What can I use all this excess bandwidth for?
June 23, 2010 3:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting a 100meg internet connection, what do I do with it?

Due to some good geographic luck, i'm going to be able to get a direct 100mb ethernet connection to the internet. What can I do with that much bandwidth? I know my way around linux, so I'm thinking of setting up a server or three, but what are some things I could use? I've thought of asterisk, vmware, an ftp file server, a media server, a web server -- what are some other fun ways to abuse excess bandwidth? Keep in mind I have a number of techy and media savvy friends who would be able to use almost any resource I set up, so even if its something that you think only you would probably care about, go ahead and throw it out there anyway.
posted by empath to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Proxy server? Depending on your county a lot of Brits want to watch Hulu and a lot of Yanks want to watch BBC iPlayer. Then again you my not be in either of those places...
posted by gergtreble at 3:29 PM on June 23, 2010

Be careful serving up media, it's a great way to get your bandwidth capped to really shitty (DSL-level) speeds if you're upping too hard too fast too often. Most high-bandwidth ISPs have provisions in their TOS against setting up any kind of servers, which is plainly ridiculous but is meant to discourage exactly what you want to do. The best thing to do before setting up any sort of server is do some googling w/r/t your provider to see if they have any caps that they keep out of the fine print.

Now, what to do? Do you live somewhere there's a lot of music happening? You can make your own distribution server for local music. Sort of a mini-label.
posted by griphus at 3:30 PM on June 23, 2010

You could use Japanese P2P networks like Perfect Dark that require the user to have lots of upstream bandwidth.
posted by zsazsa at 3:31 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I guess it should probably be mentioned that i work for said ISP, so caps shouldn't be an issue (though i'm not gonna do anything blatantly illegal)
posted by empath at 3:36 PM on June 23, 2010

Dedicated gaming server(s)?
posted by Menthol at 3:52 PM on June 23, 2010

How about a Tor server?
posted by crunchland at 3:56 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

How about a Tor server?

I strongly discourage doing this. While it's all well and good what an anonymity-providing proxy is set up to do, theoretically, I think the best description of it was when a Mefite mentioned he had to dip his router in bleach when he was done temporarily hosting a Tor server.
posted by griphus at 4:01 PM on June 23, 2010

What's your SLA/Contract like? A 100mbps residential line may not be 100mbps for very long. There could be caps, throttling, policy against hosting servers, etc. I'm assuming you'll have a static IP at least.

If its a commercial line without restriction then I would think about mirroring downloads for popular open-source projects which always seem to be in need of decent mirrors. I reguraly will get 20kbps trying to download VLC or Mozilla or something from sourceforge because the random mirror I'm on is being pounded. You can also just join sourceforge's mirror network and mirror thousands of projects at once.

I believe the Coral Cache runs off the Planet Lab network. You can join them too. I believe you can also donate bandwidth to Wikipedia.

I'd be worried about providing bandwidth for legally dubious things like tor, torrent trackers, public FTP sites, etc. You may also want to run a box running snort on your line to watch out for abuse. You don't want have your friend's dev box get rooted and spam/attack everyone or provide 100mbps to a botnet owner.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:22 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

It would be nice if you could run a host that's strictly for adorably illegal activities, like hosting TNG episodes, or storing vast quantities of infringing photos of pets. However, that is unlikely to be the purpose your users find for it.
posted by bicyclefish at 5:11 PM on June 23, 2010

The obvious choice is Debian mirror, and perhaps a bittorrent seeder for .isos.

Another one that turns out to be a bit request heavy is calDAV. I just installed Davical last month and Evolution is now the top client on my personal website, beating out googlebot, rss readers and uptime checks by a wide margin.

I'm not sure how Asterix works (I always thought it was for POTS phones), but Mumble is another free option for VOIP. I think there's a video streaming setup as well.
posted by pwnguin at 6:25 PM on June 23, 2010

Response by poster: asterisk is a pbx for sip phones.
posted by empath at 6:41 PM on June 23, 2010

FreeSWITCH > Asterisk (probably).
posted by dirm at 7:00 PM on June 23, 2010

Running a Tor router (vs. an exit node) means that you don't ever have unencrypted traffic passing through your node, which solves both the bleach and the "we traced this back to your IP address" problems.
posted by mendel at 7:56 PM on June 23, 2010

Hosting legal torrents is a tremendous public service, allowing people to get stuff out there without incurring enormous bandwidth costs. Obscure *nix distros in particular could use the help.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:57 PM on June 23, 2010

Tor relay.
posted by astrochimp at 6:13 AM on June 24, 2010

Tor, just don't be an exit node if you don't want to deal with the hassle. Or be an exit node with a really strict exit policy. (I've spent two years being part of Tor and since I'm not an exit node, I haven't had a single problem.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:08 PM on June 24, 2010

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