Monday, April 25, 2016

BitTorrent Sync: for Privacy, Speed, and Control

TJ Luoma:

BTS can sync any folder, as long as you can make changes to that folder. They can be named and located anywhere.


Imagine you have a folder that you want to sync between your iMac and your MacBook. That folder can sync even if they are not on the same network, but if they are (i.e. both are on your home or work LAN) then transfers are fast.


You can disconnect a sync folder from a computer, in which case it is just like Dropbox’s selective sync. The difference is that you can easily look down the main BTS window and see which folders are disconnected.

But if you choose Selective Sync, what happens is so much cooler. Each file is represented by an empty “placeholder” file, which ends with some sort of “bts” suffix. For example, a video file would be “.btsv”. However, you can see all of the files that are in the selectively sync’d folder, and if you need one, just double-click it and it will sync to your computer and then be opened.


Files are kept for 30 days, and versioned, so that if you save a new version over an old version, that old version is also saved for 30 days.

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[…] Yesterday, I wrote about the superiority of BitTorrent Sync’s Selective Sync over Dropbox’s. Today, Dropbox gave a technology preview (via Mitchel Broussard, Hacker News): […]

There's also a BitTorrent Sync version that runs on Synologies, so you can quite easily build your own cloud storage system that works very similarly to a "real" one. I did have a case where a much earlier version of BitTorrent Sync randomly deleted files (no versioning back then), so I've stopped using it, but it's probably much better now.

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