BitTorrent Labs Working On New Versions of Sync

Subject: General Tech | December 13, 2014 - 02:03 AM |
Tagged: file sync, folder sync, bittorrent sync

BitTorrent Sync is an immensely useful application that uses the torrent protocol to securely synchronize files across PCs and mobile devices. The program has been in the “beta” stage for awhile now, but BitTorrent Labs is preparing to drop the “beta” tag with the introduction of Sync 2.0 as well as a new paid-for premium version dubbed Sync Pro.

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BitTorrent Labs will be spinning Sync off into three main products, Sync 2.0, an enterprise file replication program, and a cross platform mobile-to-mobile file transfer app.

According to the developers, Sync’s capabilities have rapidly expanded beyond simple file transfer. Sync 2.0 will continue in the same vein as the current application, adding new functionality on top of the existing free Sync 1.4 code base. Sync Pro will be a paid for version that will unlock additional features including selective file sync (a feature that Microsoft is planning to remove from OneDrive), granular ownership and file permissions (along with revocation) for shared folders, and synchronization between desktop and mobile governed by new private identities that will associate all of your devices and simplify syncing.

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Sync Pro will allow more granular control over file ownership along with selective file sync.

The free version of Sync (Sync 2.0) will retain all of the functionality of the current version with some improvements and bug fixes. From there, users will be able to upgrade to Sync Pro for $39.99 per user, per year. Users will create an identity that will allow Sync Pro to be activated on all of their devices and will associate all of their devices (from which users can direct which files/folders should be synced to each device). BitTorrent Labs claims the identities are offline and private though they did not provide specifics on payment options and related privacy implications of the new premium license model and identity system.

Sync File Replication is a niche tool aimed at IT administrators that will allow business users to replicate out files and folders across thousands of devices and monitor and manage all of the associated sync operations. The program uses the Sync engine but is tooled to scale to hundreds or thousands of devices. The developers claims to have achieved a full synchronization to 1,000 PCs in under one minute in their test environment.

Additionally, BitTorrent Labs is bringing back the mobile-to-mobile file transfer feature that some may remember from earlier versions of the Sync app for mobile devices. The new Sync Mobile Large File Transfer application is being spun off into its own, separate, mobile app. It will be cross platform (iOS, Android, et al) and will  allow users to send and receive files without including a PC in the sync group.

The introduction of a paid version is a new, but not suprising twist considering its popularity and usefulness. The talk of Sync going open source appears to be merely talk, however as BitTorrent Labs looks to profit off Sync (they could still go with a licensed open source model but I feel like if they were going to do that, it would have been one of the touted features and new directions for Sync 2.0). I would have liked to see Sync go open source (if only for a full security audit) but even closed source I will likely continue using it as it is a useful and easy to use program. 

You can sign up for more information on Sync 2.0 (and when it will be available for download) on this web page. Further, this forum thread provides some much needed clarifications to their previous announcement.

Source: BitTorrent

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December 13, 2014 | 09:46 AM - Posted by Branthog

Is it going to have the same counter-intuitive limitations that the last version had, where only so many people could participate at a time and over 50 would just deny people, meaning that the more people you had seeding content, the less people you could have accessing it?

December 13, 2014 | 01:45 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Hi, I will try to get an answer for you.

December 14, 2014 | 10:57 PM - Posted by Branthog

I saw it in action very early on, so maybe all that changed. However, I believe at one time it had a limit per "group" of about 50. Even though this is intended as a backup service, having any sort of limitation seems very strange and counter to the fundamental spirit (and benefit) of bit torrent.

Maybe that limitation was due to early testing constraints. I hope that's the case. I could see this serving a variety of functions for a lot of orgs all in one.

December 13, 2014 | 11:21 AM - Posted by Terje_P (not verified)

Will you be able to send and receive individual files in an intuitive way without syncing entire folders with this new version?

December 13, 2014 | 01:47 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

This is just me guessing here but I believe you are stuck with syncing folders though you will be able to choose which files to sync and which files to not sync (represented by a placeholder file that will download the actual file if you try to open it with an app).

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