Back in December, I posted this article about using “content blogs” instead of Bittorrent to download your favorite movies and TV shows.
To recap, “content blogs” use blogging software (like WordPress) to post links to movies and TV shows that are hosted on public file-sharing sites like RapidShare and Megaupload. This has several advantages over using Bittorrent.
For starters, it doesn’t require any specialized software, only a web browser.
Secondly, it’s safer, since you’re only making one connection to a public web site, as opposed to hundreds of connections to random strangers’ computers (and possibly computers owned by the Music Police).
Lastly, using content blogs saves you bandwidth because you only have to download the file in question, not share it out to everyone else. You see, Bittorrent chops a file into a bunch of pieces, and once you’ve downloaded a few pieces your computer starts sharing them out with other users. This is what makes Bittorrent so fast – you’ve not downloading a file from just one person, you’re downloading it from dozens of other people. Most private Bittorrent trackers require you to maintain an upload:download ratio of 1.0 or higher, which means that a 350MB TV episode actually costs you 700MB of bandwidth with Bittorrent.
It’s this last thing I wanted to talk about today. My router runs Tomato, an open-source firmware replacement for the Linksys WRT54G-L router. Part of Tomato’s feature set is the ability to track the amount of bandwidth used. After a few months of using content blogs as much as possible, I can report some rather stunning news: my weekly bandwidth consumption has dropped from 33-36GB/week to 10-12GB/week. That’s simply stunning. While it is true that I’m not downloading as much stuff as I used to, I’m still downloading around 17 shows a week. To go from running through Time Warner’s proposed 40GB cap in just over 8 days to making it last almost an entire month is simply amazing… and will hopefully keep TWC off my back.
I also wanted to give you some links to other content blogs. I’ve downloaded stuff from all of these places, and can vouch for them (keep in mind that any link posted in a “Commenst” section could come from anyone, and they occasioanlly have fakes or viruses there):