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Revision as of 17:11, 24 April 2007 by Bc (talk | contribs) (How do I create a torrent?: deleted inline tutorial and linked to bittorrent client catagory instead)
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This page represents official TMB policy or guidelines. Yarr!


Site information

We intend to be the 1st stop for torrents for: The Essential Mix, The Breezeblock, Kiss FM, XFM, Worldwide, BTTB, One World, Blue Room, The Milk Run, Solid Steel, Annie On One and much more... Before you do anything here we suggest you have a look at the rules.

What is this BitTorrent all about anyway? How do I get the files?

The idea behind Bittorrent is the SHARING of files. As you download a file you will also upload the parts you already have to help others. Bittorrent only works because other users like you are also sharing the files so please be considerate and leave the files open in your bittorrent client for as long as you can. The site will keep track of your sharing ratio, the more you share the more music you have access to.

If you are new to BitTorrent then you will be advised to have a look at the very good guide to BitTorrent which explains how BitTorrent works and how to get started.

For a BitTorrent client we recommend using Azureus or uTorrent. Both clients keep track of all your torrents for you, making it easier to seed and maintain a decent ratio.

Where does the donated money go?

All donated money goes towards hosting the site.

How does the auto ban/warning system work?

Auto warnings

Every day we automatically issue warnings to any account who has downloaded 1.5gb and has a ratio of 0.3 or less. The account then has a warning flag issued recording the date and account statistics when the warning was issued. The following PM is send to the account by the system:


 You are receiving this autowarning because you have a VERY poor ratio.
 This site is a community that requires all members to SHARE.
 Using bittorrent while you download you also upload.
 The easiest way to maintain your ratio is to stay seeding the file after you have 
 downloaded it until you have at least a ratio of 1.
 You now have 30 days to make a significant improvement on your ratio or you will be banned from the site.
 If your ratio gets worse you will be banned a lot sooner.
 Because you have to increase your ratio you should read idea's for how to do this here.
 If you have any questions AFTER READING THE FAQ and EXISTING help threads we have a 
 support forum you can ask for help in here.
 Good luck, we hope you are still with us in 30 days.

Auto bans

Every day we automatically ban any account which has been warned for over 30 days and whose ratio is still 0.3 or worse.

We also monitor the accounts currently flagged with a warning and will ban any one who is trying to download lots before the auto ban or whose ratio has gotten worse since the warning.

Other non-ratio related warnings can be issued by the admin team for abusive behaviour, persistent commercial uploads etc.

How does your RSS feed work?

Use the url : http://themixingbowl.org/rss.xml

Basic or cookie authentication can be used or you may supply a username and password like this: http://themixingbowl.org/rss.xml?user=USERNAME&pass=PASSWORD

You can also restrict your feed to particular categories or genres of torrent by adding to the above url. Here are some examples:

Just category 9 (Breezeblock)


Categories 7, 10 and 18 (BTTB, Solid Steel and Annie Mac)


Genre 11 (Techno)


For torrents in category 7 or 10 AND genre 11 (Techno aired on BTTB or Solid Steel)


For torrents in category 7 or 10 OR genre 11 (Techno or BTTB or Solid Steel)

&cat=7|10&gen=11&anor=or - torrents from (cat 1 or 2) OR (gen 3)

Or any combination of. To find out which categories use which numbers hover over the listings on the torrents page.

See also : How do I set up Azureus to auto download torrents?

How can I contact an admin?

Use this link to send a question to the admin team, this will be answered by any available admin.

If you message an admin you see online directly you may not get a response especially if your question is already covered in the FAQ.

User information

I registered an account but did not receive the confirmation e-mail!

You can use this form to delete the account so you can re-register. Note though that if you didn't receive the email the first time it will probably not succeed the second time either so you should really try another email address.

I've lost my user name or password! Can you send it to me?

Please use this form to have the login details mailed back to you.

Can you rename my account?

Possibly. Send a message to the admin team explaining why using this link.

Can you delete my (confirmed) account?

You can do it yourself by using this form.

So, what's MY ratio?

You can view your ratio by searching for your username in the Members page, clicking your name on your Profile page will also take you to your user details. Your ratio is displayed near the top of the page.

