Archive for November 11, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Replacing Dropbox With Resilio Sync

Tom Harrington:

Over the past year or so I’ve been trying out Resilio Sync (formerly BitTorrent Sync) as a possible alternative to Dropbox. It’s gradually improved to where I think I can rely on it. With my Dropbox subscription up for renewal in a couple of weeks, now’s the time. In this post I’ll describe how to set up Resilio to get a Dropbox-like experience.


I looked at a variety of sync options and rejected most of them. Reasons varied, but I found that the quickest test of a sync system was checking how it handled symbolic links. My only real technical gripe with Dropbox is that it won’t copy symbolic links as symbolic links. Instead it follows the links, which can cause duplicate files.

This is actually one of my favorite Dropbox features. It’s very useful even though it’s technically sort of wrong.

Resilio also offers a couple of nice benefits. It’ll sync directly from one Mac to another over my local network without needing to upload everything to a server first. And I can set up as many shared folders as I want, in any location on my Macs.


I’ve been talking about adding Macs to Resilio, but it also runs on other platforms. Most interesting for this post, it runs on Linux and can be configured remotely. That means you can buy space at any VPS provider and add your virtual server(s) to the mix. That gives you an always-on computer to sync with for just a few bucks a month.

After seeing the new MacBook Pros, I’m considering switching from a single MacBook Pro setup to a (future) desktop Mac combined with my 2012 MacBook Pro. I have some big folders that I want to sync between the two Macs but which don’t need to be stored in the cloud. Resilio Sync seems like a good solution for this.

Unfortunately, Resilio Sync is not a Dropbox replacement if you need to sync with iOS apps such as Editorial, GoodReader, and Readdle Documents.

Previously: Replacing Dropbox With iCloud Drive.

Update (2016-11-11): Some people share their experiences via Twitter.