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Hurricane Electric Offers Bit Torrent Service 265

heypete writes "Hurricane Electric is now offering BitTorrent tracker/seeder services on behalf of paying customers. One need only upload the file desired to a specified directory by FTP, and their system will automatically generate a torrent file, add it to a tracker for that customer, and act as a "seed" to ensure that the file is available to downloaders. This could prove to be extremely useful for distributors of large files (such as Linux distributions), as bandwidth for the tracker and seeding services does not count against the bandwidth quota for the account."
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Hurricane Electric Offers Bit Torrent Service

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  • by odano ( 735445 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:02PM (#11463795)
    When somebody uploads illegal content?
    • Cancel thier account and charge a disconnect fee I suspect.
    • by chris_mahan ( 256577 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:04PM (#11463811) Homepage
      Paying customers. So, name, address, phone number, credit card info. They would be stupid to upload illegal stuff.
      • Not stupid, naive. It almost seems too much like a trap. Of course this is great for those trying to distribute huge things quickly, maybe lessening the load of a slashdotting, but past that..
        • by strider44 ( 650833 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:20PM (#11463930)
          why would it be a trap? You do know that there are files other than warez and tv shows that you want to distribute using bit torrent don't you?
          • sure, but most of anything we have to share these days is so laden in copyright, that it would be virtually impossible to be sure if you could *legally* distribute it. Things like pictures you've taken yourself (in RAW format, and a WHOLE lot of them..), or linux distros, or.. welp, im out of ideas.
            • sites like [] use bittorrent to distribute legal files. Legal torrents [] is a site like suprnova that doesn't tolerate illegal content. A mod team that I'm in in fact uses bit torrent to distribute, and a service like this would be well appreciated. By the way, a file doesn't have to be overly large to justify using bit torrent. I've downloaded *legal* files that are only a few megabytes big. (Firefox comes to my mind quite quickly)

              But yes, there are plenty of legal files.
              • A file doesn't need to be overly large, but that was what BT was designed for. It erases many of the bottlenecks that surround typical one-on-one p2p sending and also takes the load off of servers, which is why it is ideal (and, again, designed for) large files. Not that there is anything wrong with trading small files, but using a server would typically do fine with smaller files, such as--from your example--firefox. Low size and high traffic can also be a bit of a killer, though.
                • no it wasn't designed for large files. It was designed purely to reduce server load, be it a large quantity of small files or a quantity of large files. In my example using the traditional server output, the Firefox servers crashed, and the only way to get it for a few hours was through bit torrent, so obviously servers can crash from only serving small files.

                  Bit torrent was designed only to reduce server load, nothing else.
                  • it was for *large amounts of data*

                    large being bigger than the .torrents themselfs, of course.

                    several mb is big anyways, but with ff the torrent acted likely as a secondary server of sorts.. that only very few of the total people hammering the firefox's site would actually use.

                    anyways.. service like this could be great for sharing *anything* between a group of(trusted) friends(just pgp whatever you're wishing to share..).
      • yeah only when the RIAA goes after the person that uploaded the torrent they will also go after the company because they are hosting the torrent and that is just as illegal as sharing the file. So the company is begging for some dumb user to get sued and drag them with him/her. Where the heck is the CEO's brain at?
    • One trick is to tell them stories that don't go anywhere, like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time...
      - Abe Simpson
    • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:58PM (#11464141)
      Same as they do when anyone puts up illegal content on a website.

      The interesting point is that this could create a shining example of "good" P2P, for when they try to legislate all P2P out of existence as inherently evil.

    • Why are there so many mis-informed people on the internet that think P2P == a breeding ground for copyright infringement or illegal files? Bittorrent survives (currently) on a CENTRAL located server to act as a tracker. These people are just adding a central located seed to the mix to guarantee file availability (most tracker sites only keep a tracker and no seed).

      What are they going to do with someone uploads illegal files? By golly, they will do the same thing as if someone uploaded an illegal file to t
  • Legit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by StevenHenderson ( 806391 ) <stevehenderson@gma i l .com> on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:04PM (#11463810)
    This could prove to be extremely useful for distributors of large files (such as Linux distributions), as bandwidth for the tracker and seeding services does not count against the bandwidth quota for the account.

    You've got to love that everytime a new p2p program/service comes out, it is always explained as having legitimate uses.

    Everyone know that, sure, BT is great to share Linux distros, but in actuality, it will be used to share mp3s, divx rips, and pr0n.

