BitTorrent Sync exits beta, offers free private cloud storage

Cloud-based storage makes it easy to share files between multiple users and devices, but what if you don't trust third-party servers with your data? One option is Sync, a private cloud system from the people behind the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol. In development for over two years, Sync can share files across a wide range of PC, mobile, and NAS platforms. The latest iteration, version 2.0, finally delivers what BitTorrent Sync VP Erik Pounds describes as a "final product" devoid of beta branding.

There's a fancy promo video and everything:

Sync, er, syncs files with direct, device-to-device transfers wrapped in a comforting layer of encryption. Folders can be shared not only between devices, but also between users, making Sync an intriguing option for both individuals and groups. There's also a Pro tier that's licensed specifically for business use.

The free version of Sync 2.0 is limited 10 folders, but there are no caps on folder size or transfer speeds. For $39.99 per year, the Pro tier offers unlimited folders, better permission control, and additional support, among other perks.

If you want to puff your own cloud, Sync 2.0 is available for pretty much every operating system: Windows, Windows Phone, OS X, iOS, Android, Fire OS, Linux, and Free BSD. Compatible apps are either already available or coming soon from all the big NAS vendors, as well.

Comments closed
    • davidbowser
    • 6 years ago

    I have tried various file/folder sync technologies, but my use case might not be the same as some folks.

    I need to keep files across a couple of desktops and a laptop in sync for work. I am on the road for work a good deal so having files locally on my laptop is a must when network access is crap.

    I used to run JungleDisk (currently owned by Rackspace) and pay for it on a monthly basis. I never had any problems with it, but my usage pattern changed and it lost the value. I used to have to sync ISOs, large install files, and sometimes DB backups and Jungledisk was great.

    I now just use Google Drive. My files are much smaller (mostly MSOffice stuff and pdfs) but there are A LOT of them. It has been good for me so far.

    I also use CrashPlan for backups. I really do have separate needs for sync and backups, but I understand that some people might see them as one and the same.

    • Duct Tape Dude
    • 6 years ago

    Has anyone else used Sync and watched it slowly become a piece of crap?

    The initial versions of Sync were amazing. Dead simple. You add or generate a secret, share that secret with any other devices you want, and it syncs everything from A to B to C with basic versioning. You could even set readonly or read/write privileges. Fantastic!

    Then in 1.4 they added some incredibly useless universal web-based UI which hid away a bunch of options including how to set the secret itself (???). It still did everything the previous version did, and added other hidden things like encrypted keys which the UI never supported properly.

    Now in 2.0 they want you to pay for it after 10 folders. This is like Tinder deciding to charge their users, or like when Hamachi decided it was about time to commit company suicide not too long ago.

    Someone has responded by creating SyncThing (http://syncthing.net), which works great but still works like a common Go application (ie: launches and runs in a command window). At least the UI and backend are functional.

    In file syncing world, it appears to be “Works well, easy to use, free. Pick two.” Bittorrent Sync was the only thing I’ve found that was dead simple for everyone to install and use. And now that’s overshadowed by an expensive subscription plan.
    /rant

      • Deanjo
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]In file syncing world, it appears to be "Works well, easy to use, free. Pick two."[/quote<] [url<]https://owncloud.org[/url<] Has all three.

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 6 years ago

        This is a different purpose. The whole point of BT Sync/SyncThing is simple P2P sharing, and OwnCloud is a client/server model (plus it’s like 25MB). BTSync and SyncThing just run on any peer. If I need someone to share a folder with me I wouldn’t ask them to set up OwnCloud on their laptop/phone.

          • A_Pickle
          • 6 years ago

          I don’t think you have to have them set up OwnCloud. You set a file on OwnCloud to have public permissions, it gives you a link, and you give them the URL.

        • A_Pickle
        • 6 years ago

        Easy to use, it is. Easy to set up, it isn’t.

      • odizzido
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah I remember reading about this quite some time ago…..that ten folder limit cripples the program to the point of uselessness for me. I think I will stick to FTP.

      • jstern
      • 6 years ago

      When it first came out, it was simply amazing, but now it has turned in to utter crap. I wonder if we can just use the old versions.

        • Duct Tape Dude
        • 6 years ago

        That’s a good point–I think we can actually. I just wonder how many bugfixes are missing in 1.3.

    • willmore
    • 6 years ago

    Have they released a description of the protocol so that the security of it can be properly analyzed? The thing that got bittorrent going was that it was open and everyone could use and improve it. That hasn’t been the case with their sync software.

    • Flatland_Spider
    • 6 years ago

    Were the questions about Sync’s privacy and security resolved with this release?

    Here’s what I’m referring to.
    [url<]http://2014.hackitoergosum.org/bittorrentsync-security-privacy-analysis-hackito-session-results/[/url<]

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Cloud-based storage makes it easy to share files between multiple users and devices, but what if you don't trust third-party servers with your data?[/quote<] I run ownCloud to fix that issue. One NAS at a relatives and another at home.

      • w76
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve been using SpiderOak. Clunky as hell but but don’t have to worry about the uptime, maintenance and backup of my own equipment, etc. But again, clunky enough to the point where I’m hesitant to recommend it. Wuala does something similar, minus the ‘canary’, but doesn’t seem awfully actively developed.

      To backup my backup, CrashPlan also lets you set your own encryption key, which I also merrily use. The NSA will never crack 123456789!

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        [quote<]The NSA will never crack 123456789![/quote<] I hear good things about using qwerty and Password1! I tried SpiderOak at one time but found it clumsy at best. With ownCloud the experience has been fantastic. Great device support and with community maintained packages for my Synology NAS units, it's basically set and forget.

    • puppetworx
    • 6 years ago

    I just switched to using [url=http://www.syncthing.net<]Syncthing[/url<], it has much of the same functionality already but it's not as user friendly yet.

      • gbcrush
      • 6 years ago

      Thanks puppet and Djeano. I’ve knew syncing software to try out. 🙂

      …of course, it’s ironic, but between Syncthing and ownCloud, Syncthing may not be as powerful or complete, but it’s damn sure the website I want to read more. Someone may want to take a readability engineer to the ownCloud site. 😀

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