It looks like there is a new solution for students to bypass their college's P2P ban out there: File hoster Furk.net offers the ability to remotely download Torrent data onto their web server and then access it as a regular HTTP download.

furk

Furk is one of gazillions of one click file hosters, offering free, anonymous file hosting with an admittedly much less cluttered interface than Rapidshare or Megaupload. The service imposes some limits on non-paying users, but it has a special value proposition for those who decide to pay 10 Euros (about 13 USD) per month: You can upload .torrent files and start the download through Furk's web server.

furk

I just tested the service and must say it's pretty impressive. Remote download speeds are up to 350 kB per Second, making it possible to have access to a 336 Megabyte file in roughly 24 Minutes. Of course this is still Bittorrent, so actual download speeds depend on the seeding of the particular file. Plus the data is not on your hard drive yet, so speed might not be the primary reason to use Furk.

furk

Of course there are some other reasons that make a service like this attractive. Remote downloading might be a great idea if your college blocks Bittorrent and threatens you with expulsion. Also, Furk makes it possible to download Torrents from your office PC and then access the media effordless from your home PC without tinkering with the Web UI of your Bittorrent client.

And then there is piracy privacy. Furk doesn't have a privacy policy, and their Terms of Service feature some rater strong words against abuse:

"Authorities may be contacted. Regarding the infringing content, any available user information will be shared with either the FBI and/or Interpol, depending on both the severity of the infringement and the applicable cause of removal of future harm. With this information, these two agencies will be able to find and arrest the user in regard to any of the above-mentioned infringements."

This does however seem to be boilerplate TOS language. The very same warning is part of the TOS of two other file hosting servics that don't seem to be related to Furk.

Still, you don't really know who you are dealing with here - the Whois information of Furk.net is fake, and the servers seem to reside somewhere in the Netherlands. Security Watch thinks that it might be a good idea to use the service with an anonymous pre-paid debit card.

A few more things that are noteworthy about Furk: You get an email receipt as soon as your download is on their hard drive. Your disk space is limited to 10 GB, and there is a bandwidth limit of 32 GB per month in place. The site encourages the use of download managers, allowing up to 25 connections per IP address. Also, it seems like premium users can share their downloaded Torrents amongst each other. No words on whether Furk actually seeds content as well though.

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