    • Re:Legit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:06PM (#11463831)
      It would be a great way to distribute any commonly accessed data if set up properly, and with an ISP/Hosting provider with an assload of bandwitdh, BT could be set up as a kind of web-mirroring system, like Coral, only with BT as a back end.

      Such a system would be fast, and a huge advantage to consumers. Maybe google should check on it ;)
      • Someone suggests bittorrent as some "magic" solution for web mirroring every time it's mentioned but it just doesn't sound feasible to me.

        Bittorrent is good at distributing large files. For small files (web pages etc) the resources used in running a tracker that coordinates people getting files from each other isn't going to be significantly less than simply serving up the content in the first place. Peers have to be talking to each other a fair bit for the effort of the tracker introducing them and coordi
    • Re:Legit (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hunterx11 ( 778171 )
      The majority of its uses may be illegitimate, but I doubt such users would take advantage of such an aboveground service as this.
    • While some may say that not all the things I download with BT are on the good side of legal... it has been very useful to download legit stuff. I've downloaded several Linux distros much faster than I would have been able to do from a regular server, also has been good for downloading other free programs and small time videos that want to be distributed to as many people as possible.

      And if you're gunna use a service for non-legit stuff, why wouldn't you use exeem lite or something where you don't give a c
    • You argument may be valid for Kazaa and friends, but BitTorrent is used legally quite often. It provides a unique feature - bandwidth sharing - while classic P2P mostly helps you hide from accountability because your machine is only visible by a few peers.

      In addition, BT is inconvinient for illegal use, because URL of the tracker is exposed and you know exactly who shared the file and how to take it down.
    • Re:Legit (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ajmuller ( 88594 ) *
      pornography isn't illegal.
      So why did you lump it in with those other illegal things?
      Do i sense some serious sexual repression on your part, yes I do.
    • True but thats because of supply and demand. Every self-proclaimed Linux supporter hosts a Linux distro somehow, sometime, somway in the day/week/month because its easy and the files are generally small (unlike warezed PC games which have been breaking the 5000 megs mark recently).

      Compared to mp3s, Divx rips or pr0n, which are generally transferred uncompressed (why do people host songs individually?) come in varying qualities, files names or different hosts making it impossible to tell if a file is a dupl

    • I'm curious what you really mean by "in actuality"--isn't BitTorrent actually used to distribute copies of all sorts of data, illicitly and legally? Or are you focusing on the kind of data (MP3s, DiVX movie files, and pornographic movies in a encoded with a variety of codecs) and trying to get us to read something into that? Maybe I have a license to share that MP3 file (like the Creative Commons-licensed song files first distributed in Wired magazine late last year); maybe that DiVX file is a home movie
      • You raise some excellent points, but I fear that you are being overly idealistic. You simply state the inteded legal uses of this technology. Isn't this the same argument for Kazaa? I mean, I love my p2p just as much as the next person, but let's not place a smoke screen over our actual intentions to exploit "Fair Use" as much as possible.

        Granted, I generalize in a cynical-ish way, but just because Joe Guitar wants to use BT to distribute demos, doesn't mean anyone is going to look for that instead of

        • It's not overly idealistic, it's part of the logic by which VCRs were made legal in the USA. In Universal v Sony, the concept of substantial non-infringing uses was key to why Sony's VCR (the Betamax) was allowed to be distributed. The machines could be used to make illicit copies but they could also be used for lawful purposes. The distributor of the tool used to infringe copyright cannot be held liable for users' copyright violations so long as the tool has substantial non-infringing uses. The US Supr
    • Not to toot my own horn (ok maybe just a little) but I've been doing this with my File Rush project for well over a year now. We've got a good number of high bandwidth seeds, have worked the kinks out of keeping a stable site and tracker going, and just by looking at our user submitted section, one can see that many people have taken advantage of the free seeding and tracking of their torrents. []
    • How about this, from as I type this: Current bandwidth utilization 146.96 Mbit/s

      There are tons of legitimate sites with that level of traffic. The ibiblio archives come to mind, along with much stuff from Don't pretend that there's not overwhelming legitimate usages for BT. That may be true for Napster, but I think you have a hard case to prove, if you're looking at BT.
    • Everyone know that, sure, BT is great to share Linux distros, but in actuality, it will be used to share mp3s, divx rips, and pr0n.

      Just as there are a few people using the internet for legitimate purposes when the vast majority of the bandwidth is to... quote: "share mp3s, divx rips, and pr0n."

      Should we ban the internet instead?
    • You've got to love that every time a new p2p program/service comes out, it is always explained as having legitimate uses.

