Not sure of the security of “cloud” storage or distressed restrictions on the amount of data? Meet the BitTorrent Sync – a new client for synchronizing files between devices transmitting data via P2P, bypassing the remote server
Pre-testing service to synchronize files from BitTorrent, which lasted for three months, came to an end. Since April 23 application BitTorrent Sync became available for free download. Despite the fact that this is still pre-alpha version, the program is already working on three major desktop platforms and copes with the main task – to synchronize data between multiple devices.
BitTorrent Sync: Unlike the “cloud” services
No, this is not another alternative to Dropbox. Despite the fact that the name of the new application creators BitTorrent protocol appears word Sync, no relation to data storage in the “cloud” it is not. On the contrary. BitTorrent Sync program is designed for direct communication between users, bypassing the remote server. That is, such a server, of course, used, but not for storing user files and not even to send a data access key, but only for communication between computers.
At the heart of BitTorrent Sync – a well-known protocol P2P (peer-to-peer), which is actively used in the torrent clients and other applications for direct file exchange between a PC. Its main purpose – easy transfer of large files. During the image transfer is divided into a plurality of parts, and thus considerably increases the speed of loading (especially if the file is transmitted from multiple sources). The new program proven over the years sharing technology has been combined with the popular idea of automatic synchronization. As a result, we have a client that he constantly checks the user-defined folders for new and changed files, and if any are found, copy them to other connected devices.
BitTorrent Sync can be regarded as an improvement on a torrent client, which all work to create a torrent downloading them on the tracker and updated when the data is shifted from the user to the application. All this is done automatically and without user intervention, and the server performs the function of program developers torrent tracker – BitTorrent Sync connects customers with each other.
The main difference from BitTorrent Sync Dropbox and similar services – user data is not stored in the “cloud”, which means a more secure file sharing. Furthermore, there are no limitations in terms of files and folders for synchronization and data rate does not depend on the speed of communication with the remote server.
On the other hand, the advantage of the service generates its main flaw to synchronize two computers both must be turned on and connected to the Internet. You can not, as in the case of Dropbox, morning edit on your home computer, turn it off, come to work and open the latest version of the file on your PC. Thus, BitTorrent Sync hardly suitable for rapid synchronization of documents that are actively working on various devices. On the other hand, the program is useful for creating copies of family photos and video archives of all devices in the home network, for fast transfer of large files, a group of people, and for many other purposes. If the devices between which synchronizes the contents of folders that are on a local network, data transmission will be performed within the network, so it will be even faster.
Almost the most attention was paid to the development of security. BitTorrent Sync encrypts all traffic between the devices using the AES algorithm with 256-bit key encryption. The key is created on the basis of the so-called “secret” – a random set of characters, which is generated using the Crypto API (on Windows), and dev / random (on Mac and Linux) to protect each synchronized folder. Keys to the folders can be changed at any time. Encrypted data even during transmission over the LAN.
Working with the client BitTorrent Sync
As mentioned above, BitTorrent Sync is available for the operating systems Windows, Mas and Linux. At the same timing, of course, is possible between devices on different operating systems. Mobile clients yet not, but if they become available, we will get another easy way to transfer data between the computer and the smart phone / tablet without wires and Bluetooth-connection.
Installing the client passes without surprises: BitTorrent Sync provides an exception in the firewall Windows, to avoid errors in the work, and also notifies that will be loaded every time the system starts (flags can be removed if desired.)
Then you need to select the type of installation: if the client is installed on the first device, choose the default installation, and then specify a folder, the contents of which will be monitored.
The application then generates a “secret” that is key to access the content folder to sync with another device. Key features copy, although it can be done later. Location of the folder can be anything. Moreover, it is not necessary to create a single directory to keep track of – folders can be added later as they want.
Setting up the program is completed a small tour of its capabilities, and then you can proceed to configure the client to the second device.This time we choose the second option set, indicating that we have a “secret”, and then enter the copied key on the first device and specify the folder in which the data must be synchronized.
In this basic setup is complete. If you copy the file to the synced folder on one device, after a minute or two in the system tray of the second computer you will be notified when a new file. That’s all, synchronization works.
If you want to make changes to the settings or look at the statistics, you can open the application window. On the Devices tab provides information about all the devices connected with status and folder that is synchronized. Since an access key is bound to the folder with a group of people can share one content, and the other – the other.
On the Shared Folders tab, you can see a list of all monitored folders with information on the number of files and the size of each of them.
If you shared the “secret”, it must be administered in here. Adding each new folder is synchronized in two phases: you need to specify the folder on the drive and enter the “secret” (or generate it and share with others).
By right-clicking on the folder name can be added to get a key to access it, open it in the “Explorer” or go to its properties. In the settings window is hidden a lot of interesting things.
You can generate a new key (might be useful if you want to restrict access to a folder given to various people before), to create a key, if you enter the user will have access to the files read-only, as well as generate a single-use access key (full or read-only, at the discretion of the user), which acts during the day. Having key “read-only” does not mean that the device with this type of access a user can not edit or delete files from the folder. Here it is a question of timing in one direction (one-way sync): all the changes that are made to the folder with the key “read-only” does not affect the contents of the source directory on the first device. If the source directory to delete a file, it will be removed and in the second, but if you remove the second, he will remain on the ground.
If multiple users work on files in a folder and simultaneously edit the same file, you are finished making edits in the folder will be the version that was saved last. File Versions application does not save that too, so for collaborative editing BitTorrent Sync is better not to use it.However, the main purpose of the program – this is file transfer, rather than working together with them, so it is not worth complaining about that.
Also pay attention to the principle of deleting files. If one device file is deleted, the default settings in all synchronized folders on other devices, it is transferred to the directory. SyncTrash, which is created inside each folder. If use. SyncTrash in the settings to disable folder, the files will be sent directly to the “shopping cart.”
And if you want to synchronize all the contents of a folder, except for one or two files? In the current version it is already possible, although not done very convenient. In each synced folder file is created automatically. SyncIgnore, and if you want to specify exceptions, the names of files you can simply add it manually. In drawing up the list, you can even use a mask while taking advantage of the symbols? and *.
Client window also allows you to view the progress of current downloads and history of the synchronized files. Furthermore, as in the usual torrent client can limit the data rate in both directions and to change some network settings.
Well, BitTorrent Sync can be safely written to the treasury of useful applications to exchange data. The client is made perfect: on the one hand, it is very simple, and the other – quite functional. Compared with Dropbox, Yandex Disk, SkyDrive, and other similar services, it is more secure. The amount of transmitted information is limited only by the capacity of local disk, not quantity “cloud” storage. BitTorrent Sync does not enable FTP or other intermediaries as PureSync and other programs to sync between devices using a direct connection between computers via P2P. Finally, the client is free.
The only thing that can be uncomfortable for the fans of “cloud” services – the need to keep a computer permanently connected for synchronization. But as this “deficiency” due to the mechanism of the application is likely the target audience will not even notice it. In the end, those who have a lot and shakes hands out a torrent client, the computer turned on all the time, too.
Therefore we believe that BitTorrent Sync has a great future and we will watch with interest the development of this application.