Build your own cloud with BitTorrent Sync

Cloud-based storage services like Dropbox and Mega just got some fresh competition from an unexpected source. The folks at BitTorrent have announced Sync, a private sharing service that allows files and folders to be synchronized across multiple devices. The cloud, in this case, is one of your own creation. Files reside on the synced devices and are transferred via the BitTorrent protocol.

Although the official announcement is short on details, GigaOM has confirmed that Sync will encrypt all file transfers with a 256-bit AES algorithm. Native apps will reportedly be available for not only Windows, OS X, and Linux, but also NAS devices. Support for mobile devices is supposedly in the cards, as well. GigaOM was told that "BitTorrent is committed to mobile across the board."

BitTorrent Sync seems to be at a very early stage of development, and you can apply to be a part of the closed pre-alpha test here. The sign-up page resides on a new BitTorrent Labs site that includes details on other "featured experiments," including a distributed video streaming technology dubbed Live, a Chrome-based BitTorrent client called Surf, and a Facebook file sharing app known as Beam it Over.

While Sync certainly isn’t the first private file sharing—er, syncing—service, the ability to roll your own encrypted BitTorrent cloud has definite appeal. Sync should be available free of charge, and its capacity will be limited only by the amount of storage on the host system. Whether the software is good enough to simplify file sharing for the masses remains to be seen, however.

Comments closed
    • galco093x99
    • 7 years ago
    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    I guess it’s only a matter of time now until the RIAA, etc, tries to sue someone for pirating their own copyrighted content.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      They don’t like the idea of personal Fair Use but they have to live with it for non copyprotected media. Unfortunately the DMCA anti-cracking provisions illegalize even the possibility of personal Fair Use for anything with copy protection because in order to ‘fair use it’ one has to crack the copy protection. It’s a pretty big load of poop.

    • StuffMaster
    • 7 years ago

    There is also AeroFS.

    • davidbowser
    • 7 years ago

    I am using JungleDisk (monthly $$) for multi-computer sync functionality today. I had looked at other services (dropbox, box.net, etc.), but always found something lacking in the past. I will have to take a look at this option.

    I have 2 use cases, file sync across multiple computers, and backups. They are different for me because I need off-site backups and point-in-time versions of files. CrashPlan does the trick for backups.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    This is fantastic. I’ve often tried to figure out how I could keep a large project with a bunch of WAV files (these things frequently go into the 500-700MB range) synced without paying for something bigger than my 2GB Dropbox account, and this would do it. Probably want to turn it off/pause it while I’m working, but otherwise it should be pretty much instantaneous. I wonder if there’s a way to get it to figure out if the two PCs are on a local network, too, so it could use my internal gigabit network rather than my internet bandwidth.

    It does seem that there’s no offsite storage with this solution, unless you include a box stored at someone else’s place, so it’s not as “safe” as dropbox or the like.

      • Flatland_Spider
      • 7 years ago

      “It does seem that there’s no offsite storage with this solution”

      That sounds like a business opportunity. Start a service like Github or Bitbucket except use Bittorrent Sync as the public interface.

    • Dposcorp
    • 7 years ago

    This sounds exactly like what I was looking for once I found out that Windows Live Mesh was being shut down.

    [url<]http://www.itworld.com/consumerization-it/330970/how-get-key-features-live-mesh-now-microsoft-getting-rid-it[/url<] [url<]http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/13/microsoft-dropping-windows-live-mesh-on-february-13th/[/url<] [url<]http://www.eweek.com/cloud/microsoft-shuttering-live-mesh-in-favor-of-skydrive/[/url<]

      • ApockofFork
      • 7 years ago

      We must be the only two people on this site who care. But yes this sounds perfect. Just in time too!

        • A_Pickle
        • 7 years ago

        Windows Live Mesh was great.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Native apps will reportedly be available for not only Windows, OS X, and Linux[/quote<] I'm still waiting for a proper linux version of uTorrent (and open source).

      • stdRaichu
      • 7 years ago

      Out of curiosity, why uTorrent? I never really rated it personally.

      Disclaimer: I’m a Transmission user – the fact that I can set up a single torrent daemon on the file server that everyone in the house connects to via a native/web client is a must-have feature for me, if only from a QoS standpoint.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Picky sites who are anal about what client is being used (plus there are some really good mobile clients out there for it.)

