Demonoid aside, few will contest that TorrentLeech.org is the most successful & popular English private tracker of all time. Coveted by millions and enjoyed by 180,000 - TL’s enormous fame is widespread - here’s a tracker that lives up to the hype. FileShareFreak caught up with w00t, the owner/SysOp of TorrentLeech, who was kind enough to share with us some of the inner workings of one of BitTorrent’s greatest success stories. Not to be missed; we’ve got some interesting info, exclusive stats & history, and what’s in store for the future of TorrentLeech.
TorrentLeech: The Early Days
Sharky: What prompted you to start up a small private tracker by the name of TorrentLeech, and when?
w00t: TorrentLeech was never really planned beforehand, but the idea for TL came to me back in mid-December of 2004. By January 9th, 2005 we were online.
First Two Months — Like most private trackers, TorrentLeech was initially ‘open registration’ to anyone wanting to sign up. In their first two weeks, on January 25th 2005 TL had already amassed 4,629 members sharing just 159 torrents. Word of mouth spread fast; and just two weeks later TL had achieved 17,736 members with 300 indexed torrents. By March 2nd - after being online for just 7 weeks now, TorrentLeech hit the 40K user milestone (& 383 torrents) and temporarily closed registration for a few days to do a server upgrade. Can you imagine a tracker with 40,000 users and less than 400 torrents? Ah, this was certainly the golden age of private trackers. Since the very beginning, TL was offering monthly prize draws for random VIP members; a tradition that still exists to this very day.
Three Months — After just 3 months there were 67,000 members and still fewer than 400 total torrents. By now, their ratio system was fully implemented, forums were online, and they added slot/wait restrictions (24h on new torrents) to thwart the growing problem of Hit & Runners from new members. Not that they had a problem with available seeders, since on April 11th TorrentLeech had just 382 torrents with 8,878 total seeders (that’s a whopping 23 seeds per torrent!).
Four - Six Months — Online for just 4 months, TL listed 82,674 members. One month later after doing some cleanup of inactive members, they trimmed it down to ‘just’ 73,118 (with 620 torrents) and on their 6-month anniversary, TL’s stats were 70,647 users with 787 torrents. This is also around the time that they began to limit registration (aspiring members who weren’t able to sign up could always check back later). By now, TL’s FLS team was streamlined with multi-language support, the invite system had been fully implemented, and they even opened a help channel (#tlhelp) to go along with #torrentleech in their own IRC network (irc.torrentleech.org:7011).
On September 29th 2005, nearly 10 full months after first opening the door, public registration was closed. One year later, TL totally redesigned the site & logo which resembles how it appears today.
Up Close & Personal with w00t from TorrentLeech
Ed. Note: w00t is one of the most personable and approachable sysops that exist in all of BitTorrent. He’s just a regular guy that happens to run an iconic tracker, and can often be found chatting with regular members in IRC, handing out invites and whatnot.
Sharky: Congratulations for turning TorrentLeech into one of the best trackers around. How many people does it take to keep everything running smoothly?
w00t: Thanks! TL has 400 staff members, 90% of them are FLS (Front Line Support), the rest are moderators, mostly.
Sharky: What about uploaders? With so much new content coming in every day, how many dedicated uploaders does it take to keep a constant stream of fresh torrents?
w00t: We have 156 uploaders.
Sharky: That’s crazy! There’s been a lot of trash-talk that TL’s uploaders rip off releases from other scene trackers. Is this true?
w00t: Not at all. All of our uppers are obligated to have their own axx, and that doesn’t include accounts at other trackers. Uploaders MUST possess their own scene axx, or else are not allowed to upload here. The only exception to this rule is for TL internal rippers and non-scene groups (DEViSE, FLAWL3SS, ViSiON, etc) who do not require their own scene access to upload.
Sharky: Thanks for laying that to rest. OK, aside from your uploaders does TL have its own scene axx?
w00t: Absolutely. We race everything, but our strongpoint is for XviDs and Games (PC, Console, etc) - non-spam releases.
