BitTorrent Seedbox VPNs – The How to Guide
I wanted to start this blog by explaining how to download BitTorrent files safety and invisibly. This is not a guide to download illegal files, but simply a way to get files on the internet without others snooping into your business. First let me explain what BitTorrent is at a non geek level. If you remember “peer to peer” services such as Kazaa, Napster, etc these were essentially hosted sites that allowed people to share files directly with one another. BitTorrent is a little different technology where essentially many people share different encrypted portions of the file with you at the same time. From your stand-point it is simply downloading a file; any type of file such as video, audio, application, etc as your torrent client software does all the work.
Where do I get torrent files…
There are many BitTorrent file sites. A simple google search typing in what you are looking for and adding the term “bittorrent” or “torrent” behind it will give you some examples. Some sites are public where anyone can access and others are private where you have to get a personal invite from someone in the community. Typically private sites have rules such as you have to upload the same amount as you download. This ensures faster speeds for the overall site. If you can get on a private do it. Ask the geek in your life for an invite. As you download files they can been seen by someone with access to your line or someone that is sharing a “small” piece of the overall file in the transfer. Imagine fishing… If I put some bait on a hook and a fish grabs it then I can catch them.
What do we do? Seedbox!
What we want to do is download BitTorrent files without downloading them across our home line. This is where the concept of a “seedbox” comes in. Essentially as seedbox is a computer somewhere in the world that you rent space on monthly. You can download your torrent files directly to that computer similar to cloud storage. The files go directly to that computer where they can be accessed by you and also re-shared without you ever passing the actual torrent file across your home line. I like pictures so let put one in here and then do some steps to get this setup.
Click for full size
Getting it all set up. Step 1: Subscribe to a Seedbox
Let’s start by subscribing to a seedbox. Yes they have a monthly fee, but the one I found works best is ultraseedbox. For around $10 a month you get 400 gig of space and a vpn connection to your box. Getting both is killer as most VPN services will run you $10 a month alone. You can upload or share back 2TB of data that month. You won’t get near that. Here is a link for more information UltraSeedbox. You will get connection information within a few min of signing up. You are mostly concerned about the control panel and FTP settings in the email.
Step: 2 Get an FTP Client
Download an FTP client. Google “Free FTP client” and pick one or use FileZilla. I will use FileZilla for this guide, but they are all very similar. Once downloaded and installed open it up and press the new connection button in the top left hand corner. This will open up the site manager.
- Click new site and name it something you will remember
- Select “SFTP” so you get a secure connection and Port 22
- Put in the host name and port from the FTP connection details email you got from ultraseedbox
- Change the logon type to normal
- Put in your username and password (notice it maybe different that your account password you used to set up so make sure it is exactly what they sent you)
- Hit Connect
Once connected you will see some folders. The ones in the right pane are direct access to your seedbox and the ones on the left are where you want to download on your local pc. Take a second for a quick celebration as you are at the half way point.
Step 3: Setup the VPN
The VPN will secure your connection between the computers, but it you use “SFTP” above your connection is already encrypted. If you use standard FTP then you should make sure your VPN is running when transferring files. For the VPN. The “files” folder in the right pane or on your seedbox is where all of your torrent files will be located, but for now copy the folder labeled openvpn to your machine. This folder contains the connection details to get the VPN secure connection setup between you and your seedbox. If there is not an openvpn folder send a ticket to Ultra via logging into the client area on their site and they will set it up for you. Once you have that folder on your local machine download the free openvpn client. Download and install the one for your operating system.
- Go to the files inside of the openvpn folder you FTP’ed earlier on your local machine and copy them to the C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config location
- Double click on “OpenVPN GUI” icon on your desktop and you will notice new icon in tray (near date, network icons in bottom right corner) You may have to right click and open as administrator.
- Right click on “OpenVPN GUI” tray icon and choose connect.