It's important to distinguish between your overall ratio and the individual ratio on each torrent you may be seeding or leeching. The overall ratio takes into account the total uploaded and downloaded from your account since you joined the site. The individual ratio just indicates the values for each torrent.

You may see two symbols instead of a number: "Inf.", which is just an abbreviation for Infinity, and means that you have downloaded 0 bytes while uploading a non-zero amount (ul/dl becomes infinity); "---", which should be read as "non-available", and shows up when you have both downloaded and uploaded 0 bytes (ul/dl = 0/0 which is an indeterminate amount).

Why is my IP displayed on my details page?

Only you and the site moderators can view your IP address and email. Regular users do not see that information.

Help! I cannot login!? (a.k.a. Login of Death)

This problem sometimes occurs with MSIE. Close all Internet Explorer windows and open Internet Options in the control panel. Click the Delete Cookies button. You should now be able to login.

Why is my port number reported as "---"? (And why should I care?)

The tracker has determined that you are firewalled or NATed and cannot accept incoming connections. This means that other peers in the swarm will be unable to connect to you, only you to them. Even worse, if two peers are both in this state they will not be able to connect at all. This will slow down your torrents so it's in your best interests to fix it.

Have a read of the How to become connectable page or lookup your router on portforward.com).

What are the different user classes?

User The default class of new members.
User* Has donated money to themixingbowl.org.
Uploader Allowed to upload torrents. For information on how to become an Uploader please see the uploading section of the FAQ.
Other Customised title. Only an Administrator can customize someones title.
Resident User who has contributed to the site. To become a Resident you must meet BOTH the following criteria:
  • Have to be registered on the site for more than 3 months
  • Have a ratio of 1.0+

And at least ONE of the following criteria:

  • Over 200 forum posts
  • Uploaded over 20 individual torrents
  • Uploaded over 100GB
  • Have donated any amount
Moderator Can edit and delete any uploaded torrents. Can also moderate usercomments and disable accounts.
Administrator Can do just about anything.
SysOp coptang (site owner).

Hey! I've seen a Resident with less than 100GB uploaded!

Members who make an outstanding contribution to The Mixing Bowl may be promoted to Resident before they meet all the normal criteria.

How do I add an avatar to my profile?

You can set your avatar from your Profile page.

You will need to find somewhere to host your avitar as we don not allow members to upload their avatar directly to The Mixing Bowl. Some places where you can host your avatar are Photobucket, Upload-It! or ImageShack.

Please make sure you avatar is safe for work and is less that 100 KB in size.

Can I become an admin?

No. I'm afraid getting to be an admin by asking is not possible on themixingbowl.


Why can't I upload torrents?

Only specially authorized users (Uploaders) have permission to upload torrents.

What criteria must I meet before I can join the Uploader team?

Any member can become an uploader. In order to join the uploader group you must post in this thread to signify that you've read the rules about what kind of torrents are allowed (no commercial releases!).

Once you've done this an admin will add you to the uploaders group. This is a manual process so please allow a few days for this to happen. You will be sent a PM to confirm when your account has been upgraded.

General Uploaders Etiquette (Uploading Guidelines)

  • There are over 2,000 members here with uploading privelidges. You are not more important than anyone else.
  • There are over 15,000 torrents in the database. Your upload is not more important than any other.
  • Don't immediately upload lots of torrents after becoming an uploader; you will probably cock things right up and create a mess. Take it easy and ask in the forums if you get stuck andf your answer isn't covered here.
  • Only upload 2 torrents at a time. Wait until they are well seeded by a few other people before you move onto more.
  • Name your torrent and folder to be uploaded according the the guidelines.

How to attract more downloaders to your torrents

  • Name/Title your upload clearly & according to our guidelines.
  • Provide a good description including your method of capture if you are uploading a radio show or live set.
  • If you are uploading a cd learn how to rip with EAC and encode it correctly with the lame setting '-V 2 --vbr-new'.
  • Include a Tracklist if at all possible (you can often find them by searching google).
  • Use sensible names for the folder and files to be uploaded.
  • If possible include a .cue sheet.
  • Seed it until there are a few other seeders.

