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BitTorrent Sync goes head to head with the cloud

We’ve all heard about the cloud at this point, we’re all using it – or should be if you don’t want to lose all your data in freak, digital accidents – but it isn’t the only remote service out there. BitTorrent Inc. is pioneering something a little different, torrent based backup: BitTorrent Sync.

The clue for how it works is in the name: it synchronises content across several different devices, meaning that the only limiting factor is the storage space on each of them. It does so using the same P2P protocol that BitTorrent software uses in order to download files from a variety of seeding sources. As Wired points out, this is different from traditional cloud offerings, which use a third party data storage centre.


BitTorrent Sync keeps everything on your devices, or on those of people that you trust, letting you share out an encryption key so that if you want someone other than you looking at it, you can just hand them they key and they can access whatever you want them to.

As it stands, BitTorrent Sync is available on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms, though BitTorrent said that: “In the future, we plan to also support most popular mobile platforms.” This would certainly improve the usability of the software, especially as storage space on mobile devices increases.

For a full rundown on how the service works, check out BitTorrent Inc.’s blog post here.

KitGuru Says: The software is in alpha at the moment, but certainly represents an interesting competitor to traditional cloud offerings, as it keeps everything you care about with devices you can control. There’s literally no chance of external factors affecting your data. Of course it offers less security if all of these devices with your data on are in the same building, but at least you can keep an eye on it all – the onus is on you to keep it safe, not a third party. 

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