So youíve heard about seedboxes, and youíve heard about VPNís. Now let me tell you what you need to know and why you should have one or the other, or both.

The main differences:

If youíre someone who has a fast internet connection at home but want to hide your torrent activity from your ISP (internet service provider), then you want a VPN.

If you have a slow internet connection and want to maximize your ratio (quickly!), PLUS hide torrent activity on your home internet connection, you want a seedbox.

What is a VPN:

A VPN creates a private ďtunnelĒ for your internet traffic to travel though that hides your online activity from your ISP. Imagine your connection to the internet is a pipe. If you use a VPN, then youíre putting a slightly smaller pipe inside of the one your ISP gave you. The people whom you pay for the ďbig pipeĒ (your ISP) wonít be able to see what youíre sending through the ďsmaller pipeĒ (your VPN).

When you connect to your VPN server, your internet traffic is being sent through an encrypted connection to a remote server. Only that remote server is connected to the services you access (ie. websites, torrent swarms, etc).

Without a VPN, when you use the internet, your ISP can see what youíre connected to, and what type (and sometimes even the contents of) the data thatís being transferred between you and the service. Many websites are encrypted via SSL (thatís when you see a green lock in your browsers address bar), but torrent traffic is un-encrypted.

If youíre using something like uTorrent on your PC, your ISP knows not only what youíre downloading, but also who youíre downloading it from (and more importantly Ė who youíre uploading it to).

When you use a VPN, your ISP will know youíre using a VPN, but they canít see what youíre downloading (ie. whatís going through the ďsmaller pipeĒ), what sites youíre connecting to, etc. Only your VPN provider can see that activity, and they make their money off of providing anonymity, so any good VPN wonít log what youíre doing.

Using a VPN means your home connection is still being used to both download and upload the files you get from other users (ie. torrent files), but youíre protected from prying eyes.

If your connectionís upload speed is slow (most ISPís, even ones that provide fast download speeds, severely limit your upload speeds), a VPN will hide what youíre doing, but it will still be difficult to achieve a high upload/download ratio on a private torrent site. For this reason, Iíd only recommend a VPN to people who donít have to worry about their ratio.

The biggest downside to using a VPN is that by their very nature, they slow down your connection speeds. Not by much (maybe 5% if you use a good one, much MUCH more if you use a cheap one Ė never use a free one, free ones make money off of tracking/selling your data), but thatís a deal breaker for some people.

What is a seedbox

In no uncertain terms, a seedbox is a server located in a remote datacenter that you have access to. But saying it like that makes it sounds WAY more complicated than it really is.

seedboxes are perfect for sharing, they allow you to seed your downloaded torrents at a fast speed without even touching your home internet connection.

When you have a seedbox, getting your favorite shows and other content is a two-step process: First you download your torrent files from the tracker to your seedbox, and then you use FTP to transfer those files to your PC.

Most ISPís donít throttle or monitor FTP traffic, and when you use SFTP, even if they are watching they canít see what files youíre transferring from the remote server (ie. your seedbox) to your PC.

Since seedboxes are servers located in datacenters, they also have an internet connection far faster than most home connections. Even a cheap seedbox will offer upload/download speeds many times faster than the average home internet connection.

Using a seedbox is far from complicated. If youíre familiar with a program like uTorrent, you can use a seedbox. The big difference is that instead of launching the program on your PC, you will access your seedbox via your web browser. The interface will look almost identical.

Transferring data from your seedbox to your home PC is equally as easy. You simply use an FTP program (I use FileZilla Ė itís free). The difference is, instead of downloading your files from a public torrent swarm, youíre downloading them from your private server (seedbox), which protects you from having your IP exposed, etc.

So how much does this cost? (hint - WAY less than cable or satellite TV)

VPN:

VPN services examples like NordVPN. Itís $8 per month or $36 per year (with their promo that runs almost all the time, $48 if you donít catch the promo). They offer a free 3 day trial if you contact support via their live chat or if you email them.

Some VPNís a few dollars less expensive, some a few more. Choise like NordVPN (For example) is good because after researching and trying out a bunch of different providers I found they provide the highest level of anonymity.

If you have good speed or don't need ratio buffering (so you donít have to worry about your upload rate), and buy a VPN, it will cost about the same as renting a middle-of-the-road seedbox.

Seedbox:

Seedbox provider examples like seedboxes.cc. There is plan which costs about $14/month, and regularly torrents uploading/downloading at 10Mbps. About 400GB of disk space on this plan. They have DOZENS of plans to choose from, thatís one of the reasons I like them so much. Something for everyone.

Typically, torrents will seed to a 1:1 ratio within about 1-2 minutes from such seedbox. With my home internet connection, it would take me a week to hit that same ratio (I have really, REALLY, slow internet at home).

What are the pros/cons?

If youíve been using something like uTorrent and donít want to learn something new, youíre definitely going to find a VPN easier to use.

It will keep you anonymous, so you donít have to worry about getting fined for downloading torrents. VPN is incredibly easy to use, and allow all P2P traffic (many VPNís block P2P! If you chose a VPN provider check with them before you pay for a year!).

You may however try something like using the torrent ONLY with the VPN but browsing with normal home connection. This is definitely something would require learning and maybe different from provider to another.

A seedbox has a learning curve, but itís not steep. Itís not even a curve really, itís like a tiny little hump.

If you have problems, there are always people willing to help you out on the internet. Google is your friend. Good providers usually offer 24/4 support that is GOOD (they actually know what theyíre talking about!).

If it's urgent, there is also HERE We like being helpful and many of our great staffers did help many users to setup their seedboxes.

A seedbox means you can download whatever you want, whenever you want, without worrying about ratio. You will also get your favorite Sunday night shows even faster than before. If you learn the ins-and-outs, you will see torrents added to your seedbox before they even show up in the browse page, and well before even the fastest RSS users get them.

In my opinion, a seedbox is the better investment, but if you just want to make sure you donít get one of those angry letters saying that you were caught downloading movies (unlikely if youíre only downloading from AR, but by bittorrents nature if you download torrents youíre exposing your IP address to strangers) then a VPN might be for you.

Conclusion:

Do your own research. Donít choose any mentioned examples just because I did mention them. Ask around, and hear people opinions/reviews. Specially those who are diligent who tried a bunch of different services. And see what providers are settled on by members, and for what reason.

Take care and happy torrenting!