What is a Private Torrent Tracker?

If you’re trying to figure out what a private torrent tracker is, you’ve come to the right place.

In this quick guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know, including what private torrent sites are, what makes them desirable, and how to join one.

What is a Private Torrent Tracker?

A torrent tracker is basically a server and/or website that connects uploaders and downloaders for specific torrent files.

On one hand, you have public torrent trackers, which anyone can use. You’ve probably heard of some of the big ones, like The Pirate Bay or 1337x.

But then there are the private torrent sites, which are, you guessed it, private. In order to use them, you must be a member, and becoming a member usually requires an invite or following a specific sign up process. You can find our picks for the Best Private Torrent Trackers here. 

We’ll talk more getting a membership in the How to Become a Member of a Private Torrent Tracker section below. 

Advantages of Private Torrent Trackers

So, what makes private torrent trackers good? Let’s take a look, starting with the advantages, which include:

  • Better selection: Private torrent trackers often have a larger selection of files, including ones you won’t find on public trackers. And some trackers specialize in certain types of content, like movies, audiobooks, or games.
  • Better quality: The quality of torrents on private trackers is more closely regulated, so they’re less likely to contain harmful things, like malware. And like Usenet, private torrent sites often have higher quality video and audio files than you’ll find on public torrent sites.
  • Faster downloads: Because of the seeding requirements (which we’ll get to below) and the higher average internet speeds of private tracker users, files tend to download faster.
  • Increased security: Not only are you less likely to encounter malware on private trackers, they’re also less susceptible to monitoring and tracking by people who want to see what you’re downloading. Of course, this still doesn’t mean they’re safe, so you should always use a torrenting VPN.

Disadvantages of Private Torrent Trackers

But these advantages do come at a price. For some people, these can be drawbacks; but for most private tracker members, they’re simply an increased responsibility that comes with being part of the community.

  • Membership requirements: To use a private torrent tracker, you have to become a member. And this requires an invite, an interview, or simply waiting for the next registration period. But once you’re in, the people you invite will be under the microscope; if you let bad elements in, you might be held responsible.
  • Seeding requirements: As we hinted at above, most private torrent sites require members to maintain a certain seeding ratio, usually something like 1:1 or even 2:1. In other words, you must upload as much as you download.

These seeding requirements can be a problem for a few reasons, which we cover in our Guide to Seeding Torrents. But to sum it up, seeding torrents is more risky than downloading them, and it will take up extra bandwidth, especially if you have a slow or data-capped connection.

While we always recommend using a VPN to download or “leech” torrents, it’s even more important when seeding. Our favorite VPN for torrenting is PIA VPN, since it combines great security when using both private and public trackers, all for just a couple bucks per month.

How to Become a Member of a Private Torrent Tracker

There are a few different ways to get access to a private torrent site, including:

  • Getting a friend to invite you (or making friends with someone who can invite you)
  • Using a site for torrent invites, like r/Invites on Reddit or TorrentInvites.org
  • Wait for the limited registration period, by monitoring specific sides or checking sites like r/OpenSignups
  • Go through the sign-up/interview process on their homepage

Keep in mind that the method you use will vary depending on the site. For instance, only some private trackers allow you to join through an interview, and invites to some sites are easier to get than others.

In the end, it may take a bit of effort and networking to get into the site you want. It’s often a good idea to join one site, build a reputation, and use that to get invited to other sites.

You can check out our list of the Best Torrent Sites if you need a good public tracker to use in the meantime.

June 8, 2023

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