Sharky: I notice that TL has some nice daily 0Day apps packs.
w00t: LOL, I started that whole thing when I was an uploader for another site before TL was even around. I was the first guy ever who upped 0day appz and 0day mp3 packs.
Sharky: Now, with all that - the sceneaxx, the uploaders with axx - it’s well-known that TL is quite competitive for pretimes. How come you don’t publish the pretimes along with the torrents?
w00t: We don’t put pretimes on the releases, since we’re not trying to compete directly with other trackers. It just looks like bling-bling. ScT has a purpose, SCC has a purpose, even Demonoid. And of course, TL has a distinct purpose. I still believe that people who care about pretimes don’t “play” with torrents. And for me, even if I leech the latest Heroes or House episode 20 seconds after pre or 2 mins after pre makes no difference. Putting “upped xx time after pre” brings unnecessary attention (from other trackers), and that’s the last thing we want. I’m not even sure why other trackers see us as a “threat”.
Sharky: That’s because you’re unbelievably popular. Speaking of popular, how come TL doesn’t carry any adult torrents.
w00t: We used to. Actually, way back then we deceided to keep TorrentLeech a family and work-safe site, thus the creation of PussyTorrents.org (which has always open registrations) for our… mature friends.
Sharky: That must make it easier on TorrentLeech, no?
w00t: Not really, now it’s 2x the trouble, haha. It’s not the same staff on PT; if it were it would seem like work - monitoring two sites instead of one (more admins, staff etc), and TorrentLeech is just a hobby. For fun, y’know.
Sharky: You may have noticed I recently wrote that TL’s VIP status could be better - any thoughts?
w00t: VIP members bypass the slot restrictions & wait times on new torrents - something that we originally introduced to stop the problems with H&Rs. Donations are the foundation for our growth, the reason we’re able to host TL on so many servers. But VIPs also get free webhosting from centelia.net (the economy package) for three months, or for however long you’re VIP at TL. After you donate to TL, just click the “activate my webhosting” button and Centelia will email you the login details to your shared hosting. If you renew your VIP, your webhosting also gets renewed, so it’s like you’re getting the VIP for free (or webhosting for free), depending on how you look at it.
Sharky: What about the monthly draws? I’ve seen some nice prizes handed out.
w00t: Yeah there’s also our monthly draws - chosen randomly (really!) from our VIP members - for real prizes to be won. PS3’s, XBOX-360’s, digital cameras, video cards etc. Donators, VIPs are automatically added into the draw, as well as a lottery. Unlike other sites, we really DO give the gifts.
Sharky: Some have considered that TL is a pay-to-leech site because of the donations.
w00t: I’m not in it for the money. As long as the servers are paid for at the end of the month, that’s all I ask. Just as long as I’m not paying out of my own pocket, I’m happy. We’ve never asked for donations, we don’t mass PM members begging for donations. If you can help out - great. If not, just enjoy the site anyways!
Sharky: I can’t help but notice that ’site stats’ are not published at TL. Could you provide some internal info?
w00t: Sure. As you probably know, we have about 180,000 members - and over 800K total peers. We should be able to cross 1 million peers in 2010. Current stats — Peers: 816,500 (Seeders 749,270 - Leechers 67,230 - Seeder/leecher ratio (%) 1114).
Sharky: That’s some big numbers! I’ve noticed that when compared to other trackers, TorrentLeech members tend to stay there. Obviously, membership at TL is cherished and users aren’t so easily persuaded into giving up on their accounts. Since the beginning, how many members have you had in total?
w00t: Since 2005, we’ve had 843,119 users signup and confirm their accounts at TL. Compare that to PussyTorrents where we have 321,354 users and a total of 1,279,543 people have signed up, but that’s pr0n, a totally different story.
Sharky: May we ask if you ban specific countries from TorrentLeech?
w00t: We’re probably one of the only major trackers that doesn’t ban Romania or other country IPs. Certain IP ranges might be banned (which I won’t elaborate on) but not entire countries, no.
