The popular media hosting website ImageShack just launched a new service that lets you download torrent files onto their servers. When the download is complete, you can download the files from ImageShack via an http link.
ImageShack’s torrent download service is still in Beta, but it works just fine. The only thing you need to do is point ImageShack to the torrent file and press start. The download will start immediately, and once it’s finished you can download the files via http onto your computer.
Services like this are not new, but up until now I haven’t seen one that doesn’t charge money. There are some limitations though. Per month you can download a maximum of 15GB to your computer, and the storage on ImageShack’s servers is also limited to 15GB.
Jack Levin, the founder of ImageShack told TorrentFreak: “We think its going to be a great service for users, especially in the light of ISPs ratelimiting torrent traffic.There is a lot of free and legal torrents out there, that people should have easy access too
to. We have the capacity to do it, and the world needs it.”
For those people who are concerned about the anonymity of the service (or think it’s a honeypot), Levin said: “We will not look at what you download and simply provide you, an account, with bandwidth and space. What you do with it is up to you. The DMCA applies, so, if we get reports from copyright owners to take down content, we will comply.”
The service comes with some great features. It supports selective downloading, which means that you can deselect files from the torrent if you don’t want to download them all. This can be quite useful if you only need one album from a complete discography for example.
ImageShack also provides some basic details about the progress of the downloads. Under the “status” link they list information about the download progress, connected seeds and leechers, share ratio and more.
The status reports are not yet working perfectly, as it keeps reporting that a torrent has stopped, while it was downloading just fine. However, the torrents I have tested were downloaded very fast, and I had no problem downloading the files from ImageShack onto my computer.
A more serious point of critique is that the torrent seems to disconnect as soon as the download has finished. This basically means that you will be sharing less than you should. I hope that ImageShack will add a sharing friendly feature in the future, and will at least continue seeding until the share ratio is 100%.
Levin told us, however, that there are no plans to include such a feature. They will offer (paid) premium accounts, but this will be only for bandwidth and storage upgrades.
Overall I must say that Imageshack’s new torrent download service looks very promising, especially for a free service. Decide for yourself, we think it’s worth a try.
This article was updated to include Jack Levin’s answers