I’ve been thinking more and more about ways to keep my data private. I’m not sitting here with a tin foil hat or anything but you know, if I can replace a piece of software that I use daily with something as good that is private I’ll certainly try it out.
One of the first services I looked to either replace or enhance was Dropbox/OneDrive. It’s not that I have anything against either of these services (they both work great and I have lots of storage 30GB and 50GB respectively) it’s just that I store my most personal shit on there. I won’t lie, there’s a little part of me that doesn’t like the fact that it’s just sitting in the cloud.
Enter BitTorrent Sync. It is, as they describe it: “Secure, unlimited file-syncing. No cloud required.” and here’s the thing, it works like a dandy. I installed BT Sync on my home server, laptop, iPhone and iPad and within a minute had access to all of my files. It works perfectly. You can select which folders you want to sync (handy for a few folders that are large and you don’t want on your phone) and the iOS version doesn’t actually download everything unless you tell it to. I like this because I can still browse my folders, see what’s there but save the space until I need the file.
All of this with no space limits (your hard drive is the limit) and it’s free.
It sounds pretty sweet right? What’s missing then? Well, I suppose the lack of a not being in the cloud is the biggest drawback. Funny, right? If I was on the road and don’t have my iPhone or computer with me I am SOL. Because of this, I don’t think calling BT Sync a replacement for Dropbox or OneDrive is very fair. It’s not really designed to replace one of these service but rather in my opinion, augment them. BT Sync is awesome for sharing large files, keeping unlimited backups (say the photos from your phone) or backing up your computer to a local server on your network. These are things I appreciate being able to do but don’t necessarily want to put in the cloud. Plus, there’s nothing stopping you from having a folder you have in Dropbox also synced with BT Sync.
It’s a niche for sure but I think found the missing gap between ‘not wanting to store everything online’ and yet still being able ‘to have replicas of my data’ for easy access and backup purposes.