Sharky: What about invites? I can’t seem to figure out how you opt to give out invites to qualified members.
w00t: We give invites to PUs (Power Users) from time to time, usually one a month. VIPs are given two each month, and also when initially donating they receive two invites.
Sharky: We’ve seen some recent opportunities for non-members to get into TL from IRC invites. How successful is that?
w00t: Our last major “IRC invite” promo brought in 17,000+ members in less than 48 hours. Of those, 14,000 are still members here; something that we’re happy to see.
Sharky: I can see that you don’t exactly announce that you’ll be doing the IRC invites (or need to). Are you planning on doing this promotion again anytime soon? And if so, when?
w00t: I’m waiting to see what’s happening with Demonoid. If they’re down for a third-straight month, we may open the invites via IRC again to gather people from there. So yeah, it could be real soon! I’ll try to give you a headsup on it.
Sharky: There’s been some rumours that TL may include SSL. Any truth to it?
w00t: It’s not going to happen on either the site or the tracker. No tracker can support SSL with more than 1 million peers anyways. And for the site, a SSH tunnel must be created for each and every connection or request. We’re not a site that has a 20K user database, we have 180K active members. HTTPS would take an enormous amount of resources.
Sharky: Any future plans for TL?
w00t: Oh yeah, something we’re all very excited about - but I won’t reveal what it is just yet. If you’re a member, you’ll notice some big changes coming soon!
Sharky: I’d just like to say a huge thankyou for the informative details. Truth be told, TL is my most-used private tracker - one that I visit every single day. I wish you, personally and TorrentLeech, all the best in the future. Keep up the great work!
w00t: Thanks! TL is truly one big family with great members. If not for our members, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Thats cool, the site sounds really cool…hehe
Really i think TL is the basic site which every one should have.
TL people and staff members are great.
Even after ruling the torrent world, TL site keeps itself open, for open sign up.
I think a tracker of quality like TL keeps open for signup at reagular time and gives invites very easily to its member, is really wonderful and unique, i don’t want to compare it with other tracker, but really every one knows that TL is best Compared to all other site ( 0 day release).
all other higher trackers are just for name
Their is hardly some different or better content than TL in any other similar tracker. more over they are comparatively harder to seed and harder to get in. more over all have comparatively less releases in all most all section.
TL IS BEST
good article.. thanks sharyk and tl
No doubt there will be lots of comments knocking TL but i love the place ! Keep up the great work guys
As a staffer of torrentleech id like to thank sharky for doing the interview and thank w00t for being a kick ass sysop! we have great staff and if anyone here ever needs help feel free to ask!
ffs, way too much secret (and Internal) informations in that….
But not bad at all.
I am a child molester.
nice interview. thanks, Sharky! and thank you, w00t, for TL! I love it
No questions about how TL dealed with the Anti-Piracy group infiltrading??
There would be no point in that. If anti-piracy groups want to get into a tracker, they will. TL is not alone in this, anyone thinking so is completely blind. Dealing with it is impossible, case closed.
What about the growing trend of seed boxes banning TL due to the issue of a RIAA advocate getting into TL. Did that question come up as well as how TL will try to prevent this from happening again?
I smell idiotic Demonoid & public tracker fans complaining about private trackers. Why can’t you enjoy one of sharky’s articles for once in your life?
I got into TL from last invite giving, and man that’s some great site.
All those sites that make them selves hard-to-get-in are just fledgling compared to TL.
Well I for one will say that TL has been very instrumental in the success and acceptance of our group. We have accomplished things there that others have been trying to do for years.
wOOt is indeed one of the few sysops that interacts with users and is easily approachable.
He has become a great friend to me and his support for FLAWL3SS as well as his staff is something that I highly respect and greatly appreciate, as they were there for us when we first started releasing on private trackers.
TorrentLeech needs no introduction when mentioned in BT community and I am proud to be a member there.
