Thursday, 18 July 2013

BitTorrent Sync - My new favorite Private Cloud File Sync Tool

If you have been following my previous posts you will see a trend of late. I am heavily into file access and file storage for my personal use. I thought I had come up with a great solution for my own Private Cloud Storage which involved a Raspberry Pi, Samba, AjaXplorer and Deluge.

As of this morning I was informed that a product I was very interested in, but did not think suited my needs, now has an Android client. I am talking about BitTorrent Sync (BTSync).

When I first looked at BTSync and played around with it as a possible solution for my file access, I dismissed it because I was more interested in getting access to my file server rather than syncing to my devices. Using AjaXplorer I can access my home file server from anywhere with ease. What AjaXplorer lacked at the time was a desktop sync client.

Now that there is an Android client for BitTorrent Sync, I have the ultimate Private Cloud solution. On top of the Raspberry Pi, Samba, AjaXplorer and Deluge I now have BTSync to synchronise selected files from my home file server to my laptop, desktop or mobile phone. BTSync complements AjaXplorer rather than replaces it. AjaXplorer provides a beautiful web interface to all the files on my file server while BTSync keeps my frequently accessed files at my fingertips.

Better yet, on top of BTSync synchronising my frequently accessed files I have configured the new Android BTSync client to synchronise my phones DCIM (Digital Camera IMage) folder to my file server and desktop. Now if I take a photo with my phone it is automatically available on my file server for my wife to access and on my desktop for me to manage. Using my desktop I can delete poor pictures and generally manage my photos and the changes will be synchronised.

What about backups? The BTSync client has a trash folder and an archive (versioning) folder, but nothing beats a manual backup. Once a week I backup my file server to an external USB hard disk drive. I still have a Dropbox account and have decided to use it for only one purpose. I have my Android Dropbox client configured to automatically upload photos. I will forget about my Dropbox account unless there is some need to access the uploaded files.

I am not going to post on my blog about how to install BTSync because it is so easy to do on a running Debian system. See this forum post for details.