Tag Archive: BitTorrent

BitTorrent’s Secure Dropbox Alternative Goes Public

BitTorrent Inc. has opened up its Sync app to the public today. The new application is free of charge and allows people to securely sync folders to multiple devices using the BitTorrent protocol. Complete control over the storage location of the files and the absence of limits is what sets BitTorrent’s solution apart from traditional cloud based synchronization services.

Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive and Mega are just a few examples of the many file-storage and backup services that are available today.

All these services rely on external cloud based hosting to back up and store files. This means that you have to trust these companies with your personal and confidential files, and that your storage space is limited.

For those people who want to be in control of their own data there haven’t been many alternatives, but BitTorrent Sync has the potential to trigger a small revolution on this front.

BitTorrent Sync’s functionality is comparable to services such as Dropbox and Skydrive, except for the fact that there’s no cloud involved. Users sync the files between their own computers and no third-party has access to it.

Besides increased security, BitTorrent sync transfers also tend to go a lot faster than competing cloud services. Another advantage is that there are no storage or transfer limits, so users can sync as many files as they want, for free.

Earlier this year BitTorrent started a closed Alpha test with a limited number of users, and today Sync is being released to the public for the first time.

“We’re really excited about opening up this Alpha. The feedback has been universally positive. Those in the closed Alpha have already synced more than 200TB since we started the program,” BitTorrent announces.

Over the past weeks many improvements have been made to the Sync application, prompted by user feedback. Among other things it is now possible to allow one-way synchronization and to exclude files or directories from being shared.

While Sync uses BitTorrent technology, people’s files are not accessible to outsiders. Only those who have the unique private key can access the shared folder.

“All the traffic is encrypted using a private key derived from the shared secret. Your files can be viewed and received only by the people with whom you share your private secret,” BitTorrent explains.

To increase security, the latest Sync version also has the option to let the secret key expire after a day so new devices can’t be added, even if outsiders have the private key.

BitTorrent stresses that Sync is still in Alpha development but tests carried out by TorrentFreak confirm that it works very well. It is an ideal tool for people who want to share large amounts of data between computers without going through third-party services.

The application is also surprisingly easy to configure. There’s no need to create an account and it only takes a few clicks to get going.

The Sync application is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and has the ability run on NAS devices through a web-interface. Readers who are interested in giving it a spin can head over to BitTorrent labs, where the Sync app can be downloaded.

Download BitTorrent Sync for Windows here.
Download BitTorrent Sync for Mac 10.6 or newer here.

Source: TorrentFreak

World’s First BitTorrent Certified Digital TV Launches

The world’s first Digital TV with ‘BitTorrent inside’ will be presented to the public tomorrow at the IFA trade show for consumer electronics in Berlin. The TV is manufactured by Vestel and uses technology from BitTorrent Inc. that allows consumers to find, download and play their favorite digital media directly on their television.

Early 2011 BitTorrent Inc., the company behind the popular file-sharing client uTorrent, launched a new all-in-one ecosystem for BitTorrent-certified products codenamed Chrysalis.

By using a certified application users can search for files that are shared on BitTorrent, download these files, and play them directly on their computers, TV or mobiles devices. Everything is bundled into one system and downloaders don’t have to worry about conversion, codecs or file-formats.

Today BitTorrent Inc. and TV manufacturer Vestel announce the launch of the first digital TV that will come with this built-in BitTorrent support. By embedding BitTorrent technology directly into the the TV hardware the two companies hope to appeal to a wide audience of people who are looking for an even more simple way to enjoy downloaded content in their living room.

“Consumers want all types of personal media and Internet content in their living rooms and the TV remains the most desired device for consuming this digital media, regardless of source,” Vestel’s Hakan Kutlu said commenting on the announcement.

“BitTorrent certification helps our TV line meet this consumer demand and ensures that Vestel products remain at the forefront of technology innovation and adoption,” Kutlu adds.

The first BitTorrent certified TV will be demoed tomorrow in Berlin, Germany at IFA, one of the world’s largest consumer trade shows.

Aside from convenience, the main reason for BitTorrent Inc. to develop the new BitTorrent ecosystem is to simplify the downloading process for less tech-savvy people. Right now, many people drop out after installing a BitTorrent client because they find it too complicated to download and play content.

“The world of digital media has become unnecessarily complex and results in an increasingly fragmented consumer experience. People want access to their entire content library – personal media, Internet files, and artist approved content – regardless of source, media type, or file format,” BitTorrent’s chief strategist Shahi Ghanem said.

BitTorrent told TorrentFreak that more certified devices running Chrysalis software will be announced this fall. Two years ago BitTorrent already partnered with device makers such as Netgear and D-Link to bring BitTorrent to set-top boxes and NAS devices, but these don’t run on Chrysalis yet.

BitTorrent’s efforts to simplify the user experience and become more integrated into devices doesn’t mean that the development of uTorrent will stagnate. The Chrysalis project has replaced the former mainline BitTorrent client, but uTorrent will continue to be developed separately. And with more than 100 million active users a month, that is probably a wise decision.

