Seedboxes offload all your bittorrent activity from a personal computer and puts it onto a proper server with higher speeds than a home connection could ever likely achieve.
So a seedbox meets 3 primary needs:
- It offloads the bittorrent resource load from a person’s home computer.
- It helps people maintain a high download/upload ratio in order to stay in the good graces and have perks on private bittorrent tracker sites.
- It gives content creators a way to efficiently deliver and continually seed their content to subscribers, customers, and users via bittorrent without interfering with or crashing their webserver.
A seedbox is managed remotely, typically through a web-based interface like ruTorrent or TorrentFlux. The small torrent files can be uploaded via a browser to the web interface, or grabbed directly from the server, and all the actual torrent activity happens on the server, and the files are stored on the server until you’re ready to download or access them in some other way at your leisure. There are even ways to stream videos and music directly from the seedbox.
Compared to a home PC, the transfer speeds of a seedbox are mind blowing. A 1GB video can often be downloaded on a seedbox in under 60 seconds if there are other fast seeds sharing the file.
Now a seedbox isn’t really anything special. It’s typically just a VPS (virtual private server), or dedicated server, with the proper bittorrent software installed and certain configurations done.
One way to set up a seedbox is to get a VPS with a hosting provider that allows bittorrent, then configure it yourself. That’s often the cheapest way, but not everyone wants to do that setup and configuration themselves though, nor do they often have the knowledge to do it, so that’s where the specialty seedbox providers come in.
Seedbox providers offer a pre-configured server that has all the back-end work and setup already done. All a person has to do is sign up, log in via their browser per the instructions, and start torrenting away!
A seedbox provider is usually just a hosting company (or reseller) that decides to cater to that specific need, often separately from their regular web server offerings…or they might choose to offer seedboxes exclusively.
Since seedbox users will often suck up a ton of hard drive space and bandwidth, the packages are usually customized for that purpose. Most standard low-end VPS packages can’t really handle that kind of use, so hosting providers who offer seedboxes segment them out…allocating much more space and bandwidth to allow for bittorrent use.
For some additional perspective, here’s a great article by ExtremeTech: