Bittorrent Sync seeks alpha testers


When Dropbox brought Condoleezza Rice onboard, I immediately closed my account, and permanently deleted their software from all my devices.

I was already testing Bittorrent Sync, and have since found that it handles 90% of what I was using Dropbox for – file transfer between my personal computers and devices – very well. I still have a couple iOS apps that were relying on Dropbox for sync, but I still feel better for having severed ties with that utility.

I’ve written the last iOS stragglers about finding an alternative for Dropbox sync, and have high hopes they’ll deliver updated sync alternatives soon.

From what I understand, BTSync is not open source, I have seen people recommending instead. It depends how much a user cares about it being open.

This fall iOS 8 should break our dependency on Dropbox for getting files into and out of Apple devices. If the Bittorrent Sync project can produce an iOS app that implements the Storage Provider extension protocol then any app that uses the standard document picker can read and write these files.

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BitTorrent Sync is already well beyond an alpha-level product, in the traditional reckoning. I’ve been using it for work critical documents for awhile, and it does a good enough job that I stopped using Dropbox.

Storage was the big limitation - I can store and sync enormous video and application files with relative ease.

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I think the summary is wrong, you fire this up and none of your hard drives are used by other people. I have a group of three of my personal machines set up to sync folders though, and for that it’s pretty great. Unless you give someone the special access code they will never see your data or even pass it through.

If you do want to share, you can give out read only access or full sync access.


The summary is sadly very wrong. Cory, you really should try it out - it’s very cool; just not in the way described. :smile:

BitTorrent Sync does not act as a peer-to-peer between strangers; it simply uses the BitTorrent protocol for hashing and piece distribution between your own nodes. In this way, it works as a completely private Dropbox.

Furthermore, this alpha is essentially of the new UI they’re working on. The product has been available for over a year and very stable. While not open source, it has broad platform support, running on anything from a Mac to a NAS to Android - far more useful than Dropbox in that regard.


It makes you wonder where they are getting such disinformation.

I’ve been using it for a couple of months now. It works pretty well, although there are plenty of features I’d like to see added. The idea of pooled data thought anonymous storage is an interesting one however…

Of note, I’ve been really impressed with BitTorrent Sync’s low battery usage on my Android devices. I’ve used it to replace all kinds of other things.

For example, rather than use Google’s photo backup, I share my DCIM folder as a read-only BitTorrent Sync share, and set up my other machines to pull a copy.

One killer feature that puts it ahead of many other services is that if both machines are on the same local network, it’ll use the local network instead of pushing everything across the Internet.

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I’ve been using it since July 2013. I’m very, very pleased with it. I can’t imagine not using it anymore - on my Nexus 7, my laptop, my main desktop machine, even my NAS. It’s just the thing for sharing files with friends.

My only misgivings, as many have stated, the closed-specs. I keep an eye out for alternatives, but so far nothing else.

I just figured out a very handy use for BTSync: for monitoring and updating your website. Bonus: if your site gets pwned, you’ll see the sub/sub/sub/sub/sub/sub/sub/fake_bank.html on your dev machine…so you can say “whaaaa!?” and kill it.

It even runs well on a 256mb raspberry pi… it functions as my “backup server” and has been doing it like a champ for six months. All it needed was a hard drive attached via usb to handle the half terabyte of junk I want to keep.

Replying to myself:

I’ve finally had the opportunity to read the BTSync Blog entry:

They’re looking for community (non-geek) alpha testers, as they plan on improving the UI, among other things.

This reminds me of the BitCloud project that was also mentioned here on BoingBoing. ( ) Looking beyond the immediate utility, I think such systems represent the leading edge of a trend in the commodification of computing. They represent means of virtualization that isolates the architectural differences in OSes and hardware to utilize processing and storage in a very generic standardized way, making data and application independent of hardware and its physical location. This compels a trend toward generalization in hardware design, the broadening of external standardized protocols and the isolation of internal architectures, the reduction of its key features to only performance factors, and its use as a commodity ‘blind’ to the anonymized data it hosts.

Right now things like Bittorrent Sync and BitCloud are dealing with decentralized encrypted cloud storage–a blind distributed cloud server. I suspect this to ultimately lead to the use of the Internet itself as a distributed cloud computing environment where the cloud becomes both distributed data storage and processor, letting software exist, run, independent of hardware and its location. The personal computer becomes an encrypted ‘domain space’ independent of any particular piece of hardware, the hardware becomes a generic ‘blind’ network processing unit embedded in the infrastructure, and the Internet becomes the global computer that can never be turned off.

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