What is a Seedbox? The Beginner’s Guide

So, you’ve heard the term “Seedbox” and have yet to figure out what that really is… Maybe you’re a torrenter who wants to understand just how this service can make your life easier? This guide is a basic look at Seedboxes that can help an average user get a better understanding of what this particular service really is.

What is a Seedbox? The Beginner's Guide

What is a Seedbox? The Beginner’s Guide

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What is a Seedbox?

So, you know that a Seedbox is something that people use to torrent. Great, but what is it exactly?

A Seedbox is a dedicated online server that leeches and seeds torrents at all times. In other words, it’s a virtual computer that people can use to download and upload torrents without them being linked to their personal IP.

The whole idea of this service is that you get access to a cloud-based server that downloads (and seeds) your torrents for you. After that, you can easily download the file onto your computer without your ISP realizing that you’ve been torrenting via HTTPS, FTP, FTPS or SFTP.

What are the Benefits of a Seedbox

If you’re not a hardcore torrenter, you might not see the full benefits of subscribing to this kind of service. However, a Seedbox offers its users quite a few benefits for all users.

Privacy

Usually, when you torrent without a VPN, your public IP address is exposed to anyone that belongs to your swarm (on the same torrenting network). This makes torrenting dangerous, as your IP is one of the biggest metadata indicators of your real identity. A Seedbox works around that problem because it allows you to torrent files without using your computer or exposing your IP. Since you use a cloud-based server (or virtual computer), your actual computer has nothing to do with the torrent at all. This means that both your public IP remains safe and that your ISP can’t monitor your torrents and consequently throttle your connection. Downloading your torrented files onto your computer doesn’t change that privacy, as the protocols you use to get your files off your Seedbox will register as regular internet traffic with your ISP.

Bandwidth

Because a Seedbox both seeds and leeches torrents remotely, your bandwidth doesn’t get affected at all. In fact, your bandwidth won’t even come into question until you transfer the files from your box to your computer. Seeding the torrents is also very easy, as the service does that on its own continuously, again without interfering with your personal bandwidth. If you’re on a limited connection, this might just be your best option for torrenting.

Speed

Most Seedboxes allow for download speeds up to 1GBPS. Seeing as, again, this process doesn’t involve your personal computer or your personal internet connection, this service can help you download large files at incredible rates. This might be a great option for people who can’t use a Virtual Private Network due to their originally slow internet.

Convenience

Since this service is web-based, you can easily get your Seedbox to torrent files even if you’re out and about. This service can be accessed via any web-browser, so you can add torrents to it through your phone and then download the torrented file when you get back home.

Three Kinds of Seedboxes

There are three kinds of Seedboxes you can subscribe to:

Shared Seedbox

This is the perfect type of Seedbox for new users. Basically, the server the Seedbox is on has multiple accounts set up on it, and each user has access to the server’s resources. With this type, you’ll usually find that all of the software and applications you can use with your Seedbox are already installed and are easy to use. If you’re someone who likes to occasionally torrent, this option is for you.

VPS Seedbox

VPS, virtual private servers, can be used as Seedboxes as well. Basically, the Seedbox is set up on a VPS and instead of sharing it with other users, you get a part of its resources to yourself. Unless you’re used to working with SSH, I wouldn’t suggest this particular option. A lot of the services you can use give VPS Seedbox users root access to their own slice of the pie, which does mean that this option is for intermediary to more advanced users.

Dedicated Seedbox

Basically, this means that the Seedbox is set up on a server that only you can use. This is a perfect option for users who torrent all the time and want to be able to manage and configure their seedboxes to fit their own needs. This is the most expensive type of service you can get. It also needs a lot of technical know-how to get it up and running correctly. If you’re not an advanced user who knows what they’re doing in this regard, I do not suggest you take this option.

How To Download Your Files From Your Seedbox

For the rest of this guide, I’ll be focusing more on Shared Seedboxes. Why? Because I assume that if you’re knowledgeable enough to run a dedicated Seedbox, you don’t really need my advice.  As for regular users that are interested in trying out a Shared Seedbox, let’s discuss how you go about doing that.

  1. Subscribe to the service of your choice. Once your account is created, you’ll get access to the Seedbox via any browser.
  2. After you log in, you’ll notice (usually) that you have access to: A cloud-based torrent client, a file manager, and a dashboard to help you manage your account.
  3. To start downloading, get the magnet link for the torrent you want and paste it in the client.
  4. Wait until the Seedbox downloads the torrent. Because of its speed, that won’t be very long.
  5. After the torrent is done, you can download the file onto your device. There are a few ways to do this but here are the simplest ones:
    1. Download directly via HTTPS (so just download the file as you would any other file on your browser). You can use a VPN when you’re downloading to add an extra layer of protection if you feel like its necessary.
    2. Use an encrypted FTP connection. For this option, you would need to incorporate FTP software to download your files on a secure connection.

Should You Use a VPN with a Seedbox

We’ve written a comparative review between what a Seedbox and a VPN can do. Now, however, we’re going to be discussing whether it’s worth investing in both a Seedbox and a VPN.

Now, both services do cost money, and the better services obviously cost a little more than the others. Having both a VPN and a Seedbox is not a cheap venture. So, how do you know if you should be using both services?

Simple. Start by figuring out what you’re looking for.

Seedboxes do secure your torrenting activity, but they do absolutely nothing to your overall internet activity. Do you need to be secure at all times? Then a VPN can help you out with that. If all you’re looking for is to torrent quickly and you don’t actually care for a VPN’s security features, then just stick with the Seedbox.

However, if you want to torrent quickly and maintain a secure internet connection at all times, then using both of these services is definitely in your best interest. That way, you’ll be able to bypass a VPN’s internet slow for your torrents, but still maintain your privacy and your security online. I do suggest that users in anti-torrent countries go for this particular option. While using a Seedbox won’t show the torrents you’re downloading, your ISP can still see that you’re using a Seedbox. If this is something you want to hide, then a VPN will definitely do the trick.

Best VPN for a Seedbox

If this is something you’re interested in, I suggest you only use a credible and trusted VPN. ExpressVPN works perfectly coupled with a seedbox, especially since it has a zero-logs policy that has been tried and tested (successfully) in real life. ExpressVPN’s privacy-oriented service will make sure that you’re online activities are yours to know alone. You can test out this service by utilizing the provider’s 30-day money back guarantee and test it out for yourself first. In case you don’t find it to be the service for you, you can check out any of the top-tier VPNs listed in the table below.

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What is a Seedbox – Final Thoughts

There you have it, ladies and gentleman, a simplified guide on Seedboxes for the average internet user. If you are a torrent user this is definitely a service you should try out. Make sure you pick the correct type of Seedbox for you based on your technical prowess for the best results. Don’t forget, you can use a VPN to add more security, but it’s not really something you absolutely have to do. Now, I do want to point out that the speed of downloads of your Seedbox has a lot to do with something called a “ratio”. This is basically a representation of how much you’ve leeched vs how much you’ve Seeded. The better your ratio (i.e. the more you Seed), the better your download speed will be.

Do you use a Seedbox? Is there anything you think a new user should know about? Leave in the comments below!

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