It has happened to a lot of us. After making a mistake or testing things that didn't end up well, our favorite tracker disables our account. Naturally, we want to get back in, and since trying to get the banned account reenabled is probably out of the question... but it isn't as easy as finding another invite, registering, and enjoying the high-speed downloads for whatever we want to leech. Trackers have taken certain measures to prevent us from doing that and going unpunished. Of course, no system is uncheatable, and thus there are measures you can do to bypass it and get back on track:
Before you get in...
Change your IP address.A basic but vital point. Your IP address is a set of four numbers that essentially, uniquely identifies your computer on the whole Internet. Failure to change it will most likely end up with your new account being disabled, regardless of having followed the other tips.
Now, how to accomplish this?
- If you have a DSL connection, getting a different address may be as easy as disconnecting and reconnecting, or power cycling your modem - try that! If not, drop by our One-Click Hoster area - there are reconnect scripts and tutorials available for the most well-known routers and modems.
- If on a Cable line, I have written a small batch file that may give you a new IP - check it out here. Remember to close any other active network applications (instant messaging clients, download managers, etc.) before running it, as the app will temporarily disable Internet connectivity while doing its job.
- Should that not work, SealLion has written a fantastic tutorial on how you can spoof your MAC address, a change which often comes accompanied by a fresh IP. Click here to read it. If you're behind a router, you may have to enable "MAC address cloning", or change the router's actual MAC (instead of your network card's) to achieve the desired effect. Refer to its documentation to know how to do this.
- If you've tried all that and only ended up with the same address (or even worse, no network connectivity), there's a last hope. Call your ISP, identify yourself, and tell them something similar to this:
With some luck, they should be cool and give you what you want.I wanted to play World of Warcraft but couldn't log in, then I posted about it in the official forums and they told me my IP was banned and I should call you to get a different one...
When done, you can go to CMyIP.com to check if you have a new IP. Needless to say, write down your previous one to know if it has really changed.
There are other means of acquiring a different address (proxies, VPNs, AOL, Tor, etc.), but those don't count as "changing your IP", and carry the risks associated with using a public service (other people using it on the same tracker, banned IP ranges, detection by anti-proxy scripts). Consider them a last resort should none of the previous methods work. You can find a list in the Tutorial Index -> Getting a new IP -> Proxies/VPNs.
Clear your browser's cache/cookies/history.Trackers like setting cookies that remain even after you log out or close your browser, precisely to catch you if you want to reregister after getting banned (or make a double account). Clearing them and all other traces is another easy but critical measure to avoid getting caught.
This should be easy to solve:
- Opera: go to Tools -> Delete Private Data... -> click on the ▼-button to the left of "Detailed Options", make sure all checkboxes (except the 8th and 9th ones) are ticked, and then click Delete. There should be a small delay, then all your tabs will close. Restart the browser and you're done.
- Firefox: open a blank tab and close all others, to ensure there's no "interference" from already open sites). Go to Tools -> Options -> Clear Recent History, make sure all checkboxes but "Site Preferences" are ticked, and click Clear Now. There will be a small delay, then the dialog box will close. Restart the browser and you're done.
- Internet Explorer (7 and above): go to Tools -> Internet Options -> Delete (under "Browsing history"), click "Delete all..." and confirm your decision. A window with a progress bar should appear to inform you all traces are being deleted. When it disappears, once again restart the browser and you're done.
- Google Chrome (4 and above): click the wrench icon at the top right corner of the window, then click on Options -> Personal Stuff -> Clear Browsing Data. Make sure all but the fifth checkbox are ticked, and select "Everything" in the drop-down box. Click the Clear Browsing Data button. Restart the browser, etc.
- Safari (4 and above): press the Alt key so that the menu bar will show up, then go to Edit -> Reset Safari -> make sure all checkboxes (except the sixth one) are ticked, and press Reset. Restart, etc.
You may also want to clear your Flash cookies as well:
Delete Flash Cookies from Windows, Linux & MacOSX | techtrickz
Use a different browser if possible.Nothing beats having What.cd in a tab next to SB-I, but if you're paranoid, you may want to use a different browser, to have one less thing in common with your previous account. You could also simply change your User-Agent string (via the User-Agent Switcher addon for Firefox, or in Develop -> User Agent if you've enabled the debug features in Safari).
Read the security announcement.I'll simply quote it: "certain connected trackers, such as TopHos, What.cd and x264, have been recently narrowing down on, and banning, SB-Innovation users. This is due to an abuse of some browsers' Cascading Style Sheet implementation, known as the "CSS Leak" for short. It basically consists on checking if someone has visited the SB-I board through a "hit and miss" principle. Even though some claim otherwise, knowing you've visited our cheater board is enough of an excuse for tracker admins to ban your accounts, which you don't want." Here's the link.
