A common problem is how to share files with friends and family. Small files are easily shared via email but larger files such as videos are often too large to be an email attachment. Cloud services can be used, up to a point, but a user will be charged a monthly fee if his needs exceed the amount of free space offered. If you are like myself, you probably have several cloud accounts, each with it’s own amount of free space. This can get a bit confusing. In this article I will offer two alternatives that will give you a single “personal cloud”.
A company called Connected Desktop has recently introduced a new product called the Transporter Sync. You can read about this gadget on their webpage here. You can buy this device at Amazon for just under $100. It comes with no built-in storage so you must dedicate and attach another USB storage device. I use the word “dedicate” because whatever you attach is reformatted to an unspecified format. If you decide later to swap out that device for another, it will have to be reformatted to a file system recognized by your OS, e.g., NTFS, HFS and etc. The firmware is not quite complete at this time. A “Library” function is yet to be implemented. Without this function all the files/folders on the device are synced with a local or remote computer. It is doubtful that you will want to attach a 1 or 2 TB drive. Connected Desktop promises that the feature is “coming soon” and hopefully “soon” means weeks and not months.
A second solution is offered by the folks at Bittorrent Inc. This FREE software is called Bittorrent Sync and you can download it here. Versions are offered for all popular OS’s. The way this works is that file sharers designate folders on their computers to share. The shared folders are assigned a “secret” key. It’s rather lengthy at 32 characters but you only have to enter it once. Now remote file sharers having folders with identical keys can sync the folders using the bittorrent protocol. Great idea. It’s also a good way to transfer files to and from your local computer and your mobile devices. Of course, unlike the hardware solution offered by Connected Desktop in which the gadget is always online, this method requires that all syncing computers to be online.
On January 29, Connected Desktop added the much needed “Library” feature to the firmware. The update was automatic with no action needed by the owner other than to have the device online.