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I have a webhost that lets me have ftp accounts for large file transfers. I can use vuze in OS X to create a torrent fine...but I don't know how (or with the more research I do if it's possible) to tell the torrent to download those files from the ftp.

Should I not use an FTP? I want it to be secure so people can't break into my webhost account but I don't want the torrent to be passworded yea?

Where do I start?

ok, so its clear I had no idea what I was talking about.

So how do I setup a bittorrent client to seed on my webhost? my userCP doesn't have anything about setting bittorrent and the live chat guy I talked to didn't know either. There's all these PHP and SQL options... does any of that work?

Is there any way to do this without having to host the files on one of my computers in my house?

[side note] - this got moved to from - now I have a different account/name. Can I migrate or combine the two?

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migrated from Aug 4 '11 at 14:56

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Huh? What do you think BitTorrent has to do with FTP? – SLaks Aug 4 '11 at 14:20
You would have to install a torrent client on your server. – cularis Aug 4 '11 at 14:22
Oooh! ooh! I know! Create a torrent for a text file that has a link to your ftp webhost! ;) – chandsie Aug 4 '11 at 15:00
You need to register a SuperUser account with the same Gmail OpenID as your SO account. – SLaks Aug 4 '11 at 16:02
thanks for the tip SLaks I think they're joined now...sort of. so since I have this ftp/torrent all wrong where do I host the files if I don't want to host them in my house? Thank you guys for all the help and clarification, I had no idea how ignorant I was on this =/ – bobsbarricades Aug 4 '11 at 17:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Many BitTorrent clients support adding "web seed" URLs, which allow the initial downloading to be done from a http:// address (until enough peers have the complete file).

You say "my webhost", so you could just publish your file over HTTP – with a .torrent file pointing to it, if you want. However, web seeds are limited to HTTP only – certainly not password-protected FTP.

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ok, so then when I setup my .torrent in azure I can just point it to the url of the file? But then isn't that the same as just...well a direct download? – bobsbarricades Aug 6 '11 at 13:36
@bobsbarricades: It is the same in the beginning. But when enough peers have 100% of the file, further downloads will instead transfer data from those peers -- becoming a standard BitTorrent download. – grawity Aug 6 '11 at 14:21
@bobsbarricades: FYI, you just answered your initial question too. You asked "Can I create a .torrent file that will download files from an webhost ftp?", and the answer is "yes, you can" -- but as you noticed yourself, it would (initially) be the same as a direct download and would not have any of the advantages of BitTorrent protocol. With "web seeds", BitTorrent will start working, but only after the file is downloaded by enough users. – grawity Aug 6 '11 at 14:33
So I've uploaded the .zip I want to share, but vuze will only make a .torrent using a local file on my HDD. Is there a program that will look to the URL I have online? it's a basic clickable html link. – bobsbarricades Aug 6 '11 at 21:49
@bobsbarricades: µTorrent can create such .torrents ... but what do you mean by "a basic clickable html link"? – grawity Aug 6 '11 at 23:41

If you're thinking that using a .torrent will speed up the file transfer, you are incorrect.

Even if you can download a torrent file from your host, you will not get any better speed than you would with FTP.

Torrent's great feature is that you can download small parts of a file from many different hosts. Each file doesn't have to download very quickly to add up to decently fast transfer speeds on your end. A lot of 10kbps and 20kbps chucks add up to pretty fast speeds for you.

But with a single host you're limited to the upload speed of that single host.

So even if it is a technical possibility, you'll gain nothing by downloading a file this way.


Oh, and most hosts don't like torrents. They tend to use a lot of CPU and it may be difficult to convince them you aren't hosting illicit files.

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it's not really about that. It's just that people often search through torrent sites for free music. I want to spread my music around and hoepfully a dozen or so people will grab it and give it a listen. Maybe even scrobble it on ya know? I realize it's superfluous – bobsbarricades Aug 7 '11 at 0:07
If it's your own music, there are no legal issues. However, the problem still stands that most web hosts do not like torrent files on their servers, regardless of the legality or illegality of the files. You'll want to make sure there are no penalties for hosting torrents before loading them on your server. I assume you know you can host torrents from your own machine? You'll want to secure your system pretty well before doing so, but hosting a torrent yourself is a feature included in most torrent clients. – music2myear Aug 8 '11 at 14:06

Bittorrent has nothing to do with FTP. What you are trying to do does not make sense. If you have FTP acces, then you just upload and download the files using FTP.

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Torrents and ftp are separate things.

If you want to transfer a file by either you need to be running a program on both client and server that understands the same protocol ie either BitTorrent or FTP.

For BitTorrent you create the .torrent file in Vize as you suggest but the actual file to be transferred must be on a server running a bittorent program e.g. Vuze which can sendthe data to other clients.

If you want to ftp the data set up the server as you have done and then give the address of the ftp server and path to the file to the people who download it e.g. ftp://host/path/to/file . the ftp server can be setup so that it cannot be written to and so people can't brak into the account.

Also as you say webhost then you could also allow users to get the file via http

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I don't think this is possible, but I might be wrong. The way it works in my belief is you can only use torrents using torrent-trackers, who have their own protocol.

You might be able to set up a torrent tracker on your website but I dont think you can 'link' a torrent to a ftp server

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Public trackers, as well as trackerless BitTorrent, have been around for quite a while. See DHT, for example. – grawity Aug 4 '11 at 15:22

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