How To Use Bittorrent Sync For Free [2023]

BitTorrent Sync is a convenient tool for sharing folders on multiple devices, synchronizing them, and transferring large files over the Internet, and also suitable for backing up data. BitTorrent Sync software is available for Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, and Android operating systems (there are also versions for use on NAS and more).

The functions of BitTorrent Sync are in many ways similar to those provided by popular cloud storage services – OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, or Yandex Disk. The most important difference from them is that when synchronizing and transferring files, third-party servers are not used: that is, all data is transferred (in encrypted form) between specific computers that have been granted access to this data (peer-2-peer, as when using torrents). Those. in fact, you can organize your own cloud data storage, devoid of speed and storage size limitations compared to other solutions. See also: How to transfer large files over the Internet (online services).

Note: This overview is about how to use BitTorrent Sync in its free version, which is best suited for syncing and accessing files on your devices, as well as for transferring large files to anyone.

Installing and configuring BitTorrent Sync

You can download BitTorrent Sync from the official website, you can also download this software for Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone devices from the relevant mobile app stores. The following is the version of the program for Windows.

The initial installation does not present any difficulties, it is carried out in Russian, and from the installation options that can be noted – only the launch of BitTorrent Sync as a Windows service (in this case, it will start even before entering Windows: for example, it will work on a locked computer, allowing you to access folders from another device in this case as well).

Immediately after installation and launch, you will need to specify the name that will be used for BitTorrent Sync to work – this is a kind of “network” name of the current device, by which you can identify it in the list with access to the folder. Also, this name will be displayed if you are accessing data that someone else has provided to you.

Sharing a Folder in BitTorrent Sync

In the main window of the program (at the first start) you will be prompted to “Add folder”.

This means either adding a folder located on this device for general access to it from other computers and mobile devices or adding to synchronization a folder that was previously shared on another device (for this option, use the item “Enter the key or link”, which is available by clicking on the arrow to the right of “Add Folder”.

To add a folder from this computer, select “Standard Folder” (or just click “Add Folder”, then specify the path to the folder that will be synchronized between your devices or access to which (for example, to download a file or set of files) you want to give someone.

After selecting a folder, options for granting access to the folder will open, including:

  • Access mode (read only or read and write or change).
  • The need for confirmation for each new (downloading) peer.
  • The duration of the link (if you want to provide access limited in time or in the number of downloads).

If, for example, you are going to use BitTorrent Sync to synchronize between your devices, then it makes sense to enable “Read and Write” and not restrict the action of the link (however, it is not necessary, you can use the “Key” from the corresponding tab, which does not have such restrictions and enter it on your other device). If you just want to transfer a file to someone, then leave “Read” and, possibly, limit the duration of the link.

The next step is to grant access to another device or person (the other device must also have BitTorrent Sync installed). To do this, you can simply click “E-mail” to send the link to E-mail (to someone or you can also to your own, and then open it on your other computer) or copy it to the clipboard.

Important: restrictions (link expiration date, number of downloads) only apply if you share the link from the “Link” tab (which can be called up at any time by clicking “Share” in the folder list to create a new link with restrictions).

On the “Key” and “QR-code” tabs, two options for the key are separately available to enter in the “Add Folder” program menu – “Enter a key or link” (if you do not want to use links that involve the site) and, respectively, a QR code to scan from Sync on mobile devices. These options are used specifically for synchronization on their devices, and not for providing a one-time opportunity to download files.

Accessing a folder from another device

You can get shared access to the BitTorrent Sync folder in the following ways:

  • If a link was sent (by mail or otherwise), then when it is opened, the official website will open, where you will be asked to either install Sync or click the “I already have” button, and then access the folder.
  • If the key was transferred, click the “arrow” next to the “Add Folder” button in BitTorrent Sync and select the “Enter a key or link” item.
  • If using a mobile device, you can also scan the provided QR code.

After using the code or link, a window will appear with the choice of a local folder with which the remote folder will be synchronized, and then, if requested, waiting for confirmation from the computer on which access was granted. Immediately after that, the synchronization of the contents of the folders will begin. At the same time, the speed of synchronization is higher, and the more devices this folder is already synchronized (the same as in the case of torrents).

Additional Information

If the folder has been given full access (read and write), then when its contents change on one of the devices, it will change on others. At the same time, a limited default history of changes (this setting can be changed) remains available in the Archive folder (you can open it in the folder menu) in case of any unforeseen changes.

At the end of review articles, I usually write something similar to a subjective verdict, but I don’t know what to write here. The solution is very interesting, but for myself, I have not found applications. I don’t transfer gigabyte files, and I don’t have excessive paranoia about storing my files in “commercial” cloud storage, it is with their help that I synchronize. On the other hand, I do not exclude that for someone this synchronization option will be a good find.

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