There is a common misconception that BitTorrent technology is illegal. It has been associated with media piracy for so long that many people who have never used it cannot separate what people do with BitTorrent and the technology itself.
In case you didn’t know, BitTorrent is a file-sharing protocol that stores files on users’ computers. When someone wants to download a file, they receive bits and pieces from it via a peer-to-peer network. When your computer starts making copies of files, it also transfers them to other computers. In this way, you also provide data to everyone else. When you have a complete copy of the file on your computer, it stops downloading and starts serving it to everyone else. This is called the distribution . There must be at least one seed on the network, otherwise the entire file cannot be restored.
What is the benefit of torrenting?
BItTorrent has many legitimate uses. For example, companies that need to serve many clients with data can use these clients as a peer-to-peer network. There are also organizations that distribute open source or DRM-free software using BitTorrent. It’s a way to get around the huge server and bandwidth costs that the average small business or nonprofit organization would not have available. Thus, torrents are food for any mass data distribution without the need for central hosting.
How are torrents used?
The traditional way to download torrent is pretty simple. You just need a torrent client and the torrent file itself. When the torrent client is installed, you open the torrent file with it and the download begins.
Most people who don’t know anything better will probably just use this simple torrent download method. However, there are several reasons why you should avoid direct torrent downloads and use SeedBox instead.
What is Seedbox and why is it better?
A seed box is a cloud computer (or virtual computer) that sits in the data center and does only one job – downloading torrents. After the seedbox finishes downloading your torrent, you can download it directly to your computer using a protocol other than BitTorrent.
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There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is to avoid fines from your ISP for torrenting. Due to piracy and high bandwidth usage, some ISPs severely restrict BitTorrent traffic. Makes them unusable.
Using seedboxes is also much faster as they are in incredibly good bandwidth datacenters.
Finally, when seeding from a seed box, you do not limit your own local upstream bandwidth. This is especially important if your home connection is asymmetrical. The download speed is slower than the download speed.
Seed boxes are actually designed to achieve higher speeds in torrent swarms by seeding files at a high rate. The more generous the seed, the more bandwidth is allocated for future torrents using the same “tracker”, which is the system that coordinates peers within the BitTorrent swarm.
How to get Seedbox
Getting a seed box is no different than signing up for any online service. While there are free seed growing services, we do not recommend any of them. They are usually barely used and may contain annoying ads. Seed boxes don’t have to be expensive.
For this tutorial, we subscribed to the Value250 XS seedbox from Pulsed Media. Its price is about six euros, and the storage capacity and speed are more than what regular users would need.
Register and pay for your chosen seed box and you will receive an email. It contains the data for accessing your seed box. This includes:
- URL to access the seed box;
- your username and password
- SFTP access information
Please keep this email in a safe place as you will need to refer to it from time to time.
Access your Seedbox
To access your seed box, click the web access URL in your email. You will be prompted for your username and password. After logging in, you will see the web interface.
What we need is a torrent client on the network. In this case, it is the popular ruTorrent. If you’ve ever used a custom torrent client on your computer, this should be familiar to you.
Now we need to find the real torrent to download. In this example, we have selected the latest Ubuntu Linux desktop image to boot. Click the link on the download page and download the .torrent file.
Now just drag the torrent file from the download location to ruTorrent. It should start downloading soon.
The torrent download should complete very quickly. You can either leave it on for a while, or right-click it and choose Stop.
We are now ready to load the file from the seed box.
Bring your files to your computer
You can download any files from your seed box to your local computer directly using file explorer, but we strongly advise against doing so. File transfers are insecure, and if the download is interrupted, you have to start over.
Instead, we’re going to use a trusted SFTP client called WinSCP to access the seed box and manage files. SFTP is an encrypted secure file transfer protocol. This means that no one who controls your internet connection will know what you are downloading. FTP transfers are also usually unlimited, so you will enjoy the full speed of your internet connection.
Please note that the Windows Store version of this program is not free! Direct download from WinSCP website costs nothing. Download and install WinSCP Then open the program and you should see this screen.
Now refer to the email with your access details and enter it like this.
We have not provided our username for security reasons, but of course you must enter yours. Leave the port as it is and make sure you select SFTP as the file protocol. Now click “Save” to save this information for the next session.
Click “OK” and then “Login” to enter your mailbox.
If you receive a security warning, just ignore it. In the end, we manually entered the correct address from the seed supplier, so we know we are connecting to the correct server. If you chose not to save your password in the previous step, you will also need to enter it now.
After a successful login, you should see a screen like this:
Go to download in the right pane and right click on it. Choose Download Download in Background.
Select a folder and start transferring the file. Your download should start. Your files will be safe on your local hard drive soon. Congratulations, you just completed your first fast, anonymous and secure torrent transfer!