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BitTorrent Sync Takes on Dropbox, Google Drive with Free, Unlimited File Sync Without the Cloud

BitTorrent is going head to head against cloud file synchronization services like Dropbox and Google with the launch of Sync, a new, free tool designed to synchronize files across computers securely and without storage constraints. The twist: It's not cloud-based.

BitTorrent Sync — which supports Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux — is a torrent-based backup and file synchronization utility that provides encrypted, potentially speedier transfers using a peer-to-peer protocol similar to those used by µTorrent and BitTorrent clients.

For security, BitTorrent Sync uses shared secrets, an AES cypher, and a 256-bit key. Shared secrets can be changed on the fly, and unique, one-time shared secrets valid for 24 hours can be generated for guest access.

As BitTorrent described it: "The secret is a randomly generated 21-byte key. It is Base32-encoded in order to be readable by humans. BitTorrent Sync uses dev/random (Mac, Linux) and the Crypto API (Windows) in order to produce a completely random string. This authentication approach is significantly stronger than a login/password combination used by other services. That's why using a secret generated by BitTorrent Sync is very safe and secure."

BitTorrent Sync running on Mac OS X
BitTorrent Sync running on Mac OS X

Other features include:

  • Optional traffic relay (enabled by default);
  • Various peer discovery tools, including local peer discovery, peer exchange, and others;
  • Upload and download rate limiting for remote and local peers;
  • NAT UPnP port mapping;
  • Disk priority settings;
  • LAN encryption options;
  • Multiple folder synchronization; and
  • Notifications for completed downloads.

BitTorrent Sync is available now as a free download. It requires Mac OS X 10.6 or newer, Windows XP SP3 or newer, or one of six supported Linux varieties. Additional details and a link to download the software can be found on the BitTorrent Sync portal on the BitTorrent Labs site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .

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