. Sites with a hard economy tend to have a lower required ratio. Required ratio rules aren’t typically enforced for newcomers (who are given a grace period/amount to download a little).
        • /r/trackers: The private tracker subreddit where people like to re-ask the same question for the 1000th time, post announcements, complain about bans and suck the cock of cabal tracker staff. Supporting non-cabal trackers is not allowed there.
        • Seedbox: A remote server with a high-speed connection used primarily for downloading and seeding torrents.
        • Semi-private: Used to describe a tracker with open registration but whose torrents still retain the private flag, only allowing members with a registered passkey to connect to the swarm and leech/upload data. Trackers that require registration to view the site but are still open-signup are semi-private. ThePirateBay or Kat are not semi-private.
        • Selling: A scam conducted on public invite forums by unscrupulous people. They give away invites or accounts (usually hacked and “buffered,” i.e. artificially inflated with ratio cheating tools) to naive users for money, who then get obviously caught by staff and realize they wasted money for nothing. There exists a whole alternative market for invites, ranging from $15 for What to $200-300 for sites like Exigo or HDBits. None of them are worth wasting money for.
        • TPS: ThePirateSociety, a forum to circlejerk with other pirates about trackers. Requires an application to sign in but being accepted isn’t hard. Will copiously suck cabal tracker cock and openly share the information about you they have. It is however an interesting alternative path to some of the hard-to-join trackers like Pedro’s, Exigo or HDBits.
        • Trading: Exchanging tracker invites, which is forbidden on all cabal trackers. Invites should only be offered (and even then, only on class-restricted forums on other cabal trackers, if at all) or requested (and even then, only by PM to the individual person having the invites), with no compensation whatsoever. The idea is that you would only ever do that for a friend or someone you like and trust.
        • Treeban: A mass ban enacted on a user and his entire invite tree. Usually happens when the user or one of his invitees is caught in a selling scheme. Because trees can be so extensive, some innocent users often get caught in the process; this led /ptg/ users to exclusively stick to official recruitment channels, thus creating the /pure/ meme.
        • Userclass: An indicator of how much a user has contributed to the tracker. They typically are (with some variations): User, Member, Power User, Elite, Master, VIP and Staff classes. Each userclass awards certain privileges like being able to give out invites, inactivity pruning immunity or access to invite forums. Higher userclasses usually require a certain amount of upload credit, uploaded torrents and tracker presence.
        • #KGB: The IRC channel rumoured to be used by cabal and associates to share information about users.

        External links

        • /mu/’s guide to obtain music
        • The current /ptg/ thread
        • A somewhat dated list of encoding groups and the trackers they release on