Now that we’re all pretty certain the National Security Agency is poring over our grammatically incorrect texts and downloading archives of our Instagrammed latte art, secure services have a leg-up. No one wants the government browsing through their files.
BitTorrent on Wednesday released a beta version of its Sync file client with a promise that files will remain private and the service will never shut down (perhaps a jab at other popular services that have abruptly closed for business). Sync isn’t a cloud storage service in the vein of Dropbox; it relies on the BitTorrent peer-to-peer protocol to sync your documents, photos, videos, music, and more. Your files never pass through a server when shared, and the transfers are encrypted.
Sync was the first project to emerge from the BitTorrent Labs incubator. The free file-syncing client debuted in January as a pre-alpha idea for die-hard BitTorrent users to test and refine. After months of feedback circles and tweaks (and 8PB of data – yes, that’s petabytes – shared by testers), Sync on Wednesday opened to the public as a beta client.
Two key features that BitTorrent users have clamoured for are included in the Sync beta: an Android app and SyncArchive, a folder that allows you to see all the old version of your files. BitTorrent said the searchable archive will add more functionality as time goes on. An iOS app is also in the works.
Some of the more enthusiastic alpha testers used Sync in innovative ways, like creating a personal cloud on the Raspberry Pi or turning an old computer into a storage device.
BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker says that the company “doesn’t know yet” if Sync will compete with Dropbox or other storage services, but with no caps on file sizes or limits on sharing, it could be a viable alternative.
by Caitlin McGarry, TechHive