Source: TorrentFreak

Shocking: Apple Approves BitTorrent App For App Store

For those wondering why there are no BitTorrent-related apps in the App Store, it is because Apple notoriously bans all applications that have anything to do with BitTorrent. Apple argues that BitTorrent is often used to infringe copyrights and that such applications are a no-go for the App Store, forcing developers to go to outlets such as Cydia.

“Because this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third party rights. We have chosen to not publish this type of application to the App Store,” was Apple’s official explanation to the BitTorrent ban. However, we’ve now learned that those who are creative in the App submission process, can get through.

This week the BitTorrent based “IS Drive” App was approved by Apple and added to the App store. The application allows users of Imageshack’s torrent download service to control and add torrent downloads through a handy interface. In addition, the App shows screenshots of completed video downloads.

Although the audience for IS Drive is limited to premium Imageshack Torrent Drive users who also want to cough up $4.99 for the iPhone App, the approval is noteworthy because Apple has always banned everything related to BitTorrent. We are pretty sure that BitTorrent Inc. would have loved to release a free remote control App for uTorrent as well, but they decided to settle for an iPhone web interface instead.

“IS Drive”, formerly known as “Jack Torrents”

TorrentFreak spoke to the developer of IS Drive, which was previously available on Cydia under the name “Jack Torrents”, about his victory and the chances that the App is allowed to stay on the App store

“I’m on dangerous ground here, and I know that,” Derek Kepner said. “I’ll probably add a search feature where it’s up to the user to manually add the torrent site they want. The app will not be designed to easily break the law and I hope no one intends to do so. But if a user is determined to break the law, what business is that of mine or Apple’s? They could do the same in Safari anyway, right?”

Kepner wrote the App because he loves Imageshack’s Torrent Drive service, and found himself wanting to queue something up to his Torrent Drive account when he was out of the house. This is exactly what IS Drive is for, and it works seamlessly.

Before submitting it to the App Store, the application already gained an audience at the Cydia store for jailbroken iPhones. However, by using just the right wording and avoiding the evil ‘torrent’ stigma, Kepner got it approved by Apple as well.

“I always had the thought that if I didn’t call the app a “torrent client”, Apple would probably let it through the review process. After all, there is no real torrenting happening on the client side. It’s *not* a torrent client. It’s an ImageShack Drive client,” Kepner told us.

“Plus, I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word ‘torrent’, and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.”

IS Drive is now available in the App store for $4.99 for all Imageshack torrenters.

Source: TorrentFreak

The Pirate Party Becomes The Pirate Bay’s New Host

After its previous bandwidth provider had to take the site offline due to concerns over an aggressive Hollywood injunction, today The Pirate Bay is fully back in operation with a surprising new supplier. From a few hours ago, in a move intended to “stand up for freedom of expression”, the Swedish Pirate Party became the site’s new host.

Following an injunction obtained by several major Hollywood movie studios, yesterday Pirate Bay bandwidth provider CB3ROB Ltd. & Co. KG took the decision to take the site offline while it digested the legal implications.

That meant that for several hours The Pirate Bay, for the first time in many months, was taken offline. An insider at the site told TorrentFreak that people shouldn’t worry, and that the site would soon return.

By start of play this morning that promise had been kept. In most corners of the globe, the world’s most resilient BitTorrent tracker was living up to its name by coming back online with a new and as yet unnamed host.

Now the identity of the site’s ISP has been revealed, and it is a somewhat of a surprising revelation.

“Today, on 18 May, the Swedish Pirate Party took over the delivery of bandwidth to The Pirate Bay,” says the Party’s Rick Falkvinge in a statement.

“We got tired of Hollywood’s cat and mouse game with the Pirate Bay so we decided to offer the site bandwidth,” he adds. “It is time to take the bull by the horns and stand up for what we believe is a legitimate activity.”

The Pirate Party say they will provide bandwidth to the site’s homepage and search engine.

“The Pirate Bay is a search engine, and as such it is not responsible for the results,” notes Falkvinge.

The Party adds the attempts at censoring The Pirate Bay “is an attempt to silence one of today’s most important opinion makers in matters of civil liberties and rights on the web,” adding that it is “nothing less than political censorship, and something that any democratic-minded person must reject.”

With a general election coming up in Sweden, the Pirate Party’s move is also an attempt to reiterate what the Pirate Party stands for.

“It feels great to get an opportunity like this to demonstrate that we put our money were our mouth is,” Falkvinge told TorrentFreak. “We’re not your run-of-the-mill politician who commissions reports and spends 8 hours a day avoiding blame. We’re people committing our own resources and time to the values we believe in.”

“The only thing we have in common with today’s politicians is that you can vote for us, and I hope this demonstrates how we are prepared to take responsibility for civil liberties and the future of the net in a very direct way,” he added.

Meanwhile, a Pirate Bay insider remains vague about the exact location(s) of the Pirate Bay servers, and ensured TorrentFreak that nothing is as it seems. The important thing though, is that the site is fully functional again.

Source: TorrentFreak