Data Caps: Endurance & "Ethical" Seeding

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spacely

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Stretches fingers It's been a while since I've written one of these. A new (to me) situation has surfaced that I'd like to see how those of you who deal/dealt with this did so because I'm not entirely too sure on what the move is.

It's old news now that Comcast has introduced 1TB data caps across the CONUS & mine was included. At first it wasn't a big deal. I hadn't started using streaming services all that much & I didn't have a console that needed massive patch updates. Over the past 6 months though I've been consistently right underneath the cap, somewhere within 900GB for an average month because those two things I mentioned changed. Last night I actually passed the cap for the 2nd time, using the last of my "courtesy" data overage allowance. I use YouTube TV now to stream my sports & news, I watch hours of Twitch & Youtube videos daily, I game more regularly & those are ever updating. This is all traffic outside of my bittorent habits & that's where the problem lies.

Since I've expanded my tracker portfolio I've added a ton of traffic. I've been fortunate enough to get into trackers that allowed me to consolidate that portfolio because I figured that'd be an easy solution: less trackers, less traffic, voila problem solved. The thing is, those trackers are pretty large & I watch popular content. With my 100Mbs/10Mbs line in addition to Deluge's aggressive peering it isn't hard to maintain a ratio but often I end up overdoing it. Even on older content I feel obligated to long term seed & that of course increases the traffic.

The problem I'm juggling right now is whether to slow my torrents way down to help stem the traffic flow (whether that's "fair" or not I'll get to in a minute), or to spend more of my greenbacks on an unlimited data pass - which costs $600 a year by the way.

Maybe (quite possibly) I'm over thinking it. Maybe it doesn't matter if I'm only allowing 50kb/s up on all my torrents. I've built a substantial buffer on all the trackers I'm on that aren't ratioless so it's not like I need the upload speed. But if I'm the last seeder, and on quite a few I am, is it "right" to slow down whoever is downloading it? Probably. However, if I am the only seeder that data is going to get transferred either way. Slowing it down isn't a silver bullet if the purpose is solely to lower the traffic. It will help on newer content but I've stopped using auto download methods so there's far more people on the torrent & likely less bandwidth for me to use. Older stuff, not necessarily so much.

As far as paying extra...let's just say cuck fomcast. I refuse to give them anymore money. Thing is though, if I consistently go above the cap I get charged an extra $10 for every 50GB that could go all the way up to $200 extra a month.

I've been mulling over the idea of usenet because I download & it's done. No seeding, no bandwidth used outside of what it took to get here. It isn't free, but it might save me money in the long run.

Let me end this by saying this isn't a woe is me, pity my struggle because I have a data cap now post. I'm sure there are a lot of you out there who could have a lower cap than mine. If you too have a data cap how do you deal with it?

Thanks for reading.
 

AbeSimpson

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I'll preface this by saying I'm sure glad I have an ISP that doesn't have any data caps.

As to your dilemma my first reaction would be to look for a different ISP. The best way for consumers to tell ISPs that they don't like data caps is to move to a different provider. In Canada we have Shaw Cable. From what I can see they are very similar to Comcast in their approach to business. They recently have added plans with unlimited data that replaced similar capped plans they previously had. I'm almost certain the reason is that there are providers that have uncapped plans with the same speeds so they really were forced to. Hopefully if Comcast feels financial pressure they'll be forced to change their plans as well.

If switching providers isn't an option I'd suggest adjusting speeds on a per torrent basis. I used to do this when I had a 2 Mbps upload speed. At that time the torrents I had seeding through BTN were using up over half my bandwidth. I really didn't need the upload on BTN as it was ratioless. I limited the BTN torrents to something like 5 Kbps per torrent and left the rest of the torrents uncapped. It gave me more upload on the torrents that I really needed it on and limited the ones that didn't. It may seem selfish on my part, but I did what I had to to make the most of my limited upload bandwidth.

As for the morality of what to seed. If this is a dilemma for you then obviously your heart is in the right place and you are trying your best to be a good seeder and to help the pirating community in general. I don't think anybody could expect you to pay 600 extra per year to seed more. Seed what you can when you can within the limits of your ISP and don't worry about it. I think that's all any reasonable pirate would ask.
 

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Yeah unfortunately in the area I'm in now & the area I'll be moving to soon Comcast is my only option outside of sattelite internet which has data caps too. It sucks.

