Most BitTorrent sites don’t run their own tracker, and the ones that do often go unnoticed and don’t always get the respect they deserve. It might not be a surprise that The Pirate Bay is by far the most popular, but you might be surprised to find out which trackers complete the top 5.
The sites are ranked based on the total number of seeders and leechers on the tracker.
If you’re looking for high speed downloads, a free Usenet trial might be a good alternative.
peers: 3.138.042 (estimated)
torrents: *no info*
The Pirate Bay and Demonoid take up the first two spots, and it has been like that for over a year. The three remaining sites in the list are perhaps not that well known to the general public, even though most of us use their trackers nearly every day.
One of the least familiar sites from this list is probably SUMOtracker. It’s pretty impressive that they made it into the top 5, especially as the tracker has only been running for a few months. We took this opportunity to ask the administrator of SUMOtracker and SUMOtorrent some questions to find out what drives someone to keep a project like this running.
TorrentFreak: Most BitTorrent sites don’t have their own tracker nowadays. Why did you choose to start an indexing site and a BitTorrent tracker?
Sumo: The SUMOtorrent team members have been involved into the BitTorrent community since the very beginning, and we noticed that there was really few public BitTorrent trackers nowadays, affiliated to an indexer or not. After Mongo56 and BitTorrent-Support closed, there was only Pirate Bay’s tracker remaining out there. Our team initially started the SUMOtorrent project to fill this gap and developed an open source BitTorrent tracker: SUMOtracker. While it was still in development, we decided to launch SUMOtracker with a PHP tracker, which then evolved into a C++ tracker to support today more than 1.2 million peers.
TorrentFreak: What kind of hardware keeps SUMOtracker and SUMOtorrent in the air?
SUMO: SUMOtorrent and SUMOtracker are running on 5 servers at the moment:
- SUMOtracker is running onto a dual-core 3.2 Ghz with 2GB of RAM, 10 mbits/s dedicated line
- SUMOtorrent is running on 4 servers:
We will scale the architecture for both sites everytime is required, and our next scheduled upgrades include a second server for SUMOtracker and front-ends and dedicated servers for the new services, such as torrent mail alerts
TorrentFreak: SUMOtracker tracks over a million peers already. How did you manage to grow this fast?
SUMO: We were very surprised to see that our tracker reached such a high number of peers this fast! In part this is because of our good relationships with other BitTorrent websites. The tracker started growing very fast after some very popular sites, Mininova for example, recommended us as a reliable public tracker. Then, about 2 months ago, we decided to go even further by adding SUMOTracker as a backup tracker (i.e. by adding it to the announce-list of torrents) for all public .torrent files, so when the original tracker is out of service, users could still use the torrents.
TorrentFreak: Do you think you can ever outgrow the untouchable Pirate Bay? Or do you have a different agenda?
SUMO: I don’t think so, for a very simple reason: SUMOtracker is not a site that intends to compete with other BitTorrent trackers. The site and the tracker are just our contribution to the community! Hence, our purpose is absolutely not to make SUMOtracker outgrow other trackers, but to work with other webmasters to make the BitTorrent network stronger. A concrete example of our way of thinking: SUMOTorrent not only adds SUMOTracker, but also other public trackers like Pirate Bay to the announce-list. So any torrent with SUMOTracker as backup also has Pirate Bay as a backup tracker.
We also shared the source code for this feature to other BitTorrent sites. Monova.org or FullDls.com for example, are using a similar method! And if there are new public BitTorrent site starting, we will also support them and integrate them!
TorrentFreak: Does SUMOTorrent have any features that other BitTorrent sites don’t have?
SUMO: We freshly launched a new service that I believe to be unique as of today: torrents mail alerts. Without any registration, users can simply put their email address in a box and they will receive by email an alert by email when new torrents are available for their search keyword. We believe it will be useful to users, more than RSS2 or search RSS as not everybody has a RSS client, while everybody has an email address!
TorrentFreak: Can you reveal something about new features and or improvements you are working on at the moment?
SUMO: Yes sure! I think the next big evolution of SUMOtorrent will be the multilingual version. Some other cool features we are working are related to the user experience.
We are also working on core features: even stronger protections to fight against spam and fake torrents, improving the quality of results, the speed of the site…
TorrentFreak: Sounds great, anything to add?
SUMO: Since we started, SUMOtorrent has always been dedicated to the community. We partnered with FileSoup.co.uk and we are working closely with several webmasters, which are “good friends”: Mininova, Fenopy, FullDls, myBittorrent, Bitoogle, Yotoshi, Monova, … We are part of that group of sites that really focus on the user, and we will continue with our current means to provide the best service to users!
TorrentFreak: Good luck with the tracker and the site, we could use more initiatives like this.