There has been lot happening in the torrent scene in the last few months. With the (brief) closure of PirateBay, the shutdown of a popular TV show aggregator, and more ISP’s around the world being ordered to block anything related to torrents, downloading through torrents is scrutinized and often associated with piracy. If you are lucky your ISP may not have blocked torrents, but it may throttle the speed to a point where you might give up using them. This is bad news for the honest-torrent-user (yes they exist!!). For these folks and others who are behind a college or workplace firewall, cloud torrent is the alternative way.
Cloud Torrent, while not a new concept, is becoming popular due to the above reasons and today there are many websites which provide this service. So let’s take a look at the top 5.
If you want a simple cloud torrent service, look no further than zbigz. The speed is good and fetching a torrent is just a two-step process. A free account gives you 1 GB space and limits your download speed to 150 kbps. Switching to Premium will give you unlimited cloud storage, file availability, and download speed. The best part though is that you can use the service without even registering. Yes, for the price, it lacks some features, but the unlimited cloud storage feature is not offered by any other service mentioned here.
Filestream is actually a service for downloading from various file sharing sites like netload.in, uploaded.net and many others. But it also offers cloud torrent service as a part of its free account. You are limited to a 1 GB size though. It has an Android app and you can stream any videos through VLC web player. One nice feature is that it allows you to select individual files from torrents, a feature not offered even by some other paid services. Other than that, a Premium account will not only lift the storage limit but will also allow you to download from many other file sharing sites.
Put.io has the most features and the best interface of all. It doesn’t offer a free account but you can try the service for a mere $0.99 for one day. Going premium will get you a generous 100 GB storage space, SSL encryption, and 10 torrent slots. And oh, the extra features! It supports Roku, Boxee, XBMC, Jolicloud, OpenSubtitles and FTP access. Love Podcast? Just give put.io the RSS feed and it will monitor and download new podcasts automatically. And this is not just limited to podcasts. Finally, you can also directly fetch videos from a number of video sites such as Youtube, Vine, Vimeo etc.
This is another cloud torrent service which has simple and intuitive UI and plenty of streaming options. You can stream files in the web browser of any PC or mobile device or on your TV as it also supports Apple TV and Chromecast. For the privacy concerned, premium accounts are SSL protected and your downloaded files are checked by the built-in NOD32 anti-virus, a feature only offered by Bitport. It offers a free account with 2 GB cloud storage but a limitation of 100 Mb/hour transfer. This means Bitport will take 10 hours to fetch a 1 GB torrent.
Last but not the least, Boxopus is another service that offers similar features. Its one unique feature is that it also has an option of saving to Google Drive or Box. It doesn’t offer any free accounts and its minimum 7 day plan for $1.49 will net you 30 GB of storage space. The external cloud saving feature means you can download a 30 GB torrent, transfer it to your preferred cloud storage and you are good to go again. No need to wait for the file to download to your device. Similar to others, you can also stream videos using VLC web player.
Did you know: You can use the P2P protocol (behind torrents) to not only download files but also to keep your personal files in sync between your mobile and PC. Here’s how.
So Which is the Best?
I can’t quite crown a winner because all the services offer varied and unique features. Put.io might suit a person who lives in iOS ecosystem while an occasional torrent downloader will be happy with ZbigZ. I have made a comparison chart of the features offered by these services, please judge for yourself which is best for you.
Know any other cloud torrent services that I didn’t cover? Share in the comments.