Change your BitTorrent client's port.With a bit less than 65535 ports to choose from (some trackers ban the most common P2P ones to prevent ISP traffic shaping), what are the odds someone that's supposedly completely new in the tracker will use the same one as a recently banned user? This is one of those tiny details that can get you busted. Fortunately, it couldn't be simpler to change this. (Note it's recommended to use one between 49152 and 65535)
- Azureus/Vuze: Tools -> Options -> Connection, and change the TCP and UDP listen ports at the top of the right panel. I think you have to restart for the change to come into effect.
- uTorrent: Options -> Preferences -> Connection -> Port used for incoming connections.
- Transmission: Edit -> Preferences -> Network -> Port for incoming connections.
- Halite: click the wrench and screwdriver icon in the toolbar -> Ports -> Open a (single) port between.
- Deluge: I think it's Preferences -> Network -> Incoming ports.
And let's not forget ratio tools:
- RatioMaster: the memory reader should take care of this, but anyway, Advanced -> Announce Parameters -> Port.
- mRatio: File -> Options -> Port -> On program start choose a random port between. If you untick the checkbox, the first value will be used.
Remove all old torrents from your BitTorrent client.You don't want to accidentally end up starting one of them and announce to your old passkey, do you?
Restart it.Some people like to have their clients always running, regardless of if they're leeching or seeding anything (me, for example). Whatever you do, restart it before you begin torrenting with your new account - this will generate new peer_id and key values. Sending the same ones as in your previous account is an obvious detection vector.
... or change the Extreme Mod's custom ID, if applicable.If you are using one, of course. Same reason as above. Refer to my tutorial to know how to get and apply a new one.
...as you get in...
Use different account details.This one's mostly common sense - you don't want anything on your new profile to resemble a previous account. Here are some tips:
- Username: how hard is this one? Obviously, using a similar or almost identical name will make the tracker's staff suspect of you, and most won't give you the benefit of doubt. So don't do that. Here's an username generator in case you aren't very creative (as it is my case).
- Password: no site that knows what security means will store your password as plaintext in the database nowadays, so the staff won't be able to know yours (unless it is sent as plaintext during registration and they happen to be staring at the server logs ). Still, it's a good idea not to use the same one twice. Here's a random password generator you can use.
- E-mail address: it's OK to use GMail again, for example - millions of people use it. But the same recommendations for your tracker nickname apply here. Now, if you want to use something else (or avoid giving Google your mobile phone's number), there's Yahoo or FastMail (which has a ton of different endings - fastmail.fm, airpost.net, imap.cc, veryfast.biz, etc.).
...once you're in
Don't begin cheating or even leeching the second you get in.A new user would take at least a little while to see everything the tracker has to offer. Making download a torrent the first thing you do upon joining would make the staff think you're already suspiciously familiar with the site. Don't delay it too much, though - some sites will prune you if you don't download/seed anything in X weeks regardless of logging in every day.
Change your downloading habits once you do.This applies to trackers with a (semi-)permanent snatchlist. So you are a fan of pop music and have never downloaded any other genre with your last account? Then it'd be a good idea to leech albums of different kinds, artists and qualities (FLAC vs. 320 vs. V0, etc.) Same would apply to leeching only XviD movies, XBox 360 games, PC games, etc.
Keep your BitTorrent client (and its emulation) up to date.Always using/emulating the latest (non-beta) build helps you blend in with the non-cheaters.
Don't search for the same stuff.Maybe the tracker is logging what you search for! It's rare, but who knows? Some of them log every announce you send, which requires more space than a single text string. So it'd be a good idea to search for different things.
Be careful with screenshots.Change your wallpaper, desktop icons and Windows theme before you even consider posting an screenshot. Make sure the icons of cheating mods/tools aren't visible in your desktop or tray bar, and definitely don't post screens of your browser with SB-I, invite forums like T-I, or even FST visible between the tabs. Double-check the image before you upload it.
...and requestsOnce again, common sense - don't re-request the same thing as a banned user, or even "vote" for it.
...as well as bookmarksTrackers such as Underground-Gamer, bitGAMER, BitSoup, BCG, IPT, etc. have a feature to "bookmark" a torrent and download it later. It'd be stupid to bookmark the same ones you couldn't finish downloading with your previous account, which takes us to the following point:
Don't resume torrents where you previously left off.We understand you couldn't snatch that porn pack, but when you start a torrent in your client, it reports the exact amount of bytes left until completion. It'd be really suspicious to resume one from where a banned user stopped it. Redownloading it from the beginning (or partially downloading the releases whose files were barely downloaded or not at all) at some point in the future is fine.
You don't have to follow all these tips if you don't want to, for example posting on the forums and spending time on IRC. A lot of people don't do that, so you shouldn't automatically be suspected of. Just make sure you do follow the important ones (such as changing your IP, clearing cache and cookies, using a different username, etc.) to avoid being automatically caught, and you should be enjoying the tracker once again in no time.
Spoiler Community-related stuff you can try if you want...:
- cheatos and Instab for their huge amount of feedback, this post wouldn't be half as long without your help.