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Tips to Become a Good Seedbox Provider or Reseller

Tips to Become a Good Seedbox Provider or Reseller


Seedbox providers are the gateway between those who want to start seeding & downloading fast, but don’t possess the DIY know-how to set up a seedbox from scratch through torrent-friendly reseller hosting companies. However, those who seek a seedbox are more knowledgeable than ever before. That’s why as a seedbox provider, it’s becoming an ever-increasing fine line between staying in business and folding up shop. If you’re a seedbox provider/reseller (or aim to be) - here are a few tips on how to stay competitive & successful in a market that already seems to be over-saturated. Regardless, there’s plenty of room for good seedbox providers - when done right.

1. The Setup — Be sure to purchase a domain and create a public site (to promote your services) that non-members can access. Do NOT do this on one of your own servers; be sure it’s hosted separately from the servers that you are using as the seedboxes for your customers. That way, if you run into a problem with one of the seedbox servers, it won’t affect the site. Also, do not host a website that offers your seedbox services on "free hosting" as this looks cheap, and isn’t professional. Most new customers will avoid using you, if that’s the case. If you can’t pay for hosting your site, how can you afford to pay for much-costlier seedbox servers? This has scam written all over it.

2. BitTorrent Options — Don’t go with TorrentFlux as the ONLY seedbox GUI (offer uTorrent WebUI and/or rTorrent). Although, you may wish to include TFlux as an option, but be sure to offer at least one of the other two (uTorrent or rTorrent). Smart seedbox shoppers tend to avoid providers that solely offer TorrentFlux - after all; this is 2009, not 2006.

3. rTorrent — The fastest-growing seedbox client is rTorrent, and for good reason. While it’s not requisite that you offer a web GUI (frontend) for rTorrent, it is highly recommended. wTorrent is popular, but my personal favorite is ruTorrent (it mimics uTorrent running on a home computer). Be advised that rTorrent (backend) version 0.8.5 is now listed as "stable" so be sure to use this version when compiling/installing - it’s already whitelisted on most private trackers.

4. VPS Seedboxes: The Future — Many new seedbox providers are moving away from "shared seedboxes" - so try to also offer actual VPSs for each customer on certain (or all) plans. Some providers only offer VPSs exclusively (SeedboxHosting, SavvySeed and SeedHost.eu are just three examples). While a VPS is really just a "shared dedi", once most seedbox/bittorrent clients are installed on them, they offer more functionality - such as "superadmin" access in TorrentFlux; or direct uTorrent.exe interaction through a VNC/NX connection. Root access, unlimited FTP accounts and a Control Panel (LXadmin) may also be included.

5. 100Mbit and up — Use servers that are connected to at least 100Mbit lines, and advertise this - even if the 100Mbit is shared throughout all accounts on the dedicated server. Better still, get a server that is connected to 1Gbit pipe. Completely avoid anything that limits bandwidth to 10Mbit - read on:

6. Avoid new OVH Kimsufi’s — Try to steer clear of using OVH Kimsufi’s (unless you already have an old one; as any new ones purchased now have monthly throughput limits of 3TB on outside traffic - ie. ? non OVH-to-OVH connections’). If you exceed 3TB / month, the connection will be limited to a meagre 10Mbit (from 100). And it’s not a difficult task for power seedbox users to deplete 3TB in short notice. Note: Not all OVH servers are limited in this way (just the Kimsufi product line), but there are many other good hosting alternatives to OVH.

7. If anything else, don’t oversell!! — If you have a good server with great specs (dual quad 4, 4Gb+ RAM, 1 GB connection, etc) then you’ll be able to pack at least 4-5 happy customers on one server. Especially for TorrentFlux - any more than 4 users on a box will cause ALL users to have slow DL speeds and poor interactivity on the seedbox GUI webpage. Pack too many users on the same box = disaster.

8. Unlimited everything — Try to offer "unlimited torrents, unlimited speed". This goes back to #7. Unless you’re trying to cram 25 users onto one server (not recommended, and I’ve seen this done), you should be able to offer ?unlimited’ as long as you restrict the number of users per dedi to 8 or less (depending on BOTH the server specs & BT client involved, that is).

9. Offer unmetered bandwidth — Don’t restrict or "cap" the monthly data throughput - nobody wants to have to watch how much downloading or uploading they’re doing; after all, they’re shelling out good money for a box. This looks like one of two things: You’re either overselling the servers; or using server hosting that limits the throughput (i.e. OVH Kimsufi).

10. FTP/SFTP — Be sure to offer FTP downloading (with multithreading), and include an FTP account to all new subscribers. Additionally, include SFTP as an alternative method to transfer files back to the home PC.

11. Know your stuff; inside and out.

* - Compare your seedbox specs and pricing to those of the competition.
* - Offer a variety of plans to choose from. Mix it up: if you offer shared boxes with torrent limits, be sure to also offer VPNs or dedicated plans that come with unlimited torrents.
* - Offer as many BitTorrent client options as possible. People want choices.
* - Keep the setup fees as low as possible.
* - Ban public trackers from being used on the servers.
* - On high-end subscriptions, include a web proxy with the seedbox.
* - Outline pricing/package details so that they’re as simple to comprehend as possible. EliteSeedbox.com is an excellent example of what NOT to do - prices & plans are so sophisticated here, it’s a wonder anyone subscribes.

12. Post your server specs — Mention exactly how many users are sharing each server for each seedbox package. Professional seedbox providers aren’t shy to list the server specs and number of users.

13. Offer impeccable customer service. This includes:

* - Try to setup new seedbox accounts as fast as you possibly can.
* - Respond to emails promptly, and professionally.
* - Offer an online ?ticket system’ (or similar) for customers to submit queries for assistance.
* - Offer no-hassle money back guarantees. Nobody wants to get involved in a PayPal dispute.
* - Create an online database of tutorials, FAQs and Q&As, in relation to each BT client.

14. The Welcome Message — Very important to get this right. After a new customer subscribes - and you’ve activated their seedbox account - you need to send out an email courteous message welcoming them to the service. You’ll need to include:

* - URL of the seedbox.
* - username/password of the account for logging into the seedbox.
* - FTP & SFTP connection info, with username/password - should this be different from the web login.
* - Proxy / VNC info, or anything else that relates to accessing the server.
* - Support information, such as a specific email address or link to send info that pertains to problems with service.

15. Purchasing options — The more payment options you include, the better. PayPal support is a must-have; others include MoneyBookers, Western Union and credit cards. For PayPal, offer both one-time and subscription (recurring) purchasing options, so customers can decide beforehand which method best suits them. Many seedbox providers only offer a subscription, which then forces the customer to manually remove it in their PayPal account settings.
31 March 2012 17:35
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