Common mistakes made by new uploaders

  • @@>>!!??# or other useless characters in your title (aka ebay idiot syndrome).
  • Useless folder title (always include the artist name, mix title and date if it is a radio show or live dj set).
  • Useless info in the title, e.g. (OMG GREAT MIX!)
  • Including your username in the title, filename or main file tags (comment tag is ok)
  • CDs ripped with mediaplayer/itunes or other non gapless compliant applications.
  • Uploading a single mp3 instead of uploading inside a clearly named folder.
  • Uploading a mix then not seeding for a day (wait to upload if you can't seed for some time).
  • If you have 2 parts put them in a folder and upload as one, DO NOT upload 2 separate torrents
  • Forgetting to include the site .nfo file.
  • Incorrect choice of category or genre.


  • If you have made any of these mistakes and an admin notices it they will ban (remove) your torrent. If any other member thinks your torrent hasn't followed the uploading guidlines they can report Report Button it (which will bring it to the attention of the admin team). If you have already had uploads banned the admin may revoke your uploading privileges. It will be harder for you to regain your uploader status as you will have to demonstrate an understanding of the guidelines and a willingness to follow them.
  • If you have made these mistakes on any of your uploads don't panic. You can edit your own torrent including any of the details, you can also delete your own torrent. You should only delete your torrent if it can't be edited for example when you didn't upload inside a folder or had a useless filename, in this case you will need to make the corrections and upload again. To edit or delete a torrent view the torrent details (not the forum topic) and click [Edit this torrent].
  • If you see a torrent you feel isn't up to scratch you should report it using the link provided in the forum thread Report Button. You could tell the uploader in the thread if it is something easily fixable, like incorrect genre or category, but don't start any flaming with abusive comments!

How should I title my torrent? [torrent naming guidelines]

Properly naming your torrent is VERY important. It makes the forum and torrent list much easier to view when there is a uniform list of names.

Most importantly it makes it MUCH easier for the admin team to pull out data. For example we will have YYYY - MM - DD drop down selections and separate artist/title fields on the upload page at some stage. If all the torrents were named as below we could automatically pull the information from the titles.

So whilst naming of your files and folders is to some degree down to personal preference we are going to enforce the torrent naming guidelines.

The date must always be in the form YYYY-MM-DD eg 2005-11-21 being the 21st of November 2005. Any other method can lead to confusion with the month and day.

Use a shortened version of the radio name where possible so that the titles fit the forum view. For Example: EM = Essential Mix BB = Breezeblock AOO = Annie On One ES = Essential Selection BR = Blue Room AM = Annie Mac BTTB = Back To The Basics KISS = Kiss 100 JP = John Peel / Peel Sessions OW = One World SS = Solid Steel TR = The Residency

Radio Shows must be named %date%-%month%-%day% - %show title% - %artist%[ - %title][, %comment%] For example:

2006-03-11 - EM - Pete Tong and Col Hamilton, Live at Lush Northern Ireland

Live sets must be named %artist% - %title% - %date%-%month%-%day% For example:

Sander Kleinenberg - Live at Villa, Lima, Peru - 2006-02-22

Studio/Promo, Video and misc. Mixes must be named %artist% - %title% For example:

Kutski - Back To The Oldskool

Readers mixes must be named %artist% - %title% (use your username as artist if you want people to remember what it was after downloading). For example:

Wicked Lizard - Keep Prepared fo the Breaks Part II

For a megapack we either want the artist or radio show name followed by a usefull title. For example:

Essential Mix - 2004 The Complete Year
Solid Steel 1999
DJ Yoda - Mixtape Collection 

Why have I been demoted back to a user from uploader status?

There are a number of reasons you might have been demoted to user from uploader or resident. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Uploading commercial releases
  • Uploading stream rips
  • Persistently uploading poorly classified torrents
  • Uploads not following the naming guidelines

What will happen if I ignore any of the uploading guidelines?

The upload will be deleted, and if you do it persistently you will be demoted. If you persistently upload commercial releases or argue with an admin you will probably be banned as well.

Can I upload the new blahblahblah music video?