      The reason for that is because there ARE lots of non-illegal uses for P2P but everyone mostly focuses on the illegal ones. In case you haven't noticed, there are organizations attempting to rid the world of P2P because they claim the technology is used solely for illegal activities. Oddly enough, they seem to ignore the fact that a fair portion of other internet technologies (browse

  • What should I do? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by krazykong ( 568196 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:05PM (#11463821) Homepage
    I use Hurricane Electric as my web host. What kind of torrent do you think I should host? Maybe a linux distro, or some other open source project? I want to use my new torrent privleges to bennifit mankind somehow, any suggestions?
  • COOL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cyberfunk2 ( 656339 )
    Now that is REALLY cool. That's the sort of services I wish MY provider (Comcast) would provide.

    Nobody really uses these internet portal sites with all that streaming video (read: comcast ads) stuff they show on TV.

    This is the kind of helpful feature people want ! Give us blogs, bittorrent trackers, etc !
  • by fm6 ( 162816 )
    Second time HE has come up on Slashdot today []. Scary.
  • by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:09PM (#11463854)
    Mandrakelinux []. I paid for and got access to their premium content, and just got through downloading nearly 12 GB of Linux distributions and premium software from them through BitTorrent. Unfortunately, it took about five days (and I have broadband). I expect a huge chunk of my downloads came directly from their seed(s) and there weren't enough, considering my download:upload ratio for the entire transfer was about 3:1.

    Maybe if they had more seeds, scattered around the globe, it would have worked better. As it is, I feel cheated; if I'm going to subscribe to their service for a monthly fee, it would be nice if they would use some of that fee to give me some good bandwidth to download their product. Hell, I'd seed (limited to 1/2 my upstream bandwidth) for them if they gave me a discount or a free upgrade in subscription level.
    • Why would you download 12GB of Linux distro? I can't believe you're going to use it all. I have stacks of Mandrake CDRs going back over the years, all of them used just once (initial install), and none of them used 100% (packages I don't need, multiple packages that do the same thing, etc).

      Nearly 4.5 years ago I downloaded the boot floppies for Debian Sarge 2.2. The only Linux distro image I've downloaded since is the Debian Woody 3.0 net install CD (two versions: 10MB and 180MB) and Knoppix (I wanted t
      • Well, there are the mandrakemove isos which deserve the download and there is also the 64 bit version of the distro.
        And if one want to be able to install the distro on other people machines, since they don't have all broadband, you better arrive with the whole cds sets.
      • I said "distros", plural. I got the x86 ver 10.1 DVD image, the x64 ver 10.1, and the "Power Pack" 10.1 which includes some premium software and nice little extras like the nVidia drivers. Sure, I'm not going to use it all. But I am going to run both installs -- one of them on three different machines -- and use things out of the power pack on multple machines as well. It's nice to be able to just burn three DVDs and have it all conveniently there.
    • You could have asked for an http link to it. Granted, it used to take quite some times too to obtain it, but the new webmaster of the club seems quite responsive.
      The other problem is that not enough people go on becoming seeds after their download is finished. One of the moderator of the club became a seeder for one of the isos, and he was the only one besides the mdk seed.
    • is caused by not having ports 6969 and 6881-6999 forwarded by your router, and open on your firewall.

      If you don't have those ports open/forwarded, you're going to see really slow downloads. As long as you have those open, it will take no time to download. I am still a silver club member at mandrake, and I consistently get 400k/s downloads on the torrent downloads. The downloads of the 4 gig PowerPack dvd takes no time at all.

      I also seed as much as I download on those torrents. Many others do as well. U

  • One of the things that I've been wondering about for a while would be the effectiveness of something like this on the other end. That is, what if my ISP provided a BT proxy that, in the case of multiple clients getting the same file off BT, would only require it to be DLed once to the local network. I guess it'd do something like what, from my understanding, Akamai servers do.
  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:11PM (#11463872) Homepage Journal
    Looks like not only do they have multiple Spamhaus SBL listings [] including a few repeat offenders, they're under a SPEWS Level 2 (monitor, don't block) [] advisory.
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:29PM (#11463995) Homepage Journal
      I worked at HE for about 7 months. We didn't exactly part on friendly terms, but I have to say that their reputation as a Spam hoster is quite undeserved. I worked in tech support, and a big part of my job was making sure that complaints about spammers got dealt with. Management had its flaws, but they did take the spam problem very seriously.

      Their big problem is they don't do a very good job of communicating their policies to other network companies and to spam blacklist maintainers. The communication effort is badly coordinated, and there's a certain short-sighted self-righteousness by key people, who hate the thought of sucking up to blacklist maintainers.

