Workspace - Review - Bittorrent Sync

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Sync your photos and files between devices automatically
 
How often have you wanted an easy way to just copy your photos or other files from your phone to your desktop PC or Mac? Don't want to mess around with cables or Cloud storage services because it's too hard? 
 
Bittorrent Sync makes it easy. It's available for various devices including PC Windows, Mac and Linux. Apps are available for mobiles including Android and iOS, and these, including the desktop clients are free with no ads. I wasn't able to try the iOS version of the app for this review.
 
To get started, go to the Bittorrent Sync website. Here you can download and install the desktop application. After installation, run the program and you can select a folder to sync at this time but you can add folders later. Then, install the Bittorrent Sync app on your phone from the link at the end of this review.
 
Say you want to sync photos from your phone to a computer across your home wireless network. To do this, on your PC, go to 'My Pictures and create a folder called, for example,  'Phone Photos'. In the Bittorrent Sync desktop software, you add this folder and generate a 'secret', a 20 byte long string of characters. Each is unique and secure, but you can make this key longer if you wish.
 
After you have selected your folder and generated a secret key, right click the folder in the Bittorrent SyncBTSync folder tab and select 'Connect mobile device'. This will generate a QR code you can scan with your phone.
 
On your phone, run the Bittorent Sync app and tap 'Add Folder'. Tap 'Choose Folder' and find 'DCIM' in the list. Tap this folder, and inside, select the 'Camera' folder. Most Android devices store photos in this location. Now tap 'Choose Folder'. Next, tap the 'Scan QR Code' button. This is where you face your phones camera at the QR code you generated on your PC screen. You're almost done.
 
The last thing to do is to set the app to auto-start when your phone turns on. On your PC, Bittorrent Sync can be set to auto-start as well. You can set it to automatically sync whenever a new file is added to the folder on your phone. You do this by tapping the gear button next to the folder name. In this case, whenever you take a new photo, it will be synced to your PC.
 
The app can sync across your cellular data network, but keep in mind this will add to your data costs. If this setting is disabled, sync will only happen when your phone is in range of your home wireless  network. As soon as you walk in your front door, any new photos you have taken will copy across to your PC in minutes with no effort at all. The syncing works both ways. If you move or delete the photo from your PC folder, it will be removed from the phone and photos deleted on your phone will be removed from the PC.
 
This photos example is just one possible use of Bittorrent Sync, as you could sync your music collection or any other content across devices. It provides a simple way to copy files between mobile devices with the app installed on each one. Bittorrent Sync can back up your devices files. An explanation of how it's done is on the Getting Started on Mobile web page.
 
The app is light on resources and runs in the background if you have chosen the auto-start option. In the app settings you can set it to go to sleep if there is no activity. There's a power saver setting but I didn't notice any extra battery drain after using the app for several weeks on my phone and Tablet.
 
File transfers are fast and there's no limit on file size, a shortcoming of many Cloud services you may not need to use any more. I'm sure you will think of many other uses for this versatile app and it's desktop counterpart. There are other possibilities I haven't mentioned, and these along with other questions are covered on the Bittorrent Sync Frequently asked Questions web page.
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Bittorrent Sync — Free Mobile App of the Week
 
For Android 2.2 and up
Size: 3.96 Mb
 
For iOS 5.0 and later
Size: 6.9 Mb
 

 

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