Luckily the month is about to end so I'll add transfer limits to my torrents to see how much that'll help. I'm still worried about being the lone seeder though because especially on larger torrents like full tv series anthologies I could upload like 200GB in a week on a single torrent whether I limited it or not (this has happened before.)

In that situation I feel like I'm obligated to seed because someone else did & if I don't no one else can. I know all too well the frustration of finding a dead torrent when it's something I want pretty badly - that's a big reason why I even played the game of getting to "better" trackers in the first place. If I'm not doing what makes those trackers better I feel like I'm defeating the purpose.

Thanks for the response.
 
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captain-hook

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Another option (highly dependent on seeding-size of course) is to move actual long term seeding duties to a seedbox - no money to comshit, likely to be had for less than the 600/yr an unlimited home data pipe would run you, and likely faster speeds for the downloaders themselves.

I haven't made the jump yet from Comcast to better - but there is already an increase in competition near me, hopefully that will eventually lead to fiber or AT LEAST unlimited data for me. Its barely tolerable atm, but no alternative even approaches what they offer, especially with roommates who still like cable TV. So that TB is shared between Streaming services, uploading AND downloading new files and it shrinks really quickly. End-of-month is a race to use as much, but not too much - its a real nightmare sometimes.

Lately it seems hard-drive space has gotten cheaper, but paying for the connection to fill it has only gone up THAT much more. Signups for individual torrent downloading privileges to manage thr Uploader's monthly bandwidth limits would, truly, be the darkest timeline.
 
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spacely

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I was thinking about buying a Hetzner server for Plex streaming because that'd alleviate a ton of the bandwidth but I'm up to 3 3TB drives that are full or close to it with another 3TB drive to add to the array on the way. It's too expensive per TB to do that now & I don't even want to think about how long it'd take to transfer the larger torrents to the box.

AT&T is in the area but they only offer fiber to residential homes for now rather than apartments so I'm stuck.

RIght now the cheapest option would be usenet. Getting a dognzb for $50/5 years or nzbgeek for $18/2 years with all the bandwidth being 1 way: down. With that though I'm kind of at a sunken cost fallacy with how much time I've invested into private trackers to just quit cold turkey. Then again I could just use the trackers as supplementary if I can't find what I'm looking for on usenet. I don't know what I want to do sadly.
 
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Blud

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Don’t forget that there is re-seed button on most of the trackers. If you can preserve the file for re-seed request it’s still great :)
 
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ThePirateChronicles

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My condolences. That just plain sucks.

I don't really see a way out except chancing download habits or buying a seedbox. For new content XDCC works well and using that doesn't cost a thing. Usenet will definitely be cheaper than renting/buying a seedbox but seedboxes and bow ties are cool! You should at least give it a try if you never had one. I just love how much those beasts can share!

Your box doesn't have to be dedicated and you don't really need any features like Plex. Just ssh/ftp the files and start playing before the download is completed. As long as you're not downloading rarred content that is. You can also save a lot of money by choosing a plan that doesn't have that unlimited 1 gbps connection. Pulsed Media has cheap storage if that's the final piece you're looking for. And one more thing, do use a service provider which doesn't require your full identity and accepts crypto currencies. It's not compulsory but it definitely helps if your box cannot be traced back to you.

My opinion is that you should get a seedbox. Rumors say they also help you grow chest hair :p
 
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Blud

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I was thinking about buying a Hetzner server for Plex streaming because that'd alleviate a ton of the bandwidth but I'm up to 3 3TB drives that are full or close to it with another 3TB drive to add to the array on the way. It's too expensive per TB to do that now & I don't even want to think about how long it'd take to transfer the larger torrents to the box.

AT&T is in the area but they only offer fiber to residential homes for now rather than apartments so I'm stuck.

RIght now the cheapest option would be usenet. Getting a dognzb for $50/5 years or nzbgeek for $18/2 years with all the bandwidth being 1 way: down. With that though I'm kind of at a sunken cost fallacy with how much time I've invested into private trackers to just quit cold turkey. Then again I could just use the trackers as supplementary if I can't find what I'm looking for on usenet. I don't know what I want to do sadly.

You can also redownload some content, nothing wrong with that :) For example, take one month of news membership with one month or one time year of usenet and redownload most of your content to your Hetzner box :D
 

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God fuck Comcast.

Anyways I wouldn't worry about the ethics. This is just a hobby, not an obligation. Plus now a days imo there is more bandwidth available then their is demand for that bandwidth hence all the free leech and bonus points ect.

