VPNs vs Seedboxes?
They are completely different things— created for different purposes.
But if you landed here, you are probably trying to find the difference between VPNs and Seedboxes regarding torrenting and privacy.
In a nutshell, a VPN will mask your public IP address and use a VPN’s server IP to torrent, so you wouldn’t get flagged by DMCA letters, your VPN provider will. A Seedbox is a server made especially for seeding torrents. Seedboxes are the next level in terms of torrenting privacy, speed, and experience.
Table of Contents:
- What is a VPN?
- VPN for Torrenting?
- What is Recommended?
- What is a Seedbox?
- Seedbox for Torrenting.
- VPNs vs Seedbox: Final Words.
1. What is a VPN?
VPNs or Virtual Private Networks refer to “the network” created by a client-server communication. VPNs were not originally created for what they are most commonly advertised today, as Internet security and privacy tools. Instead, VPNs were originally designed with the intention to “virtually” extend “private” networks to a distant geographical space. For example, if an office needed to extend a branch office to another country, a VPN would provide the encryption mechanisms to “safely” transfer data across public networks, such as the Internet.
VPNs need encryption from mechanisms like IPSec, SSL-VPN, OpenVPN, etc., to provide secure communication between the (local) client and (remote) server. As shown in the picture below, the VPN (in red) is a virtual and secure tunnel laid on top of the physical channel (in black) across your LAN (or WAN) > local ISP > Internet > remote ISP.
After knowing VPNs could take Internet users anywhere, they were quickly embraced by the general public, as tools for identity protection and safe browsing across the Internet, unlocking geographically restricted content from streaming services, bypassing censorship, safe torrenting and more.
2. VPN for Torrenting?
Now we know that a VPN creates a secured virtual network (without geographical restrictions) between you and the server. When you connect to this VPN server, you are using the VPN Server’s IP address (not the computer’s resources) to do whatever you are doing online, like torrenting, or web browsing.
With a VPN tunnel, you are fully private on your local network (LAN), going out of corporate networks (that don’t already use some kind of proxy), and best of all, your local ISP.
Nowadays, VPN service providers have large global networks with servers almost in every country. And within those countries, there are friendlier and stricter countries regarding data.
What is Recommended?
- Ensure VPN providers allow torrenting. VPN providers with a strong presence in countries with strict data regulations might have a hard time allowing you to torrent with their servers. If one of their IPs get identified by a copyright troll, they might get a DMCA notification. The VPN provider will go back to their logs and find a correlation with your public IP and probably forward you the DMCA letter. But if the server is located in a data friendlier country, they wouldn’t even be required to keep logs.
- Read their logging policy and make sure the VPN provider doesn’t keep logs. This goes back to the previous point. It doesn’t make any sense if a VPN provider says they allow torrents, but they keep traffic logs. If a VPN provider cares about your privacy, they shouldn’t need traffic logs, FOR ANY REASON. In other words, they would take responsibility for what you do with their IP. Watch out for VPN service providers without privacy policies and shady privacy policies.
- Data Leaks. Although it is not very common, there have been some cases where you connect via VPN, and the tunnel leaks personal unencrypted data, especially DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC. The only way to ensure there are no data leaks is to make sure they are using proper encryption mechanisms (AES-256 military-grade) and run tests using a packet sniffer such as Wireshark.
- Look for VPNs with dedicated IP. Almost all VPN service providers provide dynamic IP allocation. This means that if you attempt to use the same IP for things like improving the “sharing ratio,” you will ultimately have a hard time keeping up.
3. What is a Seedbox?
A seedbox refers to the “server,” which can be deployed on your premises or hired via a cloud-managed service. Seedboxes (Seed + Box) were initially designed as powerful BOX servers with the only purpose of SEED torrents.
Seedboxes were built as solutions to maintain the challenging high sharing ratio, requested by private trackers. Private trackers (closed torrenting communities) demand a high sharing ratio, to its members. You sometimes have to share more than what you download.
While trying to share and download many torrents simultaneously, you would leave the seedbox on 24×7 with a client such as ruTorrent. The seedbox will do the hard work, and download torrents at high speeds.
What is common in a seedbox?
- High processing servers. Seedboxes usually are high processing servers.
- Large volume and storage. Seedboxes need to store large quantities of torrents for seeding. So you’ll need a server capable of storing a lot of data— we are talking TBs.
- Fast bandwidth. Seedboxes are usually deployed in high-speed data centers, where bandwidth can reach from 1Gbps to 10Gbps.
- Additional apps. Since a Seedbox is a “server,” you’ll run apps such as OpenVPN, Streaming server Plex, remote desktop, FTP, automation tools, etc.
And the best part? With a VPS Seedbox provider such as Rapidseedbox, you can create your own VPN service.
Seedboxes can be either offered as dedicated resources or shared instances. With a dedicated resources seedbox, you’ll be assigned your dedicated IP and other system resources. Shared instances tend to be slower, but also a lot cheaper.
4. Seedbox for Torrenting?
Seedboxes are designed for torrenting. If you are creating your own, you’ll need to deploy your server on-premises or via a cloud-based service, and you’ll need to install everything. Having your own seedbox will give you flexibility and control, but you’ll also expend resources on maintenance, utilities, and paying for a virtual server (if you are hiring a cloud instance).
Seedbox services, on the other hand, provide everything you need. From a variety of torrent clients, torrent automation tools, VPN server/client, streaming services, sync and FTP sharing tools, and more.
Seedboxes are fully independent servers tailored for torrenting. So you could leave a seedbox 24×7 sharing/downloading, and it wouldn’t affect your local resources (bandwidth, data plan, CPU, memory, and even storage).
VPNs vs Seedbox: Final Words
VPNs and Seedboxes are completely different animals.
They work differently and were designed for different purposes.
VPNs were made to extend private networks virtually to remote places via public networks, like the Internet. To provide data privacy over these public networks, they use encryption. Your ISP will not be able to identify any port number, destination website, application, etc. Your traffic is fully encrypted.
Yes, you could use a VPN for torrenting, but remember to first check-in with them.
Seedboxes, on the other hand, are servers made for serious torrenters. You connect via secured methods and download torrents to your seedbox, your local resources are only used for remote connection and torrent management (so, you are literally out of privacy risks). The heavy torrenting burden is performed by the high-performance VPS seedbox.