No, music video's are treated the same as single songs and are not allowed. vj mixes, mashups etc are normally ok, if you are in any doubt at all ask before uploading.

Can I upload a stream rip?

See the Internet Radios page for rules about uploading internet radio streams.

Can I upload your torrents to other trackers and/or share them with my friends?

No. Each torrent you download from here contains a unique ID linking it to your account. If other people try to download using the same torrent they will mess up your stats, which could result in you getting banned.

However, the files you download from us are yours to do as you please. You can always create another torrent, pointing to some other tracker, and upload it to the site of your choice. We only ask that you include themixingbowl.org .nfo file to spread the word.

How do I create a torrent?

See the Bittorrent client guide page for guides on how to create torrents.


Most common reason for stats not updating

  • The user is cheating. (a.k.a. "Summary Ban")
  • The server is overloaded and unresponsive. Just try to keep the session open until the server responds again. (Flooding the server with consecutive manual updates is not recommended.)
  • You are using a faulty client. If you want to use an experimental or CVS version you do it at your own risk.

Best practices

  • If a torrent you are currently leeching/seeding is not listed on your profile, just wait or force a manual update.
  • Make sure you exit your client properly, so that the tracker receives "event=completed".
  • If the tracker is down, do not stop seeding. As long as the tracker is back up before you exit the client the stats should update properly.

May I use any bittorrent client?

NO. Some clients have been banned (for various reasons). If you attempt to use a banned client you will receive an error response from the tracker. The following clients are recommended:

Because some reasons may involve security of the site or ratio cheating we will not discuss them so please do not post asking us to change our minds about banned clients or asking why individual clients have been banned. We also highly encourage you to avoid any clients in alpha or beta version, any ratio errors they create will NOT be rectified.

Why is a torrent I'm leeching/seeding listed several times in my profile?

If for some reason (e.g. pc crash, or frozen client) your client exits improperly and you restart it, it will have a new peer_id, so it will show as a new torrent. The old one will never receive a "event=completed" or "event=stopped" and will be listed until some tracker timeout. Just ignore it, it will eventually go away.

Another reason could be that you have given torrents you have downloaded from this site to other people. Each .torrent file you download contains a unique ID that links it to your account. For this reason sharing .torrent files you have downloaded from The Mixing Bowl is forbidden.

I've finished or cancelled a torrent. Why is it still listed in my profile?

Some clients, notably TorrentStorm and Nova Torrent, do not report properly to the tracker when cancelling or finishing a torrent. In that case the tracker will keep waiting for some message - and thus listing the torrent as seeding or leeching - until some timeout occurs. Just ignore it, it will eventually go away.

Multiple IPs (Can I login from different computers?)

Yes, the tracker is now capable of following sessions from different IPs for the same user. A torrent is associated with the user when it starts, and only at that moment is the IP relevant. So if you want to seed/leech from computer A and computer B with the same account you should access the site from computer A, start the torrent there, and then repeat both steps from computer B (not limited to two computers or to a single torrent on each, this is just the simplest example). You do not need to login again when closing the torrent.

How does NAT/ICS change the picture?

This is a very particular case in that all computers in the LAN will appear to the outside world as having the same IP. We must distinguish between two cases:

  1. You are the single Mixing Bowl user in the LAN

    You should use the same Mixing Bowl account in all the computers.

    Note also that in the ICS case it is preferable to run the BT client on the ICS gateway. Clients running on the other computers will be unconnectable (their ports will be listed as "---", as explained elsewhere in the FAQ) unless you specify the appropriate services in your ICS configuration (a good explanation of how to do this for Windows XP can be found here). In the NAT case you should configure different ranges for clients on different computers and create appropriate NAT rules in the router. (Details vary widely from router to router and are outside the scope of this FAQ. Check your router documentation and/or support forum.)

  2. There are multiple Mixing Bowl users in the LAN

    At present there is no way of making this setup always work properly with The Mixing Bowl.

    Each torrent will be associated with the user who last accessed the site from within the LAN before the torrent was started. Unless there is cooperation between the users mixing of statistics is possible. (User A accesses the site, downloads a .torrent file, but does not start the torrent immediately. Meanwhile, user B accesses the site. User A then starts the torrent. The torrent will count towards user B's statistics, not user A's.)

