BitTorrent gets a bad rap. The word torrent is usually associated with pirating content and sharing something illegally. No matter how the internet chooses to use it, the BitTorrent technology underlying the whole thing is kind of amazing. Creating a peer-to-peer network to share content between two machines directly. Without dealing with the hassles of buying server space, uploading content and then downloading again. Not to mention the cost of the whole thing.
BitTorrent, the company that created this protocol is trying to give the technology a new spin with their Sync app. We’ve talked about what makes it great for syncing content and how it’s better than Dropbox. Since we last talked about it, the app is available on more platforms and supports automatic camera uploads from mobile apps to a connected computer.
But what is this personal P2P craze? Why should be using these apps if you’ve already got Dropbox and Drive installed? Read on to find out.
The Pros And Cons Of Using Personal P2P Syncing Solutions
Peer-to-peer networks are private, don’t talk to servers, and are generally a lot faster than server based syncing solutions. On the downside, when a P2P transfer is taking place, both computers need to be up and running and connected to the internet.
Think of personal P2P syncing as folder based FPT transfers that are easy to set up and simple to understand.
BitTorrent Sync Vs Infint
BitTorrent Sync and Infinit both require the sender and the receiver to have the apps installed. Remember, this is P2P, so unlike Dropbox or Google Drive, just a link to the stored file on the server is not enough.
1. Ease Of Use
Of the two, Infinit is clearly easier to use. It has a menu bar utility on Mac and system tray app for Windows. This allows you to quickly drag in the file, enter the email address (your own or your friends’) and the file is on its way.
In BitTorrent Sync, it’s not nearly as simple. First, you need to make sure you have BitTorrent Sync version 1.4 beta and higher installed for the local syncing to work. Then you need to add a folder to the app.
Then you’ll have to “share” this folder with your friend or another computer on your network. There’s no easy way to scan BitTorrent Sync installs on other PCs on your network. You’ll basically need to email yourself the link or copy and paste the link.
When you click the link on the different machine, you’ll need to go back to the original machine and authenticate the invite. And now both machines are in sync and anything you add to this folder (on either machine) will sync automatically.
2. Mobile Apps
BitTorrent Sync has iOS, Android, and Windows Phone apps. As everything in BitTorrent Sync is device specific, you’ll have to go through the whole process of setting it up, just like you did with other PC. But I think it’s worth it, especially given how fast it is compared to Dropbox.
Infinit doesn’t yet have an iOS or Android app.
Winner: BitTorrent Sync.
Both BitTorrent Sync and Infinit use the same underlying P2P technologies. But BitTorrent Sync with its previously mentioned annoying process of multi-layered authentication makes it more secure.
Winner: BitTorrent Sync
This one is a bit difficult to pin down. The syncing speed depends heavily on your internet connection and the Wi-Fi router. But I did find Infinit to be a tad faster than BitTorrent Sync.
Winner: It’s a tie (depends).
The Best For Sharing vs Syncing
The most fundamental difference between the two of these apps, and the one that’s going to be the deal breaker (or maker) is that BitTorrent Sync is clearly modeled as a syncing client while Infinit is more of a file sharing client. But what does that really mean?
If you’re looking for a way to easily sync your own files between all your desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones you own, BitTorrent Sync is the one to go for. Yes, the setup takes a lot of time, but once that’s done, anything you drag to the synced folder will show up on the other device automatically.
On the other hand, if you want to share large files between your friends or roommates, Infinit is clearly the better choice.
Which One Did You Choose?
So, which one did you go for? BitTorrent Sync or Infinit? And why? Or will you use both? Let us know in the comments below.
Top image via Shutterstock
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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