Really the only real source of scarcity in file sharing relevant to this thread is lack of demand. You not making available something that almost no one wants doesn't seem like a huge problem anyways. As long as you stay within the rules set by the tracker I wouldn't worry about it.

There are plenty of us with fast lines and huge storage capacity, especially true on the better trackers.
 

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Since you are already altering your habits to fit the data cap, just pick and choose what and when you snatch certain torrents. For example, a popular blockbuster is going to a lot of early traffic and maintain a strong seeding pool afterwards, so download that after a few days and remove it from your client as soon as seeding time or site requirements are met. You can even set those to a lower transfer rate while you are meeting the site requirements. Then just focus on the smaller seed pooled torrents or the sites you need to maintain buffer for and when the last week of the month starts rolling by adjust your habit so you maximize the data usage without going over.

Focus on the content that few people have or want, they still earn you some buffer and often times the most bonus points. It helps the community the most by having more content available than increasing the speeds on already fast torrents
 
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I know it's been said already, but in your situation a seedbox would probably work out quite well, you could completely split out your uploading to trackers from your home data cap, and it would be a lot cheaper than paying for additional data from your ISP based on the prices you mentioned, which seem pretty outrageous.

Why not give a seedbox a try out for a month and see how it works out for you, it would only cost a few $ to try one out. I did the same and 4 years later I'm still using it.
 
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spacely

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Blud Blud I hadn't thought about reseeding. That could work out I suppose.

T ThePirateChronicles Plex is a necessity in my case. Half of my content is for me & my lady, the other half is for my friends. We're all streaming something at any given time. I even built a dedicated Plex PC for that purpose. It'd be a hassle switching between servers for Plex but I think they could get used to it. The biggest problem here is price, because if I go with Hetzner it'll cost me $46 a month to match the amount of space I have now (12tb). That's almost as much as an unlimited data pass would cost & that's without adding cost for when the box is inevitably gets full (took me about 9 months to fill up what I have now with all my content & friend's requests.) I'm not trying to shoot down or be dismissive of any ideas, but I wish it were this simple. There's so much nuance to this & if my area had a sliver of competition it would be a non issue :(

violentnature violentnature I started doing the first part with this past season of Westworld. It helped a little bit. On the trackers that have ratio requirements I built 1tb+ buffers already so that's not really a concern. I don't post on forums or hang out in the IRC on any of my trackers anymore so the only way I feel like I'm contributing is to long term seed. As long as I'm within the tracker's seedtime requirements I'm fine so I guess I shouldn't beat myself up for not going the extra mile.

street_fighter street_fighter I've had seedboxes before but mainly used them to build buffer on a new tracker. Offers like Bytesized are a nice option but the price per TB isn't that great. SoYouStart has good $/TB but their CPUs are awful for Plex transcoding so that's a no go. Online.net is just as pricey as Hetzner once you go up to the higher capacities & at that point again I'm almost up to the cost of the unlimited data pass ($50 a month.)

Theoretically I could start charging my friends for their Plex usage but that opens up a brand new can of worms. They'd probably understand it, but the main reason we use it is because it's free of course. I could get a smaller seedbox & split the data, say TV shows at home & movies / events on the remote server. That seems the most reasonable, until I hit the space wall again.

I don't know. I sound like I'm being defeatist so sorry if it comes off that way. I'm leaning pretty hard towards usenet though as it's by far the cheapest route. Thing is with that it isn't as organized & I'll miss out on a lot of P2P releases. Rock & a hard place.
 

ThePirateChronicles

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@ThePirateChronicles Plex is a necessity in my case. Half of my content is for me & my lady, the other half is for my friends. We're all streaming something at any given time. I even built a dedicated Plex PC for that purpose. It'd be a hassle switching between servers for Plex but I think they could get used to it. The biggest problem here is price, because if I go with Hetzner it'll cost me $46 a month to match the amount of space I have now (12tb). That's almost as much as an unlimited data pass would cost & that's without adding cost for when the box is inevitably gets full (took me about 9 months to fill up what I have now with all my content & friend's requests.) I'm not trying to shoot down or be dismissive of any ideas, but I wish it were this simple. There's so much nuance to this & if my area had a sliver of competition it would be a non issue :(
Would it be possible to ask those friends to help a little with the expenses or is that already calculated to the price? It's not too much to ask in my opinion if they really value the service and you need help with the bills.
 