      The sad thing is that sanctions against HE mostly hurt their email customers. It doesn't hurt HE, which seems to have all the business it can handle. And it certainly doesn't hurt the spammers, against whom HE is already doing all they can -- and who just move on to another provider when they do get busted.

    • couldnt agree more. Spammer Electric got firewalled on my mail server for massive non stop pink bullshit.
    • Maybe if SPEWS wasn't such a useless pile of cow shit, that would be important...

      I've heard many good things about HE, and know for a fact that they boot spammers if they catch them in time.
      having worked for spammers in the past, I know that they move fast.. :(
  • I've tried several mac clients and have found that Azureus by far works the best of the ones I've tried including the BitTorrent one. This seems mainly due to Azureus allowing me to set an upload limit - without that my home 802.11b network seems to get completely saturated with upload, leaving no room for download.

    Even after playing around with the specific limit set, the best download speeds I see perhaps rival the best regular download speeds I've seen from a direct ftp or http server. More typically I
    • Dude! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "More typically I see what I'm seeing now, trying to download a copy of RedHat Fedora - ... at 28 to 40 kB/ps. Am I suppose to be excited by this?"

      Dude, if you are getting 28 to 40 kilobytes
      per picosecond, you damn well ought to be

      Sheesh, some people are never satisfied.
    • by Capt'n Hector ( 650760 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:51PM (#11464115)
      First, and I'm not sure about this, but I think Azureus trys to keep your ratio sane. That way, if you limit your UL to 1 kB/s, you can't download at 300 kB/s. After all, that's not very fair. Second, we're talking in kiloBYTES. I don't know of any dileup modem that can get 40 kB/s. Lastly, Unless you have a wicked net connection, I also don't think your wireless network is the bottleneck. You probably have an asynchronous connection, which means your ISP is giving you a shitty UP and fast DOWN. This configuration isn't optimal for BitTorrent, but it still should work. Your network should only slow down if its saturated, and even if you have "pathetic speeds", you may have already reached that point. I can only get about 25 kB/s of upload out of my pipe, and beyond that things start choking. Down AND up. This is on Comcast Cable, fyi.
      • Doh! Yep, dumb mistake. kB vs. kb. OK, I see that that is much better than dialup. I still, though, often (not always) see better speeds with regular downloads than I do with torrents, at least so far, and definitely downloading via HTTP/FTP does not effect the network as much (it does slow it down, just not as much.) Oh, and yes I believe my Verizon DSL connection is asynchronous, so perhaps that is the issue, at least with resulting download speeds.
    • Okay... I'll bite. I love torrents because they work great. If something is popular, then the ftp site will be hammered. ( a la the slashdot effect) This usually happens, for example, when a linux distro has a new release. For the first few days, the servers are completely swamped, and you can usually only get a few KB/s at best, if you can get in at all. Sure, when you are downloading from an idle server with a better internet connection than you, there is no reason to think anything else will be fa
    • Straight FTP is flat-out faster than BitTorrent if the server operators can afford the bandwidth. The issue is that they just plain can't afford the bandwidth. BitTorrent results in their bandwidth usage during peak times reducing to about a tenth what it would be, which prevents them from crashing and gives you a slight slowdown in slow times for a huge speed increase during peak times.
    • Set your NAT correctly, then. BitTorrent is designed to speed the downloads of those who have been sharing their uploading capacity. However, those behind a NAT firewall will have difficulty uploading because, well, the inbound connection initiated by the remote system cannot find your NAT'ed system. Hence, you should forward the ports required for BitTorrent. Setting the upload limit will prevent throttling of your downloads (because we have to handshake, basically, for each packet we get). And also set yo
    • I downloaded a gentoo universal livecd iso (600+ mb) at nearly 400k/s using BitTornado in winxp.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      More typically I see what I'm seeing now, trying to download a copy of RedHat Fedora - something on par with a fast dial-up connection at 28 to 40 kB/ps. Am I suppose to be excited by this?

      Other replies have flamed you for this, but I'll try to explain nicely.

      Dial-up connections are typically measured in kilobits per second (kb/s). A v.92 dial-up modem has a theoretical maximum speed of about 56 kb/s, but typically its connection speeds are in the 40s.

      According to Azureus's screenshots page [], Azureus t

      • While your right; with a proper setup you should get much better than that when downloading via bittorrent.

        I've had transfer rates of over 350KBytes per second.
        I do better than that when downloading from a company such as Microsoft, but not everybody can afford the bandwidth they pay for.

