PUBLIC vs PRIVATE – Torrent Sites Explained

A frequent problem when it comes to BitTorrent downloading is of course the “where,” the “Where do I find stuff?” question. Well, it comes down to two categories, public and private. Public sites are those that do not have a defined or limited number of memberships, whereas private sites are those that do. I’ll go over the ins and outs of each, and provide you with some direction towards what sites will best suit your needs and oftentimes patience.

Public sites consist mainly of search engines that provide you with links to BitTorrent trackers from sites catalogued in their database. There is also the type of public site that has an open-ended membership or registration requirement, meaning that you must register, but they never limit the sum total of members.

I’ll first go over a few of the public site search engines and then follow up with a few of the open-ended membership sites afterwards.

Public BitTorrent Sites

The most popular public site search engine is probably Pirate Bay , but it is also, in my opinion, one of the worst. The trackers usually suffer from poor seeder to leecher download ratios, meaning long and drawn out download times for a given file you are seeking. But, to be fair, I have also found some cool stuff on Pirate Bay so it can be worth your time if you find yourself looking for rare or odd stuff.

For instance, as shown in the picture below, found this random movie “Baraka.” It’s labeled as a “good pot movie.” My friend who actually downloaded it said it was definitely a good pot movie. I don’t know about the last entry, “Guitars on Mushroom,” but it does sound kinda cool. To note though, notice the number of seeders and leechers. With “Baraka,” you have 3 seeders and 3 leechers. Now for a 700MB movie be prepared for it to take a while. In this case my buddy says it’s worth it, but for say a Britney Spears video? Fugetaboutit!

TorrentSpy is also another popular public site search engine. My buddy has found it useful from time to time for things like TV shows, or just random things that pop into his head. It usually has pretty decent download speeds, thanks to the way it’s database is connected externally to a number of private defined-membership sites like Demonoid .

To prove that it has better download speeds I punched in the same “Baraka” flic. If you notice in the image below it has a much much better download ratio, with 32 seeders and 36 leechers. Now that’s a ratio that will add years to your life.

My friend has also found it to be useful for finding everything from flics and TV shows to XBOX and PS2 games. It really runs the gamut of desired media.

The last public site search engine I’ll cover is Mininova . To quickly compare and contrast it to the other two, TorrentSpy and PirateBay I’ll use the same search query “Baraka.”

As shown below it has 29 seeders and 19 leechers. That’s not as good as TorrentSpy but still a heckuva lot better than PirateBay . My buddy has noticed too that it can be useful for finding random things as well, like new flics or even all things Howard Stern (Hey now). So you’ll want to bookmark this site as well.

As far as public sites with open-ended registration, there really isn’t too many out there. They are typically narrow in scope, offering a single category of media for downloaded. XBOX-Sky is a perfect example, solely offering XBOX backup games for download. Another is Red Skunk Tracker which is a Howard Stern exclusive site. It offers audio and video of any imaginable thing related to his show and nothing more. These particular sites, as I said, are few in number and narrow in scope, but you will find them on occasion in the vast sea that is BitTorrent.

Private BitTorrent Sites

These are sites that have a strictly controlled or defined membership base, limiting it’s numbers to invite or infrequent registration only. The reasoning behind this is to both prevent intrusion by the powers that be, i.e. RIAA, MPAA, FBI, OPP, THC, etc., etc.. Now in covering these sites I will not include screenshots per my buddy’s pleading. He cherishes his memberships and also their very existence, and by showing what they have for download could prove detrimental to either.

For music, my buddy claims OINK as his favorite. He cites it’s breathtaking trove of rare and popular music alike as well as it’s vast assortment of PC and MAC programs in making this assessment. I have seen some of the stuff he has downloaded and it does indeed run the gamut of the musical spectrum. He has obtained rare concert bootlegs seen nowhere else but in the Pink Palace that is OINK . It’s beauty is truly breathtaking when it comes to music.

Demonoid is a good place to find TV shows and random PBS and BBC documentaries. It has a number of things available as well, but again, my buddy claims it’s true greatness lies in these fore mentioned items.

Torrentit, TorrentLeech, and FileList are the mainstays when it comes to getting flics. My buddy won’t say or show exactly what he’s gotten from these sites, but he claims they have the “bestest of the best.” What makes these private sites so powerful is in the way their membership is strictly controlled. Ones download ratio is thereby the mark by which he is judged by the all powerful ADMINS that run them. Let your ratio get too low and you get the boot. Thus, members are very mindful about leaving items open and available for download, making for tremendous download speeds that oftentimes max out ones connection speed. For entrance to these sites, one usually must be invited by someone else. They sometimes have open registration, but it is rare and infrequent, so don’t get your hopes up.

In short, there are a wide variety of BitTorrent sites out there, both public and private. It takes some time and a little legwork to find those that, like I said, best suit your needs and oftentimes patience, but it can be done.