What To Expect Next From BitTorrent Sync

A year and a half ago, BitTorrent Sync started with a simple idea: give people the ability to sync large files fast by skipping the cloud. We’ve been humbled by the enthusiastic reception during the Alpha and Beta phases, and we’re now getting ready to take the Beta tag off and introduce a premium edition of Sync to the market. Before that happens, we want to keep you informed on what to expect next.

The capabilities of Sync have allowed it to be used in many, and very different, ways. From distributing files across remote servers to sharing vacation photos, Sync has shined for many users (you don’t see that from the cloud). As we evolve the technology and the product, it has become apparent that to satisfy the needs of Sync’s most popular use cases, different products are required. These most popular use cases are:

  • Syncing files between your devices and sharing them with others.
  • Replicating files across devices controlled in an IT environment.
  • Sending large files to another person.

Let me talk you through the evolution of Sync and the three products we are working on within the Sync family:

Sync 2.0 – Sync and Share

We’re continuing to invest more and more into Sync and there’s a lot of great features coming in Sync 2.0. We’re improving the free edition over what’s available in version 1.4 and we’re introducing new functionality that will be a part of a new Pro edition.

Intended for individuals needing to sync and share a lot of data and those participating in collaborative professional workgroups, Sync Pro provides additional functionality necessary to help you get the job done. Capabilities like having access to very large folders, controlling ownership and permissions for shared folders, and keeping information automatically consistent across your desktop and mobile devices will now be possible.

BitTorrent Sync 2.0 Preview

Access Folder Contents On-Demand

Sync 2.0 Screenshot 2A

Control Folder Permissions and Ownership

We’ll soon make available an Alpha build of Sync 2.0, so those of you who want to check out the new functionality can help us test some of the new features and provide feedback. We’ll post another note on our blog when it’s available and it will also show up on our community forum. For those who are interested in getting the latest updates, scroll down and you’ll a blue sign up button.

Since Sync’s distributed technology bypasses the cloud, it means we do not have to invest in building big data centers to hold tons of servers and storage. This allows us to deliver a Pro version of Sync that’s very competitive on price. It’s one of a set of factors that distinguishes Sync from what you get with the public cloud:

Sync 2.0 Preview

*Pricing details for Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive

If you’re interested in being notified when Sync 2.0 is available and getting updates on being a community tester, visit the link below to sign up and we’ll keep you posted.

BitTorrent Sync 2.0 Preview

File Replication

One of the primary uses of Sync today is for it to move files across devices that you control. Many of these scenarios are in IT environments where administrators are doing things like replicating files between devices on a private network or rolling out new websites to front-end servers. In order to give IT admins a powerful solution to deploy, manage, monitor, and scale Sync operations, this optimized product is being built. For example, we’ve already increased Sync’s scalability in our lab to 1000 devices, with some full synchronization events finishing in less than one minute.

The Sync-based file replication product will not be available until some time after Sync 2.0 has launched, but visit here to be kept up-to-date on major developments. Until then, please continue to use current versions of Sync and keep providing very valuable feedback.

Mobile Large File Send

There’s plenty of ways today to send a handful of photos from one device to another, but getting videos or large collections of photos from one mobile device to another is not so easy. And if you have to do that from an iPhone to an Android device…good luck. AirDrop is nice if you’re sending between iPhones, but we live in multi-platform world and apps need to just work without constraints.

For those of you that used Sync 1.2 on a mobile device, you may remember the mobile-to-mobile feature. We’re taking that functionality, enhancing it, and bringing it back in its own app. Since this app uses the Sync engine, it not only efficiently moves files directly from device to device, but it also works on all mobile platforms (Android, iOS, and Windows Phone).

If you’d like to be alerted when this new app is available, click here to sign up.

Thank You

On behalf of the entire Sync team, we want to say thank you to the Sync community. Sync has been widely adopted and you’re showing us every day there’s a need for a strong alternative to the public cloud.

We will continue to provide you major milestone updates when available and we welcome feedback on the blog and on our community forum.

As always, happy syncing!