Anyone out there willing to part with a TL invite?
Congrats to torrentleech for making the p2p world more accessible to general users. Not everyone can get an invite to SCC and SCT but TL have alot of invite give aways and let users have a chance to be at one of the (imo) best torrent sites out there , w00t we all salute u for everything u have done.
great article, TL is my favorite private tracker.
“Sharky: Any future plans for TL?
w00t: Oh yeah, something we’re all very excited about - but I won’t reveal what it is just yet. If you’re a member, you’ll notice some big changes coming soon!”
LOL, I’m dead curious ^^
btw, I love you w00t. Awesome person/sysop
Is there anyway to get an invite by donating to the website like some other private trackers. I would’nt mind donating some cash to TL to register!
definitely my favorite private tracker, great site..thanks w00t and everyone involved your work is greatly appreciated.
Loved the way the place was laid out. I happened to be disabled due to inactivity…. Mostly down to my connection having a monthly data cap. Made surviving on multiple trackers a real challenge. Hopefully that will change in the near future, and I’ll be able to beg for re-activation in their IRC channel.
Just got my Power User status today
Not the biggest bandwidth at home, so I’m happy
TorrentLeech is a great site!!!
Keep up the great work you all!!
Woot is a nice person. His greatest quality i admire is that he is very tolerant. It was nice to see his interview on Filesharefreak.com but I must say that Sharky is not a very good interviewer. There were numerous interesting question which could have been asked like
Questions about security, stories about Government Agencies sending notices to TL users, the policy allowing advertising on TL, TL’s rather dull forums but good IRC , the composition of TL’s content etc. Whci tracker he sees as eual to , second to or better than TL.. the reason for rather low number of torrents i.e around 25000 or so. But anyhow it was special.
TL is definitely still one of my fav trackers, thanks for the article
find your own claim to jump man
0DAY APPZ FTW \O/
im new to t.l and became v.i.p today i love the site, i got invited through a freind who dint really want to give me it loool…i think any1 who get onto the tracker then go v.i.p show your support for the best tracker on the net 11/10 for me
An Interview with http://www.tinydl.com/
w00t really is a special guy who runs the tracker so that it provides the best benifit for all who are members. Cheaters are combed daily, inactive people are pruned every 60 days and as an uploader/ staff / AToM encoder I must say it is the best private tracker online atm anywhere.
AToM encodes started and have remained on TL for this very reason.
TL provides scene access and the best of the non scene encodes to be found anywhere. Also TL irc is a haven for torrent users. w00t will chat to anyone without being big headed about what he has created.
One word of advice, do NOT cheat, ever, you will not get away with it, keep a good account, seed or die
great article and yes TL is one of the greatest trackers out there and shows how a PT should be run.
other sites should learn from TL and remember that the primary purpose of bittorrent is to get good material which we want, make some friends, and not for racing or showing your ego.
STN just went Suck Says:
“Woot is a nice person. His greatest quality i admire is that he is very tolerant. It was nice to see his interview on Filesharefreak.com but I must say that Sharky is not a very good interviewer. There were numerous interesting question which could have been asked like
(1)Questions about security, stories about Government Agencies sending notices to TL users, (2)the policy allowing advertising on TL, (3)TL’s rather dull forums but good IRC , the composition of TL’s content etc. Whci tracker he sees as eual to , second to or better than TL..(4)the reason for rather low number of torrents i.e around 25000 or so. But anyhow it was special.”
1. See post #12.
2. See “as long as the bills get paid every month.”
3. That’s more of a user thing than an admin thing. I’ve found most tracker forums to be rather dull with the exception of Waffles & What.
4. If TL upped MP3s & Apps as individual torrents instead of packs, the torrent count would be huge.
tl is great, BUT NOWADAYS IT IS SPAMMED BY SHIT DUPE XVID RLSS FROM NONAME ENCODERS
@38-I understand what you’re saying, but it’s also healthy competition between those guys. They constantly try to one-up each other, and we the users, are benefitting from that, I think, with better releases. I don’t think it’s a blemish on TL that that’s going on.
