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Syncing files in the cloud using services like Box, Dropbox, Syncplicity, AirWatch and ShareFile is slow and may not even be all that secure, especially if you compare them to BitTorrent.

This is the pitch the San Francisco-based startup is making today, and it’s a claim that’s worth considering.

That’s because BitTorrent uses peer-to-peer (P2P)technology to sync directly between devices (servers using any operating system, PC’s, Macs,  phones, tablets and whatever’s to come). So when BitTorrent is used alone it skips the cloud altogether.

”It’s the shortest path between devices,” Kevin Fu, a manager at the firm told me. He claims that it’s 16 times faster than what other file sync and share vendors can provide because it syncs only what changes in a file, not the entire file itself.

It may offer a higher level of privacy as well.

Though he wasn’t talking specifically about BitTorrent when he made the comment, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said P2P technology might be key in addressing the trust and scalability issues we face in the digital world during a conversation he had with Intelligence Squared’s Bryan Appleyard.

A Higher Level

Though BitTorrent was designed for individual, workgroups and companies with hundreds of employees, it, by itself, isn’t ideal for large enterprises.

That’s why BitTorrent announced today that it's integrated its technology with EFSS provider OneHub, which claims to offer bank level security, encrypted back-ups, as well as HIPAA compliance.

bittorrent screenshot

Data can be stored on Amazon Web Services with SSAE 16 certification and PCI DSS Level 1. It is also encrypted in transit and at rest with a complete audit trail and a provision for granular role-based permissions.

Erik Pounds, vice president of product management for BitTorrent Sync, called the BitTorrent OneHub combo "P2P plus 1." In essence, it offers the best of what BitTorrent has to offer with the scalabilty of a more secure, purpose built cloud, he said.

The prices may be relatively attractive as well. Though Enterprises need to get custom quotes from BitTorrent, “Pro Teams” of 1 to 50 people who want to use it for business pay less than $40 per user per year. OneHub offers a free trial which you can get here.


It’s worth noting that BitTorrent also announced a new API that leverages RESTful and provides full access to its entire Sync feature set including three times the number of calls (from 14 to 42). It is available as part of version 2.1 of BitTorrent Sync.

As with many products that developers try before enterprises buy, there’s a free version for techies to play with and a more feature-filled version for companies who want to use it live. It includes developer support.

BitTorrent also introduced a program for OEM’s so that they can license its Sync technology and integrate it into their applications and services.

Developers who are interested in the API can request it and learn more about it here.

Will BitTorrent’s announcements cause panic among the 100 plus file sync and share providers who are fighting for a piece of the market?

Those who sell into enterprises might lose some sleep because something Pounds has always insisted was a consumer company is now beginning to knock on enterprise doors.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  Title image by Neil Kremer.