Late last year a company called Connected Data completed a successful a Kickstarter campaign for a device that promised an online, off-cloud storage solution to keep your important files synchronized across multiple devices without monthly recurring fees. It’s the same concept behind BitTorrent Sync but applied to a consumer friendly appliance. Today they’re expanding their lineup with a new $99 entry model called Transporter Sync.
Transporter Sync offers all the functionality of the original Transporter sans the built-in hard drive. Instead, you hookup your own external storage via USB. This makes the Sync a much better deal overall, considering 4TB drives are available for as little as $150, and even better for anyone with external storage already laying around. By comparison the 500GB, 1TB and 2TB Transporters are priced at $199, $249 and $349 respectively.
The device connects to your router via Ethernet and will instantly make all your files available from other Transporters as well as Android and iOS devices running the free companion app. The company is going for a seamless experience similar to that of Dropbox and Google Drive, with the added security of never having to store sensitive files on someone else’s servers. Data is also encrypted as it’s transmitted over the Internet.
Compared to cloud storage services, Transporter also offers other advantages such as no storage limits and no recurring fees -- Dropbox charges $499 a year for 500GB of space. The main downside is not having the convenience of keeping a copy of documents stored in a third party server that’s accessible anytime, anywhere, just in case your home connection is down or the power goes out.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first storage solution of its kind. As mentioned before, BitTorrent Sync offers the same functionality on a number of platforms for free, while NAS manufacturer Synology has a similar feature called Cloud Station, as part of the excellent Disk Station Manager software powering their devices.
Transporter Sync is sort of a middle ground between those two. Compared to the first, Transporter Sync brings a more consumer friendly option that doesn’t require keeping a computer running at all times to keep files in sync, while next to Synology’s NAS devices it’s cheaper but also limited to this core function.