A seedbox is a remote server hosted in a high-bandwidth data center used for the safe uploading and downloading of digital files. These bandwidths range from 100Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s. After the seedbox has acquired a file from a P2P network, persons with access to the seedbox can download the file to their personal computers anonymously.
Seedboxes generally make use of the BitTorrent protocol for uploading and downloading files, although they have also been used on the eDonkey2000 network. Seedboxes are usually connected to a high-speed network, often with a throughput of 100 Mbit/s or even 1 Gbit/s. Some providers are testing and offering 10 Gbit/s shared servers, while others are developing other systems that will allow users to scale their needs on the fly. Files are downloaded from the torrent site and its users, and from there they can be downloaded at high speeds to a user's personal computer via the HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or rsync protocols. This allows for anonymity and, usually, removes the need to worry about share ratio. Seedboxes can run on most major operating systems (Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X). More expensive seedboxes may provide VNC connection, or remote desktop protocol on some Windows-based seedboxes, allowing many popular clients to be run remotely. Other seedboxes are special-purpose and run a variety of torrent-specific software including web interfaces of popular clients like Transmission, rTorrent, Deluge, and μTorrent, as well as the TorrentFlux web interface clients. Mobile interface support is also offered by clients such as Transmission.
Seedboxes on high-speed networks are typically able to download large files within minutes, provided that the swarm can actually handle such a high upload bandwidth. Seedboxes generally have download and upload speeds of 100 Mbit/s. This means that a 1 GB file can finish downloading in under two minutes. That same 1 GB file can be uploaded to other users in the same amount of time, creating a 1:1 upload:download ratio for that individual file. Seedboxes' ability to transfer files so quickly makes them very attractive to the P2P and BitTorrent communities. Because of the mentioned high speeds, seedboxes tend to be popular when using private torrent trackers, where maintaining an upload/download ratio above 1 can be very important.