Ever wanted to quickly share a large file (or several files) with a friend yet the size limit on emails and the hassle behind file-sharing services make you want to give up? Many cloud storage services make you jump through hoops just to get measly upload or download speeds. But we’ve found a gem of a solution.
If you’re thinking of a bullet-fast way to share files without requiring any registration, then you can try out BitTorrent Sync.
Bittorrent Sync is a very lightweight program that allows you to create a secure shared-folder to upload and download files with seemingly no size limit. It basically synchronizes your files using a peer-to-peer (P2P) protocol.
We’ll show you how simple it is to setup and use and all the other things you can do with BitTorrent Sync.
Download & Install BitTorrent Sync
Normally we would begin by directing you to a website to register for a service. This isn’t the case for BitTorrent Sync as you just have to download the small software and install it on your computer. No registration required.
It has support for Windows XP SP3 or newer, Mac 10.6 or newer, Linux and even NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.
During installation, you should tick ‘Add an exception for BitTorrent Sync in Windows Firewall’ in order for the program to be able to transfer files through your network.
After installing, a setup window will appear and you’ll be asked if you want to go with the Standard Setop or if you have a ‘secret’.
A secret, here, is a long piece of code consisting 32 alphanumerical characters. You use a secret like a password to acquire access from or give permission to a friend who is sharing a folder with you via Bittorrent Sync.
Go with ‘Standard Setup’ for the meantime.
How To Begin Sharing Files And Folders
Unless you have a specific folder you want to share with someone, you should start by creating a new folder on your hard drive. Chuck all that you want to share inside this folder.
Then go to the Shared Folders tab (second from the left) on BitTorrent Sync and click on Add.
Click on Generate to get a unique ‘secret’ code and click on the three dots to browse for that folder you just created, or any specific folder you want to share.
Don’t worry about keeping this ‘secret’ code somewhere safe, you can view it again by right clicking on the path, and selecting Copy secret.
On the receiving end, they can go to Shared Folders, and click on Add.
In the ‘Shared secret’ field, they can paste the secret code given to them and create or select a folder they want the contents to be synced to. If they choose a folder with files in it, contents between their folder and the newly synced folder will be merged.
To see more advanced options, you can also right click and select Show folder preferences.
The Read only secret option ensures that the person using this code cannot add or delete files in the folder. They also cannot generate a secret to further share the folder with someone else.
Another option is the One-time secret option, which allows for the secret to last only 24 hours, for a single use.
Under these advanced options, you can also generate a new secret on an existing folder by clicking on New. You can use this when a folder is accidentally shared to a person who is not an intended receiver. Generate a new secret for that affected folder and give it to the people you want to give the folder access to.
Testing Transfer Speeds
Apart from the easy setup and requiring no registration, the transfer speed is something to shout about. We must start by saying that transfer speeds will vary depending on your internet connection.
That aside, in a simple test, we were able to get 200kbps upload and download speeds, simultaneously, and while not on the fastest Internet service out there. As a comparison, the same file could be uploaded to Dropbox, at almost 300 Kbps, but the catch is, we have to wait for Dropbox to finish uploading before the download link can be shared to another person.
BitTorrent Sync is (technically) transferring files over the Internet without a middleman, so it doesn’t have a problem handling large files, which is great news for those of you who want to share raw clips or large image files.
Plus, the ‘secret’ code that is generated is alphanumeric and long enough to deter any attempts to crack it. But that didn’t stop the site from further encrypting the file transfer. Lastly, your information is not stored anywhere apart from the devices that are doing the uploading and downloading of the files.
We’ve sung the praises and now let’s get down to the limitations.
There is no real ‘manager’ or ‘owner’ of the shared folder. For example, if you share a folder with your friend, that person can easily share it with anyone else without your permission.
Once the folder is shared, you are able to see it under the Devices tab but are not able to do anything about it like ‘kicking’ the person out from the share list. Basically, you cannot manage permissions beyond the first share.
Since there’s no middleman, there’s no way to access your files through a website compared to other cloud services. If you’re using another computer, you’ll have to download and install the program just to access your files.
Your main computer where BitTorrent Sync is installed also acts as a server, so it has to be turned on for you to be able to access and sync your files.