Beginner’s Guide to Seedboxes
What is a Seedbox? How do you use a Seedbox? Is it difficult to use? All your questions answered.
While torrenting is extremely common all over the world, your average torrent user probably has no idea what a “seedbox” is. And yet seedboxes are one of the most powerful tools you can add to your torrenting (and even Usenet) arsenal.
Not only do they make your downloading faster and more secure, they can even become a one-stop, remote media hub that puts your favorite streaming service to shame.
Ready to learn more? Then check out our comprehensive beginner’s guide to seedboxes below.
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What is a Seedbox?
Let’s start by identifying exactly what a seedbox is.
In short, it’s a dedicated online server, hosted remotely. The server runs the Linux operating system, typically Ubuntu or Debian, and gives you a portal where you can acquire and manage torrent, Usenet, and other file downloads. You can also customize the server by installing apps, etc.
That’s the more technical explanation.
In more practical terms, a seedbox allows you to download and upload/seed torrents remotely 24/7, with better speed and resources than your own system could ever achieve.
In many ways, a seedbox is similar to a cloud torrent provider – but faster, with more storage, and a lot more flexibility, but with a steeper learning curve to match.
Why Use a Seedbox? Biggest Benefits and Most Popular Uses
Now that we have a basic understanding of what a seedbox is, let’s take a closer at what it does. These are the top reasons to get a seedbox.
If you’re a member of a private torrent tracker who needs to maintain a strict download to upload ratio – or you’re just a public tracker user who likes to give back – seeding is important.
Unfortunately, seeding not only hogs bandwidth, but it’s a lot riskier than actually downloading the torrents. That’s where a seedbox comes in. It’ll seed your torrents for you, under your account, from its own servers, saving your bandwidth and keeping you safe from the extra stress.
Storing Your Media
Depending on your seedbox plan and provider, you’ll have access to anywhere from a few hundred GBs to a few TBs of storage space on their servers. And this comes with a few obvious advantages.
First, it frees up space on your own hard drives. Plus, you’ll be able to access that data from almost anywhere.
And finally, it saves you from having to store certain sensitive material on your own system, whether it’s your XXX videos or your embarrassing 1TB collection of boy band albums.
In fact, you can even upload files from your system to your seedbox.
Streaming Your Media
Did we mention that you can also stream all of those files, from movies to music, from anywhere? In fact, with a tool like Plex, your seedbox can function almost like your own personal Netflix, stocked with your entire media collection.
Stream from your smart TV, your phone, or even your grandma’s laptop. Not only do many of the top seedboxes support Plex, it can be installed with a single click.
Privacy and Security
As we hinted at in the Seeding and Storing sections above, a seedbox makes your torrenting experience both more private and more secure.
Your peer-to-peer download is handled remotely, and then the files you download directly from the seedbox server are encrypted.
This cuts out almost all the risk. And again, it also makes your download habits more private, helping you avoid both internet surveillance and any snooping by your spouse or roommates.
Faster Download Speeds
Are your internet speeds a little too slow for your liking? A seedbox can help.
Most seedboxes have the bandwidth to download even the biggest torrents in minutes. From there, you can immediately start streaming – or download it from the server to your system, which is usually faster than P2P.
By handling your torrenting remotely, you’ll also be able to avoid any torrent-based throttling from your ISP.
- Top tip - Seedboxes can also be great for Usenet automation
How to Choose a Seedbox
Like any online service, there are a lot of different seedboxes to choose from. It can all be pretty confusing to sift through if you’re a beginner. That’s why we want to highlight the main areas to consider when choosing a seedbox.
Shared vs Dedicated Seedbox
With a shared seedbox, you’re signing up for a smaller portion of a larger server, which is split between other uses like you. Your files will still be separate from those other users, but there is a slight decrease in performance and flexibility with this kind of arrangement. However, not only are shared seedboxes cheaper, they’re a lot more beginner-friendly. Only the heaviest and most advanced users need to bother going for a dedicated seedbox.
Managed vs Unmanaged Seedbox
Most of the online tech you use, like your email or VPN provider, is managed. They handle all the complicated tech issues – and can even help you if you run into problems. You just use the service.
Most beginner-friendlies operate like this too. The other option is an unmanaged seedbox, which gives you a lot more flexibility but comes with a lot more hassles and headaches.
If you’re a beginner to seedboxes, you should definitely go for managed.
Storage vs Performance
Here’s where personal preference starts to come in.
As we highlighted above, seedboxes can provide a large amount of storage for your media and better performance in the form of faster downloads (and more). However, with the entry-level, more affordable providers, you often need to prioritize one over the other. In other words, the most powerful seedboxes won’t provide as much storage.
For instance, they might use SSD rather than HDD drives, while the providers with massive storage allowances won’t perform quite as well.
Which one is right for you comes down more to personal preference.
Public vs Private Trackers
If you only use private trackers, then you can use pretty much any seedbox without issue.
However, some seedboxes either limit public tracker use, or outright ban it. So, if you rely on public trackers, like The Pirate Bay, 1337x, or RuTracker, for all or most of your torrents, this is something to keep in mind.
Fortunately, all the seedboxes we recommend below allow public trackers.
Best Seedboxes for Beginners
We want to make your search for your first seedbox as easy as possible. So, we’ve come up with a few suggestions.
All the seedboxes below are not only reputable, well-run services, they’re known for being very beginner friendly. And they’re affordable too.
- RapidSeedbox – Plans starting at $12 per month, with 24/7 live support, plus a VPN and a 14-day money-back guarantee; this is probably the best option for absolute beginners
- Whatbox – Plans start at $15 per month, but Whatbox is also the only seedbox on the list that has servers outside of Europe; if you’re in the US or Asia, they will probably be faster
- Seedbox.io – Plans start at €5 per month for a 300GB plan; they have servers in The Netherlands and Romania, and provide a 14-day money back guarantee
- Seedhost.eu – Plans start at €6 per month for 1TB of storage, but their money-back guarantee is only 7 days
- Feral Hosting – Plans start at £10 per month, which comes with 1TB of storage and unlimited traffic; their money-back guarantee also lasts 7 days
How to Use a Seedbox
So, now it comes time to actually use a seedbox. Here’s how it’s done.
1. Sign up for one of the seedboxes recommended above.
2. Log into the seedbox via your web browser.
3. Find a torrent file you want and copy its magnet file to your seedbox’s client.
4. Once the file is finished downloading and added to your file manager, you’re now able to download it to your system or stream it right from the seedbox. Downloading is typically done with either HTTPS or FTP.
HTTPS is easier but FTP is more secure. Here’s a tutorial for using FTP with RapidSeedbox.
Note: The steps above are a simple overview and will change slightly depending on the seedbox you’re using. For instance, you may have to install a torrent client (usually Deluge or RuTorrent) to the seedbox first. But most beginner-friendly seedboxes provide easy-to-follow guides on their website.
Do I Need to Use a VPN?
We recommend using a VPN when torrenting normally. But what about when using a seedbox? After all, it is more secure, right?
In short, like Usenet, it’s not necessary to use a VPN when downloading from a seedbox. But it’s still not a bad idea, especially if you’re downloading a ton of content to your system.
So, if you want the extra protection, we’d suggest one of our top VPNs for torrenting.
Hopefully the above has given you a good starting point for navigating into the world of seedboxes.
Of course, there’s a lot more to discover – and a lot more that seedboxes can do – but that’s all beyond the scope of this guide.
The information above should be enough to get you signed up for a seedbox, so you can start downloading (and seeding) today.