street_fighter

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I've had seedboxes before but mainly used them to build buffer on a new tracker. Offers like Bytesized are a nice option but the price per TB isn't that great. SoYouStart has good $/TB but their CPUs are awful for Plex transcoding so that's a no go. Online.net is just as pricey as Hetzner once you go up to the higher capacities & at that point again I'm almost up to the cost of the unlimited data pass ($50 a month.)
Maybe you need to ask in the seedbox section, but depending on what you think you need there is no way you need to pay that kind of money for a seedbox. I pay about 15 euros for 2TB storage, 5TB upload and a very fast connection (can't remember the exact speed without looking it up), and I'm sure some people will tell me I'm paying too much already. Does me absolutely fine, never had to worry about ratio, traffic or anything. If you want to be a massive hoarder of data, then clearly a seedbox doesn't work, but otherwise chances are you can find something that might work for you.
 

spacely

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Would it be possible to ask those friends to help a little with the expenses or is that already calculated to the price? It's not too much to ask in my opinion if they really value the service and you need help with the bills.
Later in that post I said why charging them would defeat the purpose. Even if I charged them all $5 month to use it wouldn't be enough to offset the cost of the data pass & on top of that I run the risk of getting my Plex account banned.

Maybe you need to ask in the seedbox section, but depending on what you think you need there is no way you need to pay that kind of money for a seedbox. I pay about 15 euros for 2TB storage, 5TB upload and a very fast connection (can't remember the exact speed without looking it up), and I'm sure some people will tell me I'm paying too much already. Does me absolutely fine, never had to worry about ratio, traffic or anything. If you want to be a massive hoarder of data, then clearly a seedbox doesn't work, but otherwise chances are you can find something that might work for you.
Nah, I've researched this well enough to know a seedbox isn't the answer. I mean I could micromanage & delete stuff after everyone's watched it to save space but that defeats another purpose in the automation I've setup. It's just too expensive for what I'm trying to do.

Ultimately I decided to go the Usenet route. I've reached the ranks on almost all of my trackers that protect me from inactivity & the one that I haven't I'll just donate so I can come back should I need to use them in the future.

Thanks for the options, but it looks like my hands are tied at least until I can move somewhere that has more than 1 ISP.
 
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Silk186

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I see a few options you can do:
Wait it out and switch to another provider - who knows how long that could take
Use a seedbox - costs more money. I've heard this can be done with cloud storage but didn't look into it.
download torrents on a university connection - you need access to a good network
bookmark torrents and download them at the end of the month with remaining bandwidth - you need to wait and will get less upload

Remember it check back periodically or park your accounts.
Some trackers promotion is based on uploads, and if those torrents are pruned or duped you will be demoted.
 

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Nah, I've researched this well enough to know a seedbox isn't the answer. I mean I could micromanage & delete stuff after everyone's watched it to save space but that defeats another purpose in the automation I've setup. It's just too expensive for what I'm trying to do.
You should be able to get a cheap 500 GB seedbox to alleviate some of the traffic on the popular torrents and use an FTP client to transfer them to your plex server. And use your current setup for the torrents you expect much less traffic on. I don't know if you can automate transfers from the seedbox to the plex server but I'm sure you are going to be doing just as much manual work from usenet as you do transferring things from the seedbox.
The real task is splitting up what you automate into each client you use.
 
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spacely

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Remember it check back periodically or park your accounts.
Some trackers promotion is based on uploads, and if those torrents are pruned or duped you will be demoted.
Red's the only one I'm in real danger of losing via the uploads path but I'm well over the threshold for PU so unless something goes haywire & they remove all of my stuff I should be fine. I will check on them periodically though.

You should be able to get a cheap 500 GB seedbox to alleviate some of the traffic on the popular torrents and use an FTP client to transfer them to your plex server. And use your current setup for the torrents you expect much less traffic on. I don't know if you can automate transfers from the seedbox to the plex server but I'm sure you are going to be doing just as much manual work from usenet as you do transferring things from the seedbox.
The real task is splitting up what you automate into each client you use.
I could automate transfers with something like Goodsync & that can get complicated. I've just finished setting up my server to use usenet & it's honestly just as easy as it was with torrents. Instead of Jackett I use Sonarr for TV & I use Radarr for movies. It took me a little time to fiddle with the directories but everything is hands off, completely automated just like before. The real test is now whether or not this was enough because I may even have to go as far as lowering the bitrate on the Plex streams & when I'm watching Twitch or YouTube videos. All of this just to avoid some completely arbitrary "data" limit that shouldn't even exist. Greed knows no bounds.
 
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