Private BitTorrent trackers are probably one of the fastest mediums to download new and old movie, music, game and TV Show releases. However, on most private trackers, you need to maintain a minimum upload:download ratio (you need to upload a similar amount of data you downloaded) in order to survive without getting banned. Apparently some users don’t like this system and try to cheat their ratio using hacked clients, modded clients, data spoofing and other methods.
Now that we’ve got your attention with the fake title, let us tell you that this article won’t teach you how to cheat on private torrent trackers (even if there was a 100% safe way of doing that, which there isn’t). Instead, we’ll tell you how to build your ratio without resorting to cheating – yes, there are many legitimate methods.
Why do private trackers have a ratio system?
As we said earlier, one of the main advantages that a private tracker has over public trackers is the high download speeds. BitTorrent community is based on ‘sharing’ – if you take something, you have to give something back. BitTorrent trackers themselves don’t host any files – they merely help you track pieces of the file you are downloading. You actually download the file from hard drives of other users connected to the tracker (like you). Now what if everybody decided to stop uploading or spoof upload data? You won’t be able to download the file at all. Public trackers are plagued with hit and runners (those who immediately stop uploading once the torrent download is finished) and they are the primary cause of slow download speeds. This is why most trackers implement a ratio system– they ensure that everyone ‘gives something back’.
Why you shouldn’t cheat on private torrent trackers
First of all there is no 100% safe tool or method for BitTorrent ratio cheating. One way or the other you’ll get caught and when you do, it usually results in a lifetime ban. There are many ways for tracker administrators and staff to detect cheaters:
- Scripts - Most private trackers have scripts can detect cheaters based on their behavior. Such scripts can detect most hacked, modded or banned BitTorrent clients almost instantaneously.
- Other users – Other members of the tracker can report you to administrators if they find anything suspicious in your stats, snatchlist data, etc. This is usually done via the ‘report this user’ button located in each user’s profile page.
- Peer list – Almost every BitTorrent client shows a list of connected peers for a specific torrent. Majority of hacked or modded clients become exposed in this peerlist when they begin to display true client details instead of spoofed data. It’s only a matter of time till someone else in the peerlist notices you and reports you to the admins.
- BTBan Project – BTBan (http://btban.net/) is a new project aimed at stopping cheaters, traders and other scammers on private trackers. More information can be found here. EDIT: The site has been down for quite a while. The project may have been abandoned.
So i got caught cheating. Now what?
The punishment for ratio cheating is almost always a lifetime ban from the tracker. One thing most users don’t know is that you can get banned from several trackers at once if you get caught cheating on at least one. Tracker staff talk to each other usually on IRC and they willingly share information about cheaters and other scammers. So if you cheat on one tracker, expect to get banned on several others. The ban is usually based on your IP address. Don’t feel so safe if you have a dynamic IP - ever heard of range bans and country bans?
How can I improve my ratio without resorting to cheating?
Although many users are unaware, there are many other ways than spoofing or faking your ratio to survive on private trackers. Some are mentioned below:
Free leech periods – Most private torrent trackers have something called free leech. When a torrent is on free leech, only the upload amount gets counted in your global ratio (you still need to seed the torrent back in most cases). This is an excellent way to build your overall ratio. Some trackers have free leech on selected torrents (packs, exclusive releases, etc) while there have been occasions where entire torrent indexes have been placed on free leech for several days. Free leech is usually notified via site news or mass PM.
Seed hours/Seed bonus – Some trackers maintain a points system usually identified as seed bonus (for example in BCG), credits or karma bonus system. What most people don’t know is that the points you earn can be redeemed as upload credit (Ex- spend 100 points for 2.5Gb upload added to your ratio). Points can usually be earned by seeding for extended times, taking part in competitions, etc (If a site featured on FILEnetworks Blog comes with a bonus points system, we usually mention it in the article so keep your eyes peeled).
Upload multiplier – Maybe you’ve noticed on some trackers about ‘double upload’ or 2X/4X upload bonuses. When an upload multiplier is enabled for a torrent, the actual amount of data you upload is added to your stats with a multiplier (Ex- Seed 2GB on a double upload enabled torrent and you’ll be credited with 2x2=4GB credit). Sites such as ScL have a dynamic upload multiplier which changes frequently and applies to both download and upload.
Competitions – Most private trackers have various competitions which are open to all members. These competitions are not there purely for fun – if you manage to win one you’ll usually get a load of upload credit as the prize (For example the RevolutionTT holiday IRC competition in which winners received 30GB free upload credit).
Donations – This is perhaps the least popular way of obtaining upload credit. But the fact is that if you donate to a private tracker, you not only help the admins to run the site but you’ll usually receive loads of goodies such as free upload credit, special upload multipliers, VIP membership, etc.
Ratio free trackers – If the hatred for a ratio system is in your blood and you still want to use private trackers, give ratio free trackers a go. Unlike the several years ago, nowadays ratio free trackers are not rare and it’s not hard to get into such sites at all. Here is a list of no ratio trackers that are open for public signup.
Semi private trackers – Although not a replacement for private trackers, these sites are marginally better than public BitTorrent sites. Two good semi private trackers are H33T and Demonoid.com
Sort by leechers and download – This is an often overlooked tactic which can be used to improve your ratio on hard to survive trackers. As you may have noticed, some sites allow sorting the torrent index by number of seeders/leechers. If you sort the list by leechers (descending order), you’ll get the torrents with highest demand on the tracker. Jump on these torrent and start uploading – it’s a good way to earn upload credit.
Remember that sharing is caring – cheating simply ain’t worth it.