Create Your Own Seedbox For Free

You don't need to pay for seedboxes, you can create your own

I get a lot of traffic from Google, from people searching for free seedboxes from commercial providers. While they do exist, they’re like unicorns, they’re giveaways for charity fundraisers or a cynical ploy to get people on their newsletters. Pulsed Media offer free seedboxes, but you have to join their wait list which can go on for months, if or when you do eventually get selected for a free seedbox you’ll find it quite limited. Low storage, low bandwidth. Hardly better than running qbittorrent on your own computer.

Which leads me on nice to my main point. Why not build your own home seedbox with 8GB hard drive?

In this article I will explain how to go about creating your own seedbox by adapting a low powered home server to become a seedbox. This way you can have your own seedbox  running at home that costs you nothing on top of your internet connection you already pay for.

What you’ll need:

  • A laptop or a Network Attached Device (NAS) that can installed third party OS, must meet system requirements here.
  • USB flash drive to install the OS onto (freeNAS requires 16GB or 32GB flash drive to run the OS from), it cannot be a partition on hard drive and running it off a hard drive is a waste of resources.
  • A DVD-RW drive to create the boot disk (and a ROM drive to run the install disk onto the machine). Or you can try creating a bootable install USB.
  • Large storage drive connected to laptop or NAS to store all your torrents.
  • A VPN to anonymise your seedbox, so you don't receive takedown requests for your ISP.

How to install FreeNAS

Installation is relatively straightforward. I won’t write down how to do it step by step, and it’s probably best to follow the video tutorial below. You only need to follow the tutorial up til 5m56s, the drive setup should be done according to the Transmission video below.

How to Install Transmission (torrent client)

Once you have freeNAS up and running you can proceed to installing the Transmission client.

Try to follow the video as best you can, I’ve had to go back and check all the settings to ensure they’re correct. Ususally the problem lies with inadequate permission which prevents Transmission from working correctly or the user not being able to access torrents.

If you want to use VPN with the Transmission, it’s a whole different process and you will be required to install Transmission on an OS through VM so the entire VM instance has VPN.

Apple or Windows? Or Both?

The video talks you through how to set up Apple share for Apple systems, so you can access the torrent files through your Apple machine. If you are a Windows user you will need to set up Windows SMB, which is very similar to the AEP shares.

Living with a home built seedbox

For me, nothings cooler than having your own seedbox at home working away 24/7 seeding torrents. Although it’s not as fast as a dedicated seedbox, it allowed me to seed torrents that I am passionate about which would otherwise drop off torrents as the seeders disappear.

I love tinkering with my little seedbox, installing apps and customising it. I like the ability to expand my storage by purchasing more hard drives and tweaking the performance by installing RAM, SSDs etc.

Though, care should be taken to manage your free seedbox. The box is going to be running 24/7 – ensure the setup your have is secure and can run safely. You can make a seedbox out of a old damaged laptop – but it was never designed to be run 24/7 and can overheat/cause fires. There are cheap dedicated machines designed to run 24/7 like the HP proliant microserver. The Gen8 are expensive, but there are used Gen7 machines sold for $75 in ebay which perform perfectly fine on FreeNAS.

The other issue is data security. You should ensure that any data you have on your freenas is encrypted. Any public facing services should be isolated. E.g. Transmission should be installed in its own jail so any hack attemps are isolated to your transmission data only.

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