    It is your LAN, the responsibility is yours. Do not ask us to ban other users with the same IP, we will not do that. (Why should we ban him instead of you?)

How do I improve my ratio?

Read the One Stop Ratio Shop.


Why did an active torrent suddenly disappear?

The most likely reasons are that the uploader deleted it because there was a problem with the release, or an admin/moderator deleted it because it broke the site rules.

How do I resume a broken download or reseed something?

Download the original .torrent file from server after that open it in you Bit Torrent client and browse the folder of the torrent you are downloading/reseeding.

What are these "a piece has failed an hash check" messages?

Bittorrent clients check the data they receive for integrity. When a piece fails this check it is automatically re-downloaded. Occasional hash fails are a common occurrence, and you shouldn't worry.

Some clients have an (advanced) option/preference to "kick/ban" clients that send you bad data or similar. It should be turned on, since it makes sure that if a peer repeatedly sends you pieces that fail the hash check it will be ignored in the future.

The torrent is supposed to be 100MB. How come I downloaded 120MB?

See the hash fails topic. If your client receives bad data it will have to redownload it, therefore the total downloaded may be larger than the torrent size. Make sure the "kick/ban" option is turned on to minimize the extra downloads.

Why do I get a "rejected by tracker - Port xxxx is blacklisted" error?

Your client is reporting to the tracker that it uses one of the default bittorrent ports (6881-6889) or any other common p2p port for incoming connections.

The Mixing Bowl does not allow clients to use ports commonly associated with p2p protocols. The reason for this is that it is a common practice for ISPs to throttle those ports (that is, limit the bandwidth, hence the speed).

The blocked ports list include, but is not neccessarily limited to, the following:

BitTorrent : 6881 - 6889

In order to use use our tracker you must configure your client to use any port range that does not contain those ports (a range within the region 49152 through 65535 is preferable, cf. IANA). Notice that some clients, like Azureus or higher, use a single port for all torrents, while most others use one port per open torrent. The size of the range you choose should take this into account (typically less than 10 ports wide. There is no benefit whatsoever in choosing a wide range, and there are possible security implications).

These ports are used for connections between peers, not client to tracker. Therefore this change will not interfere with your ability to use other trackers (in fact it should increase your speed with torrents from any tracker, not just ours). Your client will also still be able to connect to peers that are using the standard ports. If your client does not allow custom ports to be used, you will have to switch to one that does.

Do not ask us, or in the forums, which ports you should choose. The more random the choice is the harder it will be for ISPs to catch on to us and start limiting speeds on the ports we use. If we simply define another range ISPs will start throttling that range also.

Finally, remember to forward the chosen ports in your router and/or open them in your firewall, should you have them.

What's this "IOError - [Errno13] Permission denied" error?

If you just want to fix it reboot your computer, it should solve the problem. Otherwise read on.

IOError means Input-Output Error, and that is a file system error, not a tracker one. It shows up when your client is for some reason unable to open the partially downloaded torrent files. The most common cause is two instances of the client to be running simultaneously: the last time the client was closed it somehow didn't really close but kept running in the background, and is therefore still locking the files, making it impossible for the new instance to open them.

A more uncommon occurrence is a corrupted FAT. A crash may result in corruption that makes the partially downloaded files unreadable, and the error ensues. Running scandisk should solve the problem. (Note that this may happen only if you're running Windows 9x - which only support FAT - or NT/2000/XP with FAT formatted hard drives. NTFS is much more robust and should never permit this problem.)

Why do I get an "Error (You need a better ratio to download megatorrents!) message?

In order to prevent new members from digging a big hole in their ratio they can't get out of, they are prevented from downloading any torrent over 1GB.

This restriction is lifted once you have downloaded over 1.5GB and have a ratio better than 0.8.

How do I set up Azureus to auto download torrents?

See the Azureus page for information on how to do this.

How can I improve my download speed?

Do not immediately jump on new torrents

The download speed mostly depends on the seeder-to-leecher ratio (SLR). Poor download speed is mainly a problem with new and very popular torrents where the SLR is low.