-Erik Pounds

Erik Pounds
Written by: Erik Pounds

Erik Pounds is Vice President of Product Management for BitTorrent Sync. Erik joined BitTorrent, Inc. from Greylock Partners, prior to which he spent 3 years with Drobo. Erik graduated with a BS in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco where for four years he was a member of their Division I Golf Team.

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  • Roland R.

    Open Source! The free edition should be released open source.

  • http://roman.st Roman Starkov

    The real question is, $40 per year _for what_? Every device? That would be very expensive and far more than I pay for Dropbox. OneDrive with their unlimited storage sounds like a great deal compared to this.

    • Erik

      Hi Roman. To clarify, it’s $39.99 per year, per user – for all your devices.

  • Pissed at Bitcasa

    I don’t understand why the pro version is a yearly charge, if nothing is stored on your servers. My servers are being used for the storage. I could see maybe $40 for the product itself, one time fee, but why do I continue to pay each year when my storage and bandwidth are being used? Then of course the negative of that fee is like Roman Starkov said, each device.

    — Robert R. (old username: Pissed at Bitcasa)

    • Erik

      Hi Robert. The price of $39.99 is per year, per user. What they are paying for is premium functionality, catered to individuals with large data needs and business workgroups. We’ve announced that this will include on-demand access to very large folders and folder permission/ownership controls (both shown by the screenshots), as well as auto synchronization across all the user’s devices. When a license expires, the product will continue to operate and just revert back the free edition. No additional configuration or re-installation of any software will be necessary.

      • poscogrubb

        I think your list of features is confusing because the current 1.4 does these things already, with a slightly different user interface. 1) I already sync very large folders… GBs and 1000s of files. Unless you mean something else by “very large”. 2) I already control permission by giving out read or read/write keys. Granted, the screen shot does show more granular controls for permissions. 3) I already sync across all my devices — including Windows PC, Windows laptop, Android phone, and Android tablet.

        • Adam Kochanowicz

          Agreed, accessing large folders? I’m pretty sure I can do that now, can’t I? I also see permissioning. Why not update this post instead of linking to a forum post deep in the comments?

      • Nabiki

        A Better definition of what you mean by “on-demand access” would help a lot. I already sync about 8TB in a single share for a backup would that quit working with the new version because it falls under “large data” or would just some of the new 2.0 features just be disabled?

        A chart or some straight forward comparison on what will be disabled in the free version would help out a lot.

      • Adam Kochanowicz

        What is a “user”? Am I two users if I have a home computer and a work computer?

    • Oleg Yaroshevych

      Robert, development still costs a lot, event if you use your own bandwidth. Look, it’s pretty much the same as you’re paying to Adobe to use the Photoshop app.

      I’m absolutely fine with paid plans, if it guarantees cash flow to continue development of Free version.

  • poscogrubb

    So much text, so little information. $39.99 per year per what? User? Peer? Why is it an annual charge when there are no servers to maintain? What are the different feature sets? The list of features given for “Pro” already exist in the Beta. It doesn’t inspire any confidence that you know what you’re talking about when the “details” are so ambiguous.

    • Erik

      Hi there. To clarify, it’s $39.99 per year, per user, for premium functionality (see response above for more details there). The pro features will not be existing ones in beta.

  • Robert

    What will be the features of FREE version? Will there be any free version?
    You want people to pay – so there will be accounts? The first plus of Sync was ‘no accounts’… Sounds strange…

    • Erik

      Hi Robert. We’re committed to always having a quality free version. Sync 2.0 is one product, with premium functionality being enabled through a license. There are still no accounts, which is a foundational element of Sync. We’re working to improve the Sync 2.0 free version, from what currently exists with 1.4; more details to come on that front, so please stay tuned.

  • zaebawski

    Now I see where you going. Now it’s time to start earn money for you. You not gonna do it opensource and all the speculation is a lie. And for the nearest feature you going to test pro version for free at the expense of the community. And then just sell it. Great news. Well done.

  • ingokeck

    Or at least publish the source. Restrict via license but do allow free code review and test builds.