For me, there’s no better tracker than TL. I would be utterly devastated if I were to lose my account there. It would be like losing a testicle. There’s just TONS of shit being ul’ed to that place constantly. Seriously, every freakin’ minute there’s something new on there, and it’s fast as fuck too. Not consistent ScT-type speed, but serious speed nonetheless. And the ease of seeding on TL is remarkable, no seedbox required to keep a big ratio on there.
It’s not perfect, though. Sure, there are ads for us non donators to have to look at, but nothing obtrusive, and with so many users, there’s plenty of noobs and idiots on there too, but those things take nothing away from the quantity, quality, variety, and speed of torrents to be found on TL.
The only thing that concerns me about TL, is that the massive size of it brings massive attention to it, and that may be it’s downfall one day.
Those NONAME ENCODERS are pretty fucking good at encoding. I don’t know why some people think if it’s not some clandestine super cool scene group doing the release that it’s automatically shit. How many times have FLAWL3SS, iMAGiNE, STG uploaded shitty encodes? Who gives a fuck if they’re not scene. You fucking dorks with your little scene rule-books and nukes and stupid fucking Ascii art, get a life.
and they share the seeders, you within a month, you will have a dozens of dead torrents
how can i edit my post?
and they share the seeders, so within a month, you will have a dozens of dead torrents
in my opinion: 1 dvdrip+1 hdrip+1 720p + 1 1080p + 1 dvdr
not n+1 of them
SHRIKE check this out:
They are retail rlss of transformers 2 (50+).
lot of dupes, like the marked one.
why do they need 4 of the same?
Trackback :: TorrentLeech - Page 122 - TORRENTs.RO
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Hey, you! Yes, you SHRIKE. Who gives fuck about scene encodes quality. If you don’t like then don’t go for it. And about scene-rules. They are meant to ensure there is no dupes and to make sure the releases compatible with video player. And when you download scene releases you will get the same style dir structure and file size. Not with random file size and can’t be fitted on certain media. LOL, are you jealous with the demoscene? And that’s because you can’t make a better ASCII art? LOL, go fuck yourself. Without scene, the whole BT world will collapse. P2P groups maybe can cope with music and movies but when it comes to apps and games this is where the scene real talent is. Not even one P2Ptards can match scene cracking skills. The core of the BT world is the scene. Remember that P2Pgay.
BTW, I really love TL but I hate a lot of shitty encodes from P2P groups.
[b]w00t[/b] , do something about the site design …
Very nice SysOp.
The only crap that gets uploaded on TL are the shitty re-encoded xvids.
The source cams/ts are shit, and so are the re-encoded versions. get it? It’s a futile effort.
I love TL and w00t. I paid for VIP since my UL is limited and it was difficult to keep ratios up between different sites. The model works very well since unlike other sites there are always leechers at TL because of VIP’s. I understand why people don’t like it but it works very well for everybody.
more interviews pls Says:
when sharky has finished blowing w00t’s cock, maybe he can do some more interviews with the SCC or SCT head faggots…
“Those NONAME ENCODERS are pretty fucking good at encoding. I don’t know why some people think if it’s not some clandestine super cool scene group doing the release that it’s automatically shit. How many times have FLAWL3SS, iMAGiNE, STG uploaded shitty encodes? Who gives a fuck if they’re not scene. You fucking dorks with your little scene rule-books and nukes and stupid fucking Ascii art, get a life.”
Great post! If you don’t like the re-encodes then don’t download them, simple as that. Those guys work miracles sometime with scene garbage.
BTW, there’s nothing lamer that whiny P2P’ers trying suck the scene’s dick when they fucking hate you.
yum yum Says:
@ FlamingTurd…me too.
i enjoy reading this article…
All my respect for w00t and what is he doing…
An example for all big tracker owners…
Interview was amazing, and waiting for the “big changes” on TL.