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          Are there sites that do that? For god sakes, WHY?!?

          Also, I use Deluge. It’s nice.

      • davidbowser
      • 7 years ago

      I switched to qBittorrent. It is very similar to uTorrent.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Ya, I my preferred client is Ktorrent however like I said many sites put whitelists on accepted clients and uTorrent is one of the few that is pretty much white listed.

          • kc77
          • 7 years ago

          I use Ktorrent too. I don’t think I’ve ever been black listed as a result of the torrent client I use. I usually straddle Ktorrent and Transmission. There are somethings that transmission does better.

          • chuckula
          • 7 years ago

          +1 for Ktorrent. If you are having issues with sites that only want µtorrent is it possible to spoof the identifier? IIRC, ktorrent has compatibility with protocol tweaks that are part of µtorrent.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Ya, the beautiful thing about opensource is that the client ID is easily changed to spoof whatever you want. The unfortunate thing however about ktorrent it doesn’t offer a daemon mode.

      • Dygear
      • 7 years ago

      I run uTorrent on linux, it uses the WebUI as it’s only UI and I’m fine with that.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    I love the internets. There’s a solution to every problem, and it costs less and works better every day. Eventually, it will be the business model for everything – even putting dinner on your plate!

    Forget desktops stagnating. Some of us had desktops before the internets. The future looks pretty darn good to me.

      • hoboGeek
      • 7 years ago

      internets ?
      When one “internet” is just not good enough..

        • dmjifn
        • 7 years ago

        Hear, hear! Everyone knows that correct usage of the word “internets” requires it be preceded by the word “teh”.

    • Shambles
    • 7 years ago

    After Hamachi buried their direct sync stuff behind a pay wall I’m looking forward to this. There is absolutely no need for a third party to have direct access for my files in order to sync files between my computers. I’ll keep dropbox around for the public URLs but will no longer need to be a part of my backup solution.

      • Nomgle
      • 7 years ago

      Take a look at AeroFS too – it can do direct sync between your machines.

    • odizzido
    • 7 years ago

    This actually sounds really good.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      i have a 25gb skydrive account, that i’ve got about 2 gb of used. for me, the slow upload speeds (usually 1mb or lower in canada) prevents me from using more. I have a 50gb box account, but sinc eth upload is so slow, and their software so buggy, i can’t ever upload any of my photographs to it. it takes too long. anyone else in a similar situation, or have you found away around it?

        • Shambles
        • 7 years ago

        You must have bought a Nexus 4 as well. 😛

        I’m in Canada as well. I have tried several services but ultimately the limits of these services as well as our terrible ISPs in Canada leave me with only syncing my important documents and other smaller files to dropbox while my pictures/videos/music only back up among all the computers on my LAN. It’s vulnerable if my house burns down but I doubt I’ll care much about losing my movie collection if my house has been destroyed.

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        Can’t use online backup services in full @ home due to Comcast 250/300 GB/monthly limits. I get around it by syncing between a desktop and a few laptops and server at home. My GF runs a small business (interior design, graphic design, logo design, website design) out of our home and this isn’t even 1/4 of her total data store.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          ok, so sounds like i’m not alone!

          these sound nice, but given the lack of bandwidth, and crap apps, it’s still limited.

          one thing i just found out though, was that the windows skydrive app can give you FULL access to your files, beyond what you have stored if your home pc is turned on! super great!

        • cegras
        • 7 years ago

        Is it possible to mail them a thumbdrive with your data for an initial sync?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          idk. i probably wouldn’t bother. for me, it’ll be better soon. i’ll be house sitting for a guy with 30 down and 15 up. at that point i’ll do some uploading. But my point is that while these are great, for a lot of people, they’re simply not usable beyond small amounts of data.

      • stdRaichu
      • 7 years ago

      As Geoff/XKCD points out, I’m also surprised that this hadn’t been thrown together sooner. But as with anything P2P, NAT and port forwarding is going to rear its ugly head sooner or later (roll on IPv6!).

      Personally I just have an OpenVPN setup for pulling files from home, but that’s still heavily into geek territory, so I’m wishing Sync all the best.

      As an aisde, anyone else remember when WASTE came out and was going to revolutionise personal P2P?
      [url<]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WASTE[/url<]

        • mac_h8r1
        • 7 years ago

        Sure do! Had it running in the dorms!

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