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Deep inside BitTorrent Sync's cloudless file syncing

Ian Paul | May 14, 2014
Cloud services like OneDrive and Dropbox are dead-simple to set up and make multi-device file syncing an absolute breeze--but those services force you to stash your files on the company's third-party servers. For some people that's just not an option, or at least an option they'd rather do without.

Open BTSync on OFFICE, right-click the AwesomeVids folder, and select Copy secret from the contextual menu.

Now we have to get that secret code over to DEN — by email, snapping a picture of it on your phone, sneakernet, or even just writing it down and sticking it in your pocket. Treat the code with care — you wouldn't want someone else using it to gain access to your files.

On DEN, click the Add folder button in BTSync, then enter the secret from OFFICE into the Folder secret field in the pop-up window that appears. Next, choose a new folder where you want to save the data, then click OK and let BitTorrent Sync work its magic. Syncing time will vary depending on file size and the speed of your Internet connection(s), naturally.

Syncing files with Android and iOS devices

Syncing folders to mobile devices is easier.

Let's say we want to share the same AwesomeVids folder on the OFFICE computer with an Android tablet. Open the program on the PC, select the AwesomeVids folder, and then click the Connect mobile button. You'll see a QR code pop up in a new window.

Now, open BTSync on the tablet and tap the Add folder icon in the top right corner.

On the next screen, tap Choose folder, then select where you want to save the data on your tablet and press the Choose folder button. You'll return to the Add folder screen. Tap Scan QR code, which will activate your camera. Take the picture!

If your tablet has only a front-facing camera, the QR code may be a little trickier to line up. You can manually enter the secret code in the "or enter secret here" field under the Scan QR code button, too — that field is automatically populated when you photograph the QR code. Once the code's there, tap Done.

BitTorrent Sync works similarly on iOS, but with one major difference: You don't have to choose where to save your synced data. Just snap the QR code and BTSync takes care of the rest.

Note that both apps also have a backup option. On iOS, you can sync your photos to your PC, while the Android app can back up any folder you'd like. The setup process here is basically the same as above.

Sharing is caring

Beyond syncing, you can also share folders with other BTSync users. You can give them the full-access secret code, as if you were sharing with one of your PCs, for example. But if you don't want to give someone full, permanent access to your files, you can share a folder with either read-only or full privileges for 24 hours.


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