A Complete Guide to SeedBox & Servers

 Now a days we get this question asked a lot. What's a SeedBox ? What does the Thunder Icon besides some torrent mean ? Here in this topic I'll answer these questions in great details.

What is a seedbox ? (Simple Answer) : It's a server PC running 24/7. Specializing in Download/Upload/Seeding of a torrent. Depending on the type they have extremely fast connection to the internet. Generally a 'rented' server will have a 100 mbit (or increasingly these days a 1-10 gbit connection). SpeedTest result and Download/Upload speed of a SeedBox is given in below embedded image. You can download torrents to the SeedBox and then upload them elsewhere or just seed that torrent. The files that you download are stored in that server. If you wish to get it to your local machine you'll have to download the file from the server to your Personal PC. While doing that you'll get your normal internet download speed.

Also ever wondered how that 60 GB sized game which was released 10 mins ago have already been uploaded to the site ? How is that possible with the abysmal net connection of Bangladesh ? It's possible via a SeedBox. Because they have high speed dedicated connection to the internet. Dedicated Uploaders use SeedBox to provide you with your favorite content as fast as possible. As you can see in one of the ScreenShot below, A 145 GB file is going to take a mere 30 mins time to complete using a rented SeedBox. In this case the provider is feralhosting .

Types of SeedBox : Mainly there are 2 types of SeedBox -

  •  It is a server, old PC which is separate to a person's main PC and is connected to your own home connection. You can turn any old PC into a SeedBox by keeping it turned on 24/7 with a torrent client and having it connected to a relatively fast internet connection.

  • Is a 'rented' server based in the datacentre of a hosting company. The advantage of this setup is that the datacenter will have an extremely fast connection to the internet. Generally your server will have a 100 mbit (or increasingly these days a 1-10 gbit connection). Ex: Feral Hosting, dediseedbox , evoseedbox , rapidseedbox .

    Types of servers :

    Shared Hosting: This is the most basic type of hosting used for websites. Normally you get access to a control panel and FTP access to upload your files. Some hosts also offer SSH access which gives you some more options. Generally you can only run php based bittorrent clients on these servers (EX: Deluge, rTorrent / ruTorrent).

    Dedicated server: The word 'dedicated' basically means that you get access to an entire server of your own! You have full access to the server OS and can install any programs that you like.

    Co-located server: Similar to a dedicated server except that instead of renting the actual server from a hosting company you buy your own and ship it the datacentre where they connect it to their network. You then pay for bandwidth/electricity/etc.

    Virtual Private Server: Commonly abbreviated to VPS/VDS (or semi-dedicated) - this is designed for people who need more than shared hosting but don't need/want to incur the cost of a full dedicated server. The hosting company will split a dedicated server into parts (virtual machines) using VMWare/Xen/etc. and sell each one to a different customer. i.e. if the original server has 1000GB of space and they split it into 10 equal parts each person will get 100GB disk space. The experience is usually very similar to using a dedicated server but with less resources and cheaper (though in recent years some very powerful VPS's have become available)

    Shared seedboxes/seedbox slices: In recent years as seedboxes have become more popular some companies have started selling servers designed for use as a seedbox rather than for webhosting. There are a number of different variations of these and you will need to check with the supplier to determine what exactly they are offering:

    - Some are just VPS's
    - Some are VPS's with torrent/FTP/etc. clients already installed
    - Some are just dedicated servers
    - Some are just dedicated servers with torrent/FTP/etc. clients already installed
    - Some only give you access to the torrent client's web UI and ftp download (i.e. you do not have direct access to the OS)

    An alternative to a VPS/Shared seedbox is to get together with some friends and split the cost of a dedicated server.

    Hosting Companies vs SeedBox Companies:

    Hosting Companies exist primarily for selling services for the use of webhosting - however these servers can be used for many other purposes as well such as torrenting. Generally these companies own datacentres or rent space inside one. For legal reasons they do not advertise themselves as seedbox provides but on the whole don't mind if you use them as a seedbox. In fact some companies have grown a lot thanks to people buying their products as seedboxes. If they receive a DMCA complaint about your server they will generally forward it to you and just ask you to delete the material in the notice.