(Proselytising sidenote: make sure you remember that you did not enjoy the low speed. Seed so that others will not endure the same.)

The best speeds will be found around the half-life of a torrent, when the SLR will be at its highest. (The downside is that you will not be able to seed so much. It's up to you to balance the pros and cons of this.)

Limit your upload speed

The upload speed affects the download speed in essentially two ways:

  • Bittorrent peers tend to favour those other peers that upload to them. This means that if A and B are leeching the same torrent and A is sending data to B at high speed then B will try to reciprocate. So due to this effect high upload speeds lead to high download speeds.
  • Due to the way TCP works, when A is downloading something from B it has to keep telling B that it received the data sent to him. (These are called acknowledgements - ACKs -, a sort of "got it!" messages). If A fails to do this then B will stop sending data and wait. If A is uploading at full speed there may be no bandwidth left for the ACKs and they will be delayed. So due to this effect excessively high upload speeds lead to low download speeds.

The full effect is a combination of the two. The upload should be kept as high as possible while allowing the ACKs to get through without delay. A good thumb rule is keeping the upload at about 80% of the theoretical upload speed. You will have to fine tune yours to find out what works best for you. (Remember that keeping the upload high has the additional benefit of helping with your ratio.)

If you are running more than one instance of a client it is the overall upload speed that you must take into account. Some clients (e.g. Azureus) limit global upload speed, others (e.g. Shad0w's) do it on a per torrent basis. Know your client. The same applies if you are using your connection for anything else (e.g. browsing or ftp), always think of the overall upload speed.

Limit the number of simultaneous connections

Some operating systems (like Windows 9x) do not deal well with a large number of connections, and may even crash. Also some home routers (particularly when running NAT and/or firewall with stateful inspection services) tend to become slow or crash when having to deal with too many connections. There are no fixed values for this, you may try 60 or 100 and experiment with the value. Note that these numbers are additive, if you have two instances of a client running the numbers add up.

Limit the number of simultaneous uploads

Isn't this the same as above? No. Connections limit the number of peers your client is talking to and/or downloading from. Uploads limit the number of peers your client is actually uploading to. The ideal number is typically much lower than the number of connections, and highly dependent on your (physical) connection.

Just give it some time

As explained above peers favour other peers that upload to them. When you start leeching a new torrent you have nothing to offer to other peers and they will tend to ignore you. This makes the starts slow, in particular if, by change, the peers you are connected to include few or no seeders. The download speed should increase as soon as you have some pieces to share.

Why is my browsing so slow while leeching?

Your download speed is always finite. If you are a peer in a fast torrent it will almost certainly saturate your download bandwidth, and your browsing will suffer. There are very few clients that allow you to limit the download speed (Azureus and uTorrent can), only the upload. So if your Client does not allow this then you will have to use a third-party solution, such as NetLimiter.

Browsing was used just as an example, the same would apply to gaming, IMing, etc...

My ISP uses a transparent proxy. What should I do?

What is a proxy?

Basically a middleman. When you are browsing a site through a proxy your requests are sent to the proxy and the proxy forwards them to the site instead of you connecting directly to the site. There are several classifications (the terminology is far from standard):

Transparent A transparent proxy is one that needs no configuration on the clients. It works by automatically redirecting all port 80 traffic to the proxy. (Sometimes used as synonymous for non-anonymous.)
Explicit/Voluntary Clients must configure their browsers to use them.
Anonymous The proxy sends no client identification to the server. (HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR header is not sent; the server does not see your IP.)
Highly Anonymous The proxy sends no client nor proxy identification to the server. (HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR, HTTP_VIA and HTTP_PROXY_CONNECTION headers are not sent; the server doesn't see your IP and doesn't even know you're using a proxy.)
Public Self explanatory.

A transparent proxy may or may not be anonymous, and there are several levels of anonymity.

How do I find out if I'm behind a (transparent/anonymous) proxy?

Try ProxyJudge. It lists the HTTP headers that the server where it is running received from you. The relevant ones are HTTP_CLIENT_IP, HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR and REMOTE_ADDR.

