BitTorrent, hoping to be known as more than the People Person’s Piracy Company, has been developing a new product called BitTorrent Sync, which is essentially a back-up service that doesn’t use the cloud. And even the alpha blows most backup solutions out of the water.
Essentially, all Sync really does is apply BitTorrent technology to backups: You link your devices, click Sync, and the program largely takes care of the rest. Basically it’s your own private BitTorrent. And it is an alpha, although fairly polished for one: I ran into a few glitches and problems, although nothing major that renders it unusable. For example, if two files have the same name, BitTorrent will dump the older one in a trash file and just keep the newer one, and if you don’t want to back up certain files, right now you’ll be editing a text file.
There’s also no way to back up between, say, your Android tablet and your Linux computer, but again, it’s an alpha.
But the key thing is that this works, and that it works well. What’s really shocking is how efficient it is. Cutting the cloud out of the matter really cranks up the speed, and cuts out the more annoying parts of cloud back-ups: There’s no limit on the number or size of files, and you don’t have to worry about major companies riffling through your stuff. Or anybody, as the syncing is encrypted.
I didn’t put it to a lot of stress tests beyond uploading a few large files on a home network, but after a few days of using it, I’m impressed with how quickly it syncs, how accurately it syncs, and how free of aggravation it is. If you’d like to try it, it’s currently free from BitTorrent’s website.