BitTorrent just released a new cloud storage and file-sharing service that's set to rival YouSendIt, MegaUpload and the like. Simply called "Share", the new service combines BitTorrent peer-to-peer technology with Amazon's EC2 and S3 to store any type of file in the cloud and share it with a private group of people – as opposed to creating a .torrent file for the public in general – without size restrictions or fees.

For now the service is still an early Alpha phase, but the company has already released a stand-alone Share client for Windows and integrated it into the non-stable build of uTorrent for the Mac. To share files users are required to fill out "to" and "from" email addresses, and drag files or folders to the app to start uploading. Your recipients will then receive an email notifying them that they have files available to download. You can also connect with Facebook and create a sharing group based on your friend lists at the social network.

According to GigaOM, files are initially uploaded to Amazon's servers to provide caching, but they are also shared via a peer-to-peer connection as long as someone with the full file is online. As soon as a file is sufficiently shared by peers it is taken off the cloud, relying only on BitTorrent to cut hosting costs.

Here are some key features as detailed by BitTorrent in a recent blog post:

  • No Limits: With no limits on number of sends, file size/quality, or number of recipients, users may send HD videos, high-res photo collections, and other oversized files - with no fees.
  • Ultra Fast Downloads: Share is built on top of an innovative file-sharing technology that is already used by over 100m people every month. Friends may now download the biggest files without the endless wait.
  • Private: Choose exactly who may access shared files. Set up groups to share with friends, family and co-workers, or just send a file to one person.
  • Social and Fun: Friends may comment on the files in real-time.

The new service will be integrated into all BitTorrent and µTorrent software clients after its alpha testing phase.