BitTorrent is one of the best ways to share files with multiple people all over the internet. Whether in your local area network (LAN) or across the work with a 56k modem, BitTorrent will ensure your files are transferred securely to anyone you wish.
Which makes it the perfect tool for piracy but that is not what this post is about.
Dropbox is famous for being an easy to use folder based synchronization tool. Just share a folder with another Dropbox user and you can share files between the two. Add others to the shared folder and they too will have access to that folder and all the files inside. Perfect for collaboration and personal backup except for one problem: your files are on Dropbox’s servers. To most users this isn’t an issue. Until you run into the maximum storage capacity limit or any of the other roadblocks put up by Dropbox, you can use their service for free.
I have a few hundred Gigabytes worth of data. Old school work, project files, hundreds of hours of family videos and photos, all add up to hundreds of Gigabytes. Using a cloud based storage service like Dropbox would cost me monthly and would mean all my files would also be stored on a server somewhere where I would have no control over who accesses them or how they are stored. I’m no security guru, but I don’t want my stuff on someone else’s computer.
So what if I use BitTorrent to share my files only between computers I own? If I had two computers each sharing my Photos folder, I would have two copies for backup as well as the ability to change files on one computer and have the changes be updated on the second. Only issue is, both computers have to be on at the same time for syncing to occur. So how about I add a third computer with that same shared folder and leave it on all the time? High electricity bill? Sure, but not if I use a low power computer like a Raspberry Pi!
And that is why I paid $40 for a copy of Resilio Sync after using their software for over a year.
I’ve got a Linux version Sync running on my Raspberry Pi, a powered USB 3.0 hub, and a 2TB Samsung USB Harddrive.
Getting Sync setup in Linux was a bit of a challenge and took a few tries to get right. I still occasionally have problems with the USB Harddrive not mounting correctly if the Raspberry Pi get restarted but a quick unplug-and-plug it back in again usually solves that.
At the moment I’m Syncing 463GB between my Laptop (MacBook Pro), my Desktop running Windows 7, and the Raspberry Pi. Initial sync took a couple of days because the Pi isn’t the fastest at writing to its harddrive, but Syncing just between the Laptop and Desktop is blazing fast and quicker still when connected together with a CAT5 cable.
Once more, I’ve got Sync running on my Google Nexus 6 so that whenever I take a photo or video, the new files are uploaded to the Pi the next time I’m on WiFi.
Resilio Sync is the most useful software I have ever used. I use it more than Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and even Google Search. It is easy to setup and simple to maintain and having the Pro license makes it all a little easier with the use of adjustable folder permissions.
If you are considering dropping Dropbox or any of those other cloud storage services in favor of Sync, do it. Make sure you get it setup and running before completely removing yourself from those cloud storage services but do it. You’ll save money and be in better control of your data. Plus its a really fun project that you will end up using every single day!