- When you get connection with OpenVPN (it will turn green and say connected) test your tunnel by visiting http://whatismyipaddress.com/
- You will know you are good if the location is no where near your current location
You are now invisible to the outside world as you are securely connected through your seedbox via vpn. You can simply connect or disconnect by right clicking selecting that option. Make sure you are green when using FTP to get files form your seedbox.
Step 4: Downloading a BitTorrent file to your seedbox
Let’s download a copy of Ubuntu to test out the system. Again if you google any file and put ” torrent” without the quotes after it you will typically get a direct link to that file in torrent form. So go to the alternative downloads on Ubuntu site here. Scroll down the bittorrent section and click on of them. It will download the torrent information to your download folder on your local machine. It is small as it is only the connection information needed to get the torrent file, not the file itself. Now let’s add that torrent file to your seedbox so it will connect up and download the actual file via the bittorrent protocol.
Go to your control panel at ultraseedbox that was provided in the access email they sent you. Click that link and hit proceed on your broswer if you get a security issue notification. Remember you username and password could be different than your client account so ensure it is correct from the email. Once logged in you will see how much of your 2TB monthly allotment you have uploaded to this point along with some tabs along the top. The rutorrent tab is your BitTorrent client on your seedbox. Click that one and see the web interface.
Now let’s add the torrent so it will download the file. Click the earth picture in the top left hand corner. Hit browse and find the Ubuntu torrent file on your pc that you downloaded, then click add file.
You will see the Ubuntu file added and downloaded. You should see unbelievable speed. On most of my torrents I will see seed of 75MB/s, yes MegaBytes.
So know the file is on your seedbox doing the following…
- Available for you to access and download to your local machine via secure FTP
- It is sharing with other users improving your upload ratio (for torrent sites that require it) this counts against your 2TB upload per month which again I would not worry about going over
- It is taking up some of your 400 gigabytes available on your seedbox (you can delete the file at any time to make more room)
Step 5: Getting the file to your home pc
So now you just need to open your FTP client and connect to the ultraseedbox as we did above. In the “files” folder you will see the Ubuntu file. Drag it to whatever folder on your local pc you wish that is in the left pane. The transfer will start. Make sure openvpn is connected and green in the bottom right hand corner of your pc. It should use a majority of your Mbit home bandwidth. For reference, I usually get around the 100Mbit speed I pay for with my provider which is around 10-12 MB/s. If it is slower open a ticket with Ultra and they will tweak it for you. Once complete you now have Ubuntu on your local pc while it is still sharing with others back on your seedbox. Your finished! You will only need to repeat steps 4 and 5 from now on to get whatever BitTorrent files you wish.
Bonus Step 6: Connecting your phone to your seedbox so you can download files while on the go
I will do this guide for android, but it should work on iOS the same.
- Go to Settings -> Security on your phone
- Check the box to allow “Unknown Sources”
- Go to transdroid.org on your phone and download the app (.apk file)
- Click and install it
Now we need to configure the transdroid app to connect to your seedbox.
- Open transdroid on your phone and go into settings
- Click Add New Server
- Name it whatever you want
- Server type is rTorrent
- Host name is the same as your control panel username.host.ultraseedbox.com
- So username and host above will be whatever was in your connection email
- Enter username and password from what the connection email sent you
- Click Advanced Settings
- Port 443
- Important: Click SCGI mount point and enter “/rutorrent/plugins/httprpc/action.php” without the quotes
- Check “Use SSL” and “Accept all SSL certificates”
Back out and you should see it connect and show you any torrents on your seedbox
Sweetness! Now you can do step 4 from your phone. Just download the torrent file on your phone. It will open in Transdroid and automatically download the actual file on your seedbox. The file will be waiting for you to FTP when you get home.
I hope this blog was helpful for you. If so please take a second and subscribe, share, or promote my site on your forum boards. You can also pick up super high quality arcade parts here if you are building a Mame machine.