Nice interview and props to w00t and the TL staff - they’ve done a good job and some nice changes lately esp allowing the internal BRRips. I just wish so many RIAA/MPAA stooges weren’t in - can’t seedbox there any more due to DMCA notices to the provider. Ah well there’s always my home line!
I must say, as I am his friend and site admin at Pussytorrents.org and YourSubs.org that he is such a brilliant friend, someone you can’t find by searching, it’s just a gift.
Helpful friend that will always listen for what you have to say, that will be with you in naughty situations, and at the end the biggest ”idea man” I’ve ever seen is meant to be successful.
I’ll use this interview comments to thank him for brilliant work he is doing and sharing with all of us.
Thank you my friend
@22 Rashid. They was talking about getting topsite direct axx, something like how ScT ran. It would basically mean most of the rls would happen within a minute, and be well seeded as well.
Small Stuff Says:
Would much have preferred public reassurances that there are no IP logfiles being kept, no in any way identifying information etc pp, salted encrypted data storage for the data which does exist, what measures are being taken to actively try and root out any kind of snitch or industry / prosecution friendly type goons and so on and so forth.
Basically something actually pertinent to modern P2P: Ask what YOU can do to help keep an endangered community as safe as possible to survive until lawmakers and industry wake up to the FACT that the horse is out of the barn and things need to change, that running and using trackers isn’t as bad or worse than raping, shooting, blowing up real people(and still has nothing to do with actual stealing despite the endless debate), despite the endless propaganda churned out by the powers that be.
To be clear -
I’d rather pay the money to creators that I pay to VPNs and “secrecy” stuff, but if they prefer me as a criminal that redirects his funds into obscurity rather than a user putting substance into their cashflow, oh well.
On a final note, announcing you’re the next big thing after the tracker that just got taken down is also a bit like screaming “HEY OVER HERE, TAKE ME NEXT PLEASE”.
check this out, Go Fuck yourself! As long as scene has rules regrading file sizes and certain media P2P will always SMASH on scene for quality. And being the typical “scene” sword swallower you won’t even post who the fuck you really are, you hide behind some bs name and make nonsensical claims. P2P at least has the balls to actually thank the scene for their work something you ill never see the scene do when they steal p2p sources for their releases. Grow up. It’s all about file sharing. Scene big thing is who’s the fastest. And it’s been proven time and time again that speed will never produce quality. If they took the time shit would rarely be nuked in the first place.
It’s time for Scene to work with P2P and vice versa for the cause not for ego!
yes the scene needs to work with p2p u are correct its about time they united as one
w00t thanks for tl and shark thanks for interview !
Just got banned from this great site…for expressing an opinion. My request was to open a new group for German dubbed and other non-English TV releases. So don’t tell me about how nice are the admins. After reading what one admin responded (shut the f up - not a full reproduction) to another user with the same request I’ve responded that I’ll also be shutting the f up (exact quote) until they ask for a donation or a click on the add site…and bammmm they hit me with an IP ban and disabled my account. Nice stuff, yeah right. Too bad I left all my other private site accounts to die for no activity.
DO NOT FORGET THAT TORRENTLEECH has been broken into by MPAA. YOU WILL get an infringement of copyright letter if you continually use TORRENTLEECH
The story of people getting DMCAs is already on here
LOL @ FEELING
I also heard that if oyu login to TL CIA will get your PC, KGB will rape you and most porlly u’ll end up in a cage in South Africa
Torrentleech is the best tracker of the world.I am Romanian and I thank you again w00t’s Uncle not banned IP addresses of the other such scenetorrents Romania and Romania bitmetv.People of Romania love that tracker.
torrentleech invite Says:
for sale at firstname.lastname@example.org
shemale chat dude Says:
Naught shemale posts are the best thing ever , post more please!
Ciara Petree Says:
The post is helpful for me to identify the exact product.
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fuck you Says:
This w00t bastard has sold TL now, they claim it’s a new site but in fact it’s a new owner.