donating bandwidth to open source

Skogafoss waterfall, iceland

If you’re like me and you have a big fat internet pipe entering your home then you probably have a lot of unused upload bandwidth at the end of the month. In fact, if you have one of those flat-rate unlimited bandwidth kind of packages which you lucky foreigners seem to have in abundance, then you have (in theory) a lot of unused bandwidth… always.

So how about using some of those gigs for a good cause? How about seeding some awesome and freely available open source software and content so others can get faster access to it. That wat you save the lads hosting those big ISOs from their servers some bucks by taking the load off their upload stream.

The solution is simple, boot up your favorite torrent client (uTorrent for example) get a few torrented downloads for the open source causes you feel like contributing to and seed away!

Good stuff to give bandwidth to are:

  • The Ubuntu Linux operating system. Seed the iso’s of the latest version.
  • Other free OS’s such as Debian, Suse, FreeBSD or whatever flavour you fancy.
  • Google’s Project Gutenberg, sharing a  DVD worth of free and open ebooks. It feels good to share a library of content from your machine, trust me. Also great to browse through yourself btw.
  • The free content (cc-licensed mostly) from clear-bits. Pick some stuff you want to check out yourself, music, video’s, games, anything and just remember to keep that torrent up for seeding. You won’t have a lot of downloads on these usually as they are only fetched sporadically, but keeping the seed up is like giving the other a thumbs up if you like his stuff.
  • Recently archive.org also put up a lot of its content in torrent form.

Be sure to check back on those OS releases now and then so you don’t end up seeding a dusty old version, but other than that, your torrent client is giving back without you having to do any effort. How sweet is that?

Photo by Massimo Margagnoni, cc-licensed.

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