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Syncthing, Open Source Alternative to BitTorrent Sync


I like BitTorrent Sync, it is a pretty amazing piece of software, but I can understand why people would have problems with their model. It is closed source software and there have been criticisms that it is not secure. BitTorrent Sync is also planning a paid version that will cost $39.99/year, and to be honest I am not sure if there will continue to be a free version. I am not certain I would want to pay per year for BitTorrent Sync, while it seems to work well I don’t know if a yearly fee is something I would consider for their software.


That being said I have started to look for a replacement for BitTorrent Sync and came across the open source project Syncthing. It looks like it runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, BSD and Solaris and it is open sourced so there is a level of transparency there that is not available with BitTorrent Sync.

I heard Steve Gibson talk about Syncthing on episode 456 of Security Now. I am a little behind in listening to the podcast but you can listen to it below or over on YouTube. I started the video at the point where Steve Gibson starts talking about it.

So here we have an open source, well-designed, cross-platform, interdevice synching tool. As they describe it, they say: “Syncthing replaces Dropbox and BitTorrent Sync with something open, trustworthy, and decentralized. Your data is your data alone, and you deserve to choose where it is stored, if it is shared with some third party, and how it’s transmitted over the Internet. Using Syncthing, that control is returned to you.” And they run through all the bullet points we would expect to see – private, encrypted, authenticated. For example, “Authentication: Every node is identified by a strong cryptographic certificate. Only nodes you have explicitly allowed can connect to your cluster.” You’re able also to, like, send a certificate to a friend, and they install it in their instance of Syncthing, and them having that authenticates them and allows them to connect to a folder in your Syncthing that you have shared.

It looks like a great alternative to BitTorrent Sync especially if you are not keen on spending $39.99/year on software to sync your data between your computers and mobile devices. I know I will be giving Syncthing a try over the next little while and perhaps replacing BitTorrent Sync with it.

Have you tried Syncthing? What has your experience been with it?

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