        The biggest problem with Bittorrent is having a machine behind a NAT that other clients can't connect with.
    • You know you can set your upload limit with the "official" client, too? Just drop down the toolbar in the main window (click the lozenge on the right end of the title bar).
    • It can be faster. If all internet connections allowed the same bandwith for upload as they do download.

      The intial seeds might be on T3's or DSC3s or whatever, but most of the peers are not. If the seeds have maxed out thier connections, you then have to get the file from peers. Most peers probably will not have anywhere near the same bandwidith as the initial seeds do. To get the same bandwidth from the peers as you do a seed, you have to connect to multiple peers, while at the same time, many other peers
    • Here's the two advantages as i see it. Most important, it allows users to serve large popular files without buying a lot of bandwidth. You're downloading and not serving, so that's not what's important to you. As a downloader myself, I see the critical benefit here being reliability of large downloads compared to other p2p software. If you're downloading a one gig file, it's still going to take several hours, but if hundreds of other people are downloading it, it's likely actually the file you want and
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:34PM (#11464026) Homepage Journal
    I would like to use these things for uploading digital pictures I take(what can I say, I'm a resolution whore), but I would rather the whole world not see my friend wearing a wedding dress with a giant Bart Simpson mask on.
    It would be neat if you could put a user name/password on the torrents. Not incredibly secure, but still better than nothing.
    • by Night Goat ( 18437 ) on Monday January 24, 2005 @11:25PM (#11464368) Homepage Journal
      I would like to use these things for uploading digital pictures I take(what can I say, I'm a resolution whore), but I would rather the whole world not see my friend wearing a wedding dress with a giant Bart Simpson mask on.
      It would be neat if you could put a user name/password on the torrents. Not incredibly secure, but still better than nothing.

      Torrents work best if a lot of people are downloading/uploading. If you've got a picture that is only meant for a few people, it would make more sense to just upload the picture to the server rather than use Bit Torrent. That's probably why there isn't any access control. It wouldn't be any use to limit people when you want as many seeders as you can get.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Monday January 24, 2005 @10:46PM (#11464086) Homepage Journal
    I've tried several hosts over the last few years, and have stuck with HE. Their help desk is on the ball, responds quickly, and knows their stuff. Their pricing is excellent, and they pretty much let you do what you want to on shared accounts. No wizards or extraneous b.s.. If you know what you're doing, HE doesn't get in your way.

    We've got something like ten accounts with them, and have never had any down time or other problems.

    No, I don't work for HE or have any affiliation with them. I am glad to spread the word about them because I've had several other accounts with hosting outfits that just didn't grok good service the way HE does.

    • Ditto that,

      I've been using HE for a while now too and have no problems at all. I have a pretty simple site... a little PHP- but uptime has been excellent.
    • Ditto--they've been great to me. They really seem to care about good, conservative sysadmining (from a technical, not political, point of view). They managed to transition me from an old box to a new one seamlessly, and they really seem to have customized the Slackware distro to make things work and work well.

      I like how they treat me--intelligent enough to get some good tools, but the flip side is they expect me to understand about secure, conservative environments for a shared box. Yet they never come acr
  • Someone is paying for that bandwidth, right?
    I mean, I "share" my bandwidth and that ISP doesnt need to pay for this bandwidth. But what about my ISP? Doesnt it pay for it?
    • But what about my ISP? Doesnt it pay for it?
      Sure. And if Bit Torrent users were to noticably inflate an ISPs network costs, they'd probably crack down. But no single Bit Torrent user contributes that much, so I doubt if it will ever be an issue.
  • This must seed at some increadibly slow speed or automatically hop off when it sees other seeds have arrived. They can't just give the bandwidth away for free unless they seriously minimize what actually gets used.
  • One need only upload the file desired to a specified directory by FTP

    What's the point? If I wanted to distribute by ftp, I wouldn't be using BT in the first place.

    Why don't I just generate the torrent locally, and have everyone start uploading right away? If it's about ease of use, they'd do better to just whip up some dead-simple torrent-making software tailored for their service that automatically loads the torrent to their tracker/seeder, and let the torrent start right away.
    • Re:FTP!? (Score:2, Informative)

      by heypete ( 60671 )
      Several reasons:
      1) Your computer might not be on all the time.
      2) Getting enough of the file "out there" with your computer being the initial seed is a bottleneck.
      3) I'd rather spend a few hours uploading at max speed to HE's system, where they'd take over the tracking and seeding of the file on their ungodly-fast network. This would result in the file being more widely available and distributed a lot faster.

      I also sent in a few request to them:
      1) In the event that they finally start billing for bandwidth f

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.