  • bunam

    The real question is, $40 per year _for what_? -> me two

    Also do you planed to manage file versions ?

    • Erik

      Hi there. It’s $39.99 per year, per user. This is for the pro version of Sync 2.0, which includes premium functionality catered to individuals with large data needs and business workgroups (see response above for more details there). With regards to file versioning, this feature exists today and will remain in Sync 2.0 for free users. Details of how this feature works can be found in this article: http://help.getsync.com/customer/portal/articles/1570792-does-bittorrent-sync-support-versioning-?b_id=3895

      • bunam

        wow nice !
        does the old file is stored as is, or it’s a diff of the actual file ?
        because if i have a big file with little changes it could not be efficient

  • jon49

    Good to know you will be making money on this product so the free version will stick around and then you’ll be able to invest in other products also. Looking forward to the chat client going prime time (or at least working on linux) when more bugs are worked out.

  • david lyons

    There is going to be a non pro edition? And for example if I’ve 5 servers using pro edition I’ll have to pay for each one or only one license for all of them?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Erik

      Hi David. Yes, there will be a quality free edition; we’re committed to that. To clarify, it’s $39.99 per year, per user – for all your devices.

      • garza

        Evaluating file replication options, but this cost: is this for a hosted Sync service, or would I be able to benefit from using Sync 2.0 on-premise without a license?

      • Maobo

        So are the Betas no longer functioning has of last night?

        • Erik

          Hi there. Nothing has happened to Sync 1.4 Beta. When we get to Sync 2.0, it’ll be one product, with premium functionality being enabled through a license. We’re committed to always having a quality free version. We’re working to improve the Sync 2.0 free version, from what currently exists with 1.4; more details to come on that front, so please stay tuned.

  • http://www.iainhallam.com/ Iain Hallam

    I’d also like to know what the yearly charge is for, since the whole point is that you don’t have infrastructure to maintain. Is this simply software updates that are being paid for?

    • Erik

      Hi Iain. The $39.99 per year, per user charge is for premium functionality (see response above for more details there).

      • http://www.iainhallam.com/ Iain Hallam

        So software as a service, then. This looks like the interaction of free and premium users, including when someone transitions between the states, is going to be rather tricky. Overall, considering there’s no storage involved except our own disks and it’s using our bandwidth, that seems steep.

        • Patrick Wolf

          I agree that 39.99$ is too high a price. LastPass charges $12 a year which everybody is happy to pay.
          After all we are using our own hard disk space and use our own energy.

  • andy

    Still unclear as to why there’s an annual fee as opposed to one time purchase. :S

  • http://www.step4wd.com/ M. Ahmad Zafar

    Any link to clearly understand the difference between Pro and Free?

  • El Topo

    I will pay for the pro edition only if I can run my own server(s) so my peers won’t even talk to btsync’s official servers.

  • http://pictorica.ru Artem Zaytsev

    Hi. It is very good news 🙂
    Could you talk more about selective sync? How it will be work?

  • Joey Famiglietti

    Good afternoon Sync Bloggers and Deveopers,

    I appreciate the discussion regarding the future of BT Sync, and the fact that BitTorrent, Inc. is dedicated to the product. I’ve been using Sync for about a year now, and think it’s an EXCELLENT product that really solves the major “get files from one person to another” problem very well. Because of this, I’m perfectly alright, in broad theory, chipping in to help development of the product.However, the way this blog was written leaves a handful of questions in my mind that I’m hoping can be clarified…

    1.) Some of the features listed as “pro” features seem existent already with the current releases of Sync. For example, the “large folders” functionality. One of the reasons I found Sync to work better than OwnCloud in many situations was because of precisely this – while OwnCloud would choke on folders with more than a few hundred files, BT Sync would happily index and synchronize every folder I have, regardless of size. This leads me to one of a few conclusions:
    a.) “large folders” would refer to folders so large (i.e. close to a terabyte, or hundreds of thousands of files) as to only apply to a small subset of users,
    b.) an artificial limitation will soon be imposed so that “large folders” would apply to people who are already served by the existing functionality, or
    c.) it’s simply reiterating what will be in that specific module as a part of the split, and is specifying the functionality of that module, but is already in place with the current offering.