    Seedbox companies - these companies buy servers from the above companies and then 'resell' them to the seedbox market. Features include pre-installed clients and guides for torrenting this makes them attractive for a first seedbox. However they may be less reliable than hosting companies.

    Duration of Contract: Most hosts will have monthly/3-monthly contracts. Though you can usually get discounts/no setup fee by signing up for longer periods.

    Once you don't want to use it anymore just give notice, pay anything due and it should stop working on the day the notice ends.

    Payment Methods: Most hosts accept Paypal, Credit cards and Bank Transfers. If you wish to use some other payment method contact them sometimes they can accommodate you.

    You may also be required to pay VAT/Sales Tax.

    Managed vs. Unmanaged: If you have a managed server (and also pay a management fee) the server providers staff will help you install a webserver, configure your firewall etc. (They can do a lot more depending on how much you are willing to pay!)

    Unmanaged - you do all of the above yourself. This option is better for seedboxes.

    Public Vs Private trackers: You have similar risks using public trackers on a seedbox as you do at home the main difference being that if someone gets your IP it isn't really yours but that of your server.

    It is not recommended to use public trackers on a seedbox as if you get too many DMCA notices from using them the host might cancel your server. On the other hand some people use public trackers on their seedbox and have never had any problems.

    You may wish to install blocking software such as Peerblock

    Connection: The idea of a remote seedbox is so that you can seed faster than your home connection. Most seedboxes come with 100mbit ports. Some come with 1Gbit ports (however watch out as some providers who only provide 1Gbit connectivity within their own network outside it is limited to a lower amount such as 200mbit). 10Mbit is virtually finished but a few VPS providers offer it.

    Remember just because you have a gbit network card in the server it doesn't mean it is connected to a gbit connection - it may just be 100mbit.

    Also just because your server is 100mbit doesn't mean you will get full speed download to your home connection as other factors such as network load/peering have an impact on this.

    Bandwidth: Some providers provide unlimited/unmetered bandwidth. Some provide unmetered until a certain limit and then reduce the speed of your connection beyond that limit. Most providers have a bandwidth cap i.e. 5TB/month.

    Reasons for choosing a capped provider over an unmetered one include - better peering to the provider, better prices, less congested network etc.

    Some providers offer 'free' internal bandwidth within their own network. This is one of the reasons why some providers are popular than others.

    Most providers offer a Bandwidth Graph or counter to monitor. It is worth running your own app as well in case of any disagreements with their stats.

    Windows: Netmeter, BWMeter, PRTG or Networx
    Linux: VNstat, cacti (rrdtool), mrtg

    IP Addresses: Most providers offer more than 1 IP address. It can be useful to have more IP addresses if you want to run other services on the server to keep them separate from your torrenting activities.

    Connecting to the server:

    Windows - you can use 'Remote desktop connection' (mstsc.exe) in Windows to connect to a Windows server.

    Linux - you can install a vnc server on the seedbox and a vnc client on your home pc and connect to the GUI via this or use putty to connect to the command-line if you prefer.

    Torrent Clients: If you have access to the OS you can install any client that is available for your OS.

    If you only have access to a webui then you will need to wait for your provider to update the client.

    If your client supports encryption enable it.

    Getting torrent files onto the server: There are a few options:

    1) Log into the website using a browser on the seedbox
    2) Download at home and upload via FTP
    3) Upload through a torrent client webui
    4) Run some type of rss/auto-download script on the server or at home

    Accessing the files: Ultimately you will want to get the files that you have seeded on the server from the server to your home PC.

    The most common way of doing this is to install an FTP server on the seedbox and use an ftp client on your home PC.

    Windows FTP servers: Filezilla Server, Serv-U
    Linux FTP servers: VSFTPd, Proftpd, glftpd, Pure-FTPd

    Windows FTP clients: FTPRush , FlashFXP, Filezilla client
    Linux clients: Filezilla client, gFTP, KFTPGrabber, lftp
    (You can also use something like SCP/WinSCP to download from a linux server using your SSH login details)

    You may wish to use ftps (encrypted ftp).

    You can also use this in reverse to transfer files from home to the seedbox.

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