Seedboxes are more accessible (and affordable) than ever, but what exactly is a seedbox (and why would you want to use one?).
If you’ve been using BitTorrent for a while, you’ve no doubt heard the term ‘seedbox’ thrown around on forums, Reddit, or social media.
So, what is a seedbox?
In simple terms, a Seedbox is a dedicated server used exclusively for torrenting. Most seedboxes are hosted in a datacenter with a direct (and extremely fast) internet connection, and operated as a cloud service.
Seedbox-as-a-service is a dedicated torrent server that you rent from a seedbox provider. It is pre-configured with an optimized torrent client that you can manage remotely via a webUI.
The Seedbox handles all the torrenting, and you can download completed files via a web browser or FTP.
Pros & Cons of Seedboxes
Using a seedbox has numerous advantages, with only a handful of drawbacks (mainly cost).
Advantages of a Seedbox:
- Insanely fast speeds
- Pre-configured for optimal BitTorrent performance
- Accessible from anywhere (via webUI)
- Your IP address doesn’t appear in torrent swarms
- Usually hosted in a torrent-friendly jurisdiction.
- Reduces risk of lawsuits, fines, or penalties from your ISP
- Free up resources on your home PC
Disadvantages of a Seedbox:
- Cost – Costs range from $10-50+ per month, significantly more expensive than a DIY torrent server using your home computer and a VPN.
- Configurability – many seedboxes are preconfigured with a specific torrent client. You may not be able to customize certain features
Drawbacks aside, the advantages of a seedbox heavily outweigh the negatives (as long as you’re willing to pay for the privilege).
Seedboxes are especially popular in private torrent communities, allowing you to have an always-on dedicated torrenting machine for optimal seed ratios and availability.
SeedBox Features (in-depth)
Seedboxes are a bit more advanced than just running your favorite torrent client on your own machine, but equally easy to use.
Here’s a deeper look at some of the best seedbox features:
Optimized for Torrents
Seedboxes are customized from the ground up to be the ultimate torrent machine. That means the connection settings, port forwarding, tracker lists and so on are perfectly optimized from day one. No need for endless tweaking on your part.
Many Seedboxes are run on dedicated servers hosted in Tier-1 data centers. In practical terms, this means you’ll get realworld speeds measured in Gigabits rather than Megabits. Seriously.
It’s not uncommon to download entire 4k films in under a minute.
Of course, that’s just the speed to download the file to the box. FTP’ing the file to your own device can take quite a bit longer. However, you can simply stream the media directly from your Seedbox, no need to actually download any files you don’t want long-term.
When you torrent on your own device, your IP address (ideally your VPN’s IP) appear publicly in every torrent swarm.
When you use a seedbox, your IP address is never visible to torrent peers. Instead they see the Seedbox’s IP address. If your seedbox host routinely deletes connection logs, it’ll be nearly impossible for anyone to retroactively trace your torrent activity.
Remote Access & Management
Cloud-based seedboxes usually come with a password-protected WebUI that lets you add/delete and manage your torrents. You can also download your finished files to any device (including your Android or iPhone device).
This makes a Seedbox the best torrenting option for unsupported devices like iPhones and iPads.
You also have root FTP access, so you could easily setup an auto-sync function for your home computer, Google Drive, or any other device.
Encryption and security is built in too. All HTTP and FTP connections are offered with 128-bit or 256-bit SSL security, meaning your internet provider won’t be able to see what files you’re transferring. They’ll only know the IP address of the remote access portal (if you don’t use a VPN).
Countries around the world are cracking down hard on illegal uses of BitTorrent, and predatory copyright trolls are taking advantage.
This is especially problematic in countries like the USA and Australia where internet providers often forward subscriber details (or demand letters) on behalf of trolls.
Seedboxes often operate in other areas of the world where laws are favorable towards BitTorrents many uses, or where torrent trolls don’t operate.
Furthermore, the seedbox operator takes on the larger share of any legal risk, as they own the box that is actually sharing the torrented files. You’re simply downloading them directly from the server after they’re complete (not distributing). Of course the operator may disclaim some of this risk in the Terms & Conditions, so make sure to do your research before buying.
Cloud Seedbox vs. Home Seedboxes
Most seedbox services are cloud-based SaaS companies that provide remote access to a seedbox server hosted in the cloud.
But that’s just a commercial seedbox. It’s also possible to roll-your-own seedbox at home.
For example, you can build a dedicated seedbox cheaply with an old PC or even a raspberry pi combined with a remote-controllable client such as qBittorrent.
Another option is to install your torrent client directly on your NAS drive. We recommend these NAS models for an affordable at-home seedbox:
Affordable NAS for home Seedbox:
Whichever method you choose, make sure to route your connection through a VPN if you’ll be torrenting any risky files.
Recommended VPNs for DIY Seedboxes:
Should you get a Seedbox?
Honestly if you need to ask this question, you probably don’t need one. If you actually need a seedbox, you’re probably already googling ‘best seedbox providers’ with a credit card (or cryptocurrency) in hand.
But for clarity, here’s how to decide whether you’re ready to take the leap:
Consider a seedbox if you:
- Torrent more than 20 files per week
- Frequently max out your internet connection while torrenting
- Sometimes create new torrents
- Belong to a private torrent tracker
- Live in a jurisdiction where torrenting is especially risky
- Are willing to pay $10-$20/month for a premium torrenting experience