Network Storage and Torrent Downloads: A Perfect Pair

It would have been difficult to write this post prior to peer-to-peer filesharing becoming an accepted form of Internet data transmission. But the concept has really taken off, and for good reason: Rather than to wait for a single server to send along your requested data, you access a file that has been split into chunks, downloading bits and pieces of this file simultaneously from multiple sources at once. The result: significantly faster file transfers.

The problem with torrents is that they’re widely perceived as means for distributing illegal copies of copyrighted material. We all know that’s not cool.

What is cool, however, is the fact that companies like D-Link have started to embrace legitimate peer-to-peer traffic by building support for torrent downloads right into the software that comes with their network storage devices. If you’re already using apps like uTorrent or Vuze to simultaneously grab snippets of files from an army of your peers, you might dismiss built-in torrent support as irrelevant. Why bother firing up a similar utility on your network storage device?

I can answer you in three words: Sanity. Efficiency. Flexibility.

Suppose that you, like me, keep your primary desktop computer in your bedroom, which doubles as a home office. And you, like me, would prefer that your torrent downloads run overnight so they don’t interfere with your Web browsing and game playing. This means not only that you have to try to sleep amid the din of system fans, but that your desktop can heat up your room uncomfortably. And, likely, Windows sometimes pops your screen back on for no real reason. Talk about a bright wake-up call!

Moving torrent activity to a network storage device allows you to place a little downloading machine anywhere in your home. Bright displays and loud, heat-generating PCs will no longer disturb your beauty rest. Your PC won’t suffer unnecessary wear and tear just for a file download — nor will your power bill suffer from their constant use. Best of all, you’re not wasting your primary system’s precious hard drive capacity to hold downloads. They’ll automatically appear right where you’d put them anyway: within an easy-to-access shared folder on your network storage device.

Of course, these are just general reasons to switch to network-based torrent downloads. The features of torrent-friendly software can make or break the entire process. I’ll explore these in my next post.

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