We’re still not living in the cloud. Internet connections, at least where I live, are still not so stable or generous that I’d be willing to give up on local storage and syncing completely. So I still need to manually send all kinds of files between my Android phone and PC.
I’ve tried many wireless syncing solutions. AirDroid, Pushbullet, BitTorrent Sync, you name it. Dropbox and similar cloud sync services only work when there’s internet. And they’re a lot slower than local transfer. BitTorrent Sync is great but it has stability issues from time to time.
Before now, a quick and easy way to select and send files between devices didn’t exist. I’m talking something that’s fast and requires no setup, login, or authentication. But I think I’ve found one. It’s a bit too basic and that’s great. Below I’ll tell you what it is, how it works and why exactly I prefer it over the myriad of alternatives I’ve tried before.
Dukto is a free and open source project by Emanuele Colombo. It’s available for Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. Emanuele seems to be a fan of Microsoft’s Metro UI and has decided to go with the same UI for all platforms. Yes, it looks weird on Android, but I don’t mind.
All your devices need to be connected to the same local Wi-Fi network for this to work. After launching the app on both Android and desktop you’ll see the name of the other computer in the Buddies page.
Tap on a user’s name from this list and the app will ask if you want to send some text or files and folders. Choose Send some files and folders and the app will show a file explorer. Navigate to the file/folder in question. Select and authenticate. A progress bar will show up and in seconds the file will be sent to another device.
This UI and interaction is the same for all platforms. Yes, there are OS-specific differences based on the name of the button and file picker UI but basically it’s the same.
To further simplify things, Dukto lets you connect to computers directly using an IP address.
How is it Better Than AirDroid, Pushbullet and Other Competitors?
The reason is simple; it’s simpler. Dukto is dead easy to use and to me that matters a lot. Here are some other reasons:
- Zero setup, works locally, without internet
- Free and open source
- Multiple high-speed file transfer
Now let’s compare that with the usual suspects in the Android to Desktop and vice-versa file sharing space.
Relies on cloud to sync files. Takes a lot longer and can’t work without the internet. Setup takes a lot longer, requires creating accounts, setup wizard, and more.
Google Drive, OneDrive, (X)Drive
I’m a big fan of Pushbullet for sending links and notes to Android and now even for sharing your clipboard, but it uses its own servers to send files. It’s really slow. (While we’re talking about simplicity, there’s a simpler alternative for sending links between devices as well.)
AirDroid is becoming a must-have desktop companion for Android users but it still needs you to authenticate every time, and the app is very bloated right now.
This is the only worthy competitor to Dukto I can think of. I love how you can create two folders on two machines and they’ll always be in sync. But I’ve had issues with background sync on Android (doesn’t work as reliably as Dropbox) and the app’s setup process is a mess. There are too many steps involved to just add one folder.
Shared folders and FTP
A great solution for geeks but really not for everyone.
The Cost of Simple
Dukto is simple and easy. There’s no authentication of any kind. That means your files are basically flying through open air for anyone to steal between the transfer. Which is why you should only use Dukto at your home or business where the Wi-Fi network is protected and familiar to you.
What Do You Think of Dukto?
Do you like Dukto for what it is or is it too simple for your taste? Share which app you’re using to wirelessly sync files between PC and Android in the comments below.
Last updated on 02 February, 2022
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