    2.) The annual pricing model. I’m not sure whether version-release pricing or annual-release pricing worries me more. Annual pricing can yield complacency, and version releases can be pushed out the door “because revenue”, and I’ve seen great examples and terrible examples of both. What is the practical possibility of some sort of perpetual license, either as a “first 5,000 subscribers” situation, or “$149 perpetual licensing” option? I think there’s a market for people like me who are willing to buy, but sketchy on ‘another bill’.

    3.) In the comment responses below, you note that it’s “40/year/user, no matter how many devices”. Will this be an ‘honor system’ situation, or will there be some sort of technological enforcement? The reason I’m concerned about the latter is because the nature of Sync makes defining terms a bit blurry. Case in point, I own a FreeNAS. It’s a beautiful FreeNAS. It runs BT Sync. BT Sync (along with ZFS versioning, RAID6, and off-site dataset replication) happily ensure that my laptop is backed up in case of disaster. This is just fine. My FreeNAS also backs up my dad’s desktop, my dad’s laptop, my friend Becky’s laptop, my friend Tony’s desktop and laptop, and I’ve got one or two other friends who will be set up to do the same in short order. Who does the FreeNAS “belong to”? Well me, strictly speaking, but does that mean that I can’t sync my friends to it? Does one $40 license cover us all? Does each human need their own $40 license, and if they do, will they be able to sync disparate devices from my NAS (eg. Becky’s phone to her laptop in an isolated share that I’m otherwise uninvolved with)? If a hardware fingerprint is involved, how does it deal with a new cell phone? These implementation questions caused me to scratch my head.

    4.) If a Sync Pro subscription lapses, what are the consequences? How will that affect the other machines in the mesh?


  • Adam

    I preffer ads on pro than paying monthly…

  • jean-luc

    When are we going to be able to manually select which sub-folders to sync inside a master folder?
    I want to have a master secret for the master folder and then have manual/automatic sync option for each sub-folder.

  • Erik

    That is way to pricy. I am looking to use it at my NAS device. Image having to pay U$ 40 for each user of my team and another fee for the server itself.
    I know development costs, but even apps like Spotify/Netflix which need lots of development, servers AND music/movies cost only a few dollars a month (and, like I said, have all those extra costs).
    I would gladly pay 10-15 U$ per server, but not per each user connecting to the main server. Imagine if I want to use it to send files to customers. My customers will have to sign up and pay?

    Rethink the price, or no one will buy it. Seriously.

    • jameskatt

      Users in a company usually doesn’t mean customers. Perhaps the customers can continue to use the Free version.

      I would rather NOT pay per server or device, being the only user on my system – where the other devices are essentially backups.

  • http://www.darkpixel.com.br/ BOLD

    by User ?, in my opinion, this very expensive compared to competition. Could switch to group, 5 to 10 users. I understand that the development costs money, and will find ways to get back, but honestly, you have to find a better way. Do not let the desire to kill monetization such a great service.

    Read and reread the comments, the fact features premium by a high amount to be paid per year, not being well accepted. Same was the Pro version of Feedly. Do not make the same mistakes

  • Nabiki

    Awesome! Thank you for the response Erik. That expanded description that you posted in the forum was exactly what I was looking for.

  • jameskatt

    One problem I have with BitTorrent Sync is FILE DELETION. If I delete a file on my sync folder, the other computers replicate the file. That is nuts.

    $40 a year per user is somewhat reasonable.

    Microsoft charges $99 a year PER USER for Office 365 for Business with unlimited OneDrive Storage – plus the use of Office 365 Suite including Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Outlook, etc.

    In comparison, does BitTorrent Sync compare to this feature set?

  • http://www.lindsayplumbing.net Lee L

    Will Sync 2.0 run on Surface RT or Surface2?

  • Lesiuk

    Great news!