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Finally! A private, non-cloud file-sharing service

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I don't understand any of this. Why are f0dder saying BitTorrent is superior to some thing? Except for my brain, there is absolutely nothing in the entire world as slow as the BitTorrents I have tried - not even a genuine snail could move that slow! If it is fast, why have I ALWAYS been disappointed with how extremely slow it is?

Curt: it's because you haven't dealt with well-seeded torrents - and, perhaps, because you haven't had proper port-forwarding (which shouldn't matter with well-seeded stuff, but will hurt you badly with scarce and/or pirated stuff).

The protocol itself has several advantages to http/ftp... first, it's distributed - so you can saturate N links instead of 1. It has chunk-sized error detection and correction - with HTTP and FTP, you wont detect corruption unless you do an md5sum after downloading, and it's corrupt you'll have to regrab everything. With torrents, everything is broken into chunks (size can vary, but iirc chunksize is usually around 512kb).

Also, both HTTP and FTP *sucks* for small files - you need a new request for each file. For FTP it's really bad, for HTTP at least pipelining and keepalive mitigates stuff a bit... for torrents, you just keep on streaming (in a way that's not optimal for grabbing individual small files, but extremely superior for grabbing a wad of stuff).

Legitimate stuff has often sucked on torrents, though - a few years ago, I could grab linux ISOs a lot faster through HTTP than their torrent services - I guess they simply didn't hook up the entire http server bandwidth to their torrent protocol, which is pretty damn silly... after getting ~100kb/s (from random peers) for a few minutes, I'd cancel the download and hammer their HTTP servers directly at 4MB/s.

-thanks for explaining, f0dder.

At first I was confused by Brodkin's use of the word Dropbox in the article's title, but now I guess it is the American way of speaking - like hoover for 'vacuum cleaner', google it for 'search the Internet', etcetera. Anyway, it reminded me that Dropbox initially was cloud-free, 'desktop only'.

The last paragraph of the article in mention has a link to more of the "no-cloud-required" kind:

BitTorrent Sync perhaps doesn't make it quite as easy to share files as cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or SkyDrive do. It's also far from being the first software to sync files across devices without storing them in a cloud service. But it works well so far, and—particularly when it adds mobile capabilities—BitTorrent Sync seems destined to become a worthy addition to the rapidly expanding file sharing market.
--- End quote ---

How to put all your data on the Web—without storing it in the cloud | Ars Technica

I had the occasion to try BitTorrent Sync just today. Me and a friend shared a folder among 3 different machines (2 on Linux, 1 on Windows). It was dead simple to install & configure. Adding a new PC just require selecting a folder and entering the secret "hash", and it immediately start downloading pieces from all the others.
Very nice.


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