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BitTorrent Sync


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July 18, 2013

If you have not tried the “BitTorrent Sync” client, you're missing out on an incredibly versatile technology. I know not about the underlying details to feel entirely comfortable with the cryptographic security, or how much and what information the protocol may leak, but from the usability and functionality standpoints (not to mention the “Holy Torrent, Batman” factor) this is something that deserves serious attention.

In short, “BitTorrent Sync” client uses the common BitTorrent protocol to synchronized two or more directories over the network. Each of these directories must share a secret key, some long, auto-generated hexadecimal string of random stuff that identifies the collection of files in that directory. Whoever has that key can participate in the sharing of that data. With the recent release of the Android client, I'm not merely able to share files across any distance (between home and work computers, for example), but my phone as well. I've setup my DCIM/Camera/, Music/, and Pictures/ folders on my phone to be shared with my desktop. I've turned off the use of the celluar network for synchronization, leaving btsync to require a wifi connection, but I could enable cellular, too, in which case any picture I take is automatically copied to my home network.

Sure, Google+ can backup pictures, too, but what if I don't want my pictures to be uploaded to Google? What if I want to record sounds and transfer those? What if I want to backup documents I write on my phone or table or laptop? At the nearest coffee shop, I hook up to wifi and my stuff is backed up without me having to lift a finger: No need to open an scp connection to transfer files, just get a network connection and btsync does the rest.

It's also an awesome way for a group of friends to share stuff, and the BitTorrent protocol synchronizes everything up fast and efficiently.

Nifty? Definitely!

The only downside is that it's not Free software. It's not even Open Source.

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