A new official Put.io app has just been released in the Amazon Fire TV appstore. Put.io is a slightly controversial service that acts as a middle-man between you and video files found online. Instead of downloading or streaming a video from the internet directly, Put.io will download the video for you to their servers and then let you stream it to your devices from them. Put.io’s support for BitTorrent downloads has made it a popular service for downloading pirated content undetected.
Put.io requires a paid subscription to use their service. Plans start at $9.99 per month / $99 per year for 100GB of cloud storage and increases the more storage you add. A 1-day trial is also available for $0.99.
Unlike most cloud storage services, like Dropbox or Amazon Drive, you cannot upload files directly to Put.io. Instead, you provide Put.io with either a URL to where the video is located online or you upload a BitTorrent file for the video. Put.io will then download the video to their servers where you can then access the video by downloading it or streaming it to your devices. In the case of BitTorrent files, Put.io will also seed the file until it either reaches a set share ratio or for a set number of days, depending on your subscription plan.
One advantage of using Put.io over accessing a video directly is that it will often be available immediately and through reliable servers. If another Put.io user has already requested the same video be downloaded, you won’t have to wait for Put.io to download it, since it will already be on their servers. Put.io’s use of the Cloudflare CDN network means the stream to your devices should be fast and reliable.
While using Put.io to download BitTorrent files is likely how the service is most often used, it also supports a massive list of over 1,000 websites. By simply adding the URL of a supported web page where a video is embedded, that video will become easily streamable through the Put.io app on your Fire TV. Used that way, the service can be thought of as a universal “watch later” service for the web.
Put.io has been available on the Fire TV platform before, through their Kodi add-on or Plex channel, but now they’ve released an official app. You can’t use the app to add or manage downloads, but you can search your files and stream them through the app. Strangely, the app is currently only available for the 3rd-gen Fire TV and for Fire TV Edition televisions, but I suspect that support for other Fire TV models will be added soon.
While there is absolutely nothing illegal about Put.io or the service it offers, there’s no denying that it is popular among the piracy community as a means to download or stream pirated content without being detected. The service is based in Turkey and their servers are in the Netherlands. There are multiple ways to pay for the service anonymously, which suggests to me that the company is aware of their clientele’s use of the service.
3/22/18 The Put.io app has been removed from the Fire TV appstore. It was available for less than 24 hours.