Can I bypass my ISP's proxy?

If your ISP only allows HTTP traffic through port 80 or blocks the usual proxy ports then you would need to use something like socks and that is outside the scope of this FAQ.

Otherwise you may try the following:

  • Choose any public non-anonymous proxy that does not use port 80 (e.g. from this, this or this list).
  • Configure your computer to use that proxy. For Windows XP, do Start, Control Panel, Internet Options, Connections, LAN Settings, Use a Proxy server, Advanced and type in the IP and port of your chosen proxy. Or from Internet Explorer use Tools, Internet Options, ...
  • (Facultative) Visit ProxyJudge. If you see an HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR in the list followed by your IP then everything should be ok, otherwise choose another proxy and try again.
  • Visit TorrentBits. Hopefully the tracker will now pickup your real IP (check your profile to make sure).

Notice that now you will be doing all your browsing through a public proxy, which are typically quite slow. Communications between peers do not use port 80 so their speed will not be affected by this, and should be better than when you were "unconnectable".

How do I make my bittorrent client use a proxy?

Just configure Windows XP as above. When you configure a proxy for Internet Explorer you're actually configuring a proxy for all HTTP traffic (thank Microsoft and their "IE as part of the OS policy" ). On the other hand if you use another browser (Opera/Mozilla/Firefox) and configure a proxy there you'll be configuring a proxy just for that browser. We don't know of any BT client that allows a proxy to be specified explicitly.

Why can't I signup from behind a proxy?

It is our policy not to allow new accounts to be opened from behind a proxy.

Does this apply to other torrent sites?

This section was written for The Mixing Bowl, a closed, port 80-81 tracker. Other trackers may be open or closed, and many listen on e.g. ports 6868 or 6969. The above does not necessarily apply to other trackers.

Why is my port listed as "---" even though I'm not NAT/Firewalled?

The TorrentBits tracker is quite smart at finding your real IP, but it does need the proxy to send the HTTP header HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR. If your ISP's proxy does not then what happens is that the tracker will interpret the proxy's IP address as the client's IP address. So when you login and the tracker tries to connect to your client to see if you are NAT/firewalled it will actually try to connect to the proxy on the port your client reports to be using for incoming connections. Naturally the proxy will not be listening on that port, the connection will fail and the tracker will think you are NAT/firewalled.

Why can't I connect? Is the site blocking me?

Maybe my address is blacklisted?

The site blocks addresses listed in the (former) PeerGuardian database, as well as addresses of banned users. This works at Apache/PHP level, it's just a script that blocks logins from those addresses. It should not stop you from reaching the site. In particular it does not block lower level protocols, you should be able to ping/traceroute the server even if your address is blacklisted. If you cannot then the reason for the problem lies elsewhere.

If somehow your address is indeed blocked in the PG database do not contact us about it, it is not our policy to open ad hoc exceptions. You should clear your IP with the database maintainers instead.

Your ISP blocks the site's address

(In first place, it's unlikely your ISP is doing so. DNS name resolution and/or network problems are the usual culprits.)

There's nothing we can do. You should contact your ISP (or get a new one). Note that you can still visit the site via a proxy, follow the instructions in the relevant section. In this case it doesn't matter if the proxy is anonymous or not, or which port it listens to.

Notice that you will always be listed as an "unconnectable" client because the tracker will be unable to check that you're capable of accepting incoming connections.

What if I can't find the answer to my problem here?

You can try these:

Post in the forums, by all means. You'll find they are usually a friendly and helpful place, provided you follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Make sure your problem is not really in this FAQ. There's no point in posting just to be sent back here.
  • Before posting read the sticky topics (the ones at the top). Many times new information that still hasn't been incorporated in the FAQ can be found there.
  • Help us in helping you. Do not just say "it doesn't work!". Provide details so that we don't have to guess or waste time asking. What client do you use? What's your OS? What's your network setup? What's the exact error message you get, if any? What are the torrents you are having problems with? The more you tell the easiest it will be for us, and the more probable your post will get a reply.
  • And needless to say: be polite. Demanding help rarely works, asking for it usually does the trick.