What’s a tracker?
This is where you download .torrent files. There are a couple flavors:
- Public trackers. If you want to find these, just good for “best torrent sites <current year>” and you’ll get lists. The problem with public trackers is that they’re, well, public. Which means that various busybodies patrol them, harass them, and hunt their users. Also, because they’re public, the torrents are often very flakey because there are so many people of varying commitment. People who download and then delete, or people whose clients are apparently still on dial-up, etc.
- Private trackers. These are clubs where people share torrents, and if you’re not a member of the club, you won’t have access. These torrents are generally very high quality with excellent speeds. The two main problems with private trackers are (1) they’re private, and (2) with great privilege comes great responsibility, in other words, the owners of those clubs will watch your ratio and if you’re not sharing much, you’ll be booted.
Side note: some of these sites have amazing communities. I still miss KickAssTorrents – not because I downloaded much there but because the forums were so lively and helpful.
Where do I find private trackers? How do I get invited?
The best way is through people-style networking. Hang out on relevant IRC channels, participate in forums, talk with seedbox providers and in their forums, etc.
If you want to learn more about Private Trackers, check out TorrentInvites.org. Here, I’m going to give you TheTrader’s official preferred promo statement, just because he’s a standup guy:
http://torrentinvites.org is the best torrent invites forum BY FAR. There, you can get free (or even buy/trade/sell) invites for every private torrent tracker. You can find HDBits.org, What.cd, BroadcasThe.Net, PassThePopcorn, Bibliotik, BitMe, BitMeTV, fux0r, Waffles, SceneAccess, IPTorrents, TorrentLeech and any other invite. This forum has a great community and many interesting threads like reviews, open registration trackers, news, tutorials and more. Check out the following YouTube Video Review and register NOW for free: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJdMWlWxjPg
On a less promotional note, I will say the TI guys are really fun and that site is the best public portal into that world. You can ask questions there and learn a lot, and that’s how I’d recommend you start.
If you go into torrenting with the idea that “I need to learn, and once I do, I’ll contribute to the communities before I start taking from them,” you will go far.
Any OpSec for Torrents?
Here are some recommendations:
- Only connect to private tracker sites from via VPN. Besides privacy, some sites only allow you a fixed number of IPS, and using a VPN lets you consistently appear from the same place.
- Use a VPN between your home and your seedbox.
- Use a different login name for each private tracker site.
You can learn more about these topics on TorrentInvites.