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BitTorrent boosts Sync's security for sharing NAS files

SMB NAS vendors are integrating BitTorrent Sync as an optional add-on for authenticating file sharing between devices.

Consumer peer-to-peer software company BitTorrent Inc. this week released the latest version of its Sync file-distribution protocol for SMB NAS arrays with a focus on improved security for file sharing.

BitTorrent Sync enables users to share files over a local network or remotely over the Internet using its distributed peer-to-peer software. Multiple devices can be synched simultaneously to accelerate the transfer of shared files. It enables NAS-to-NAS backup and file sharing between NAS devices and front-end servers.

BitTorrent NAS vendors are integrating Sync 1.4 as an optional application. NetGear this week was the first NAS vendor to go live with the upgrade on its ReadyNAS portfolio, including the 2120, 3220 and 4220 Business Rackmount Series. Seagate Technology plans to offer Sync 1.4 as a download in its app store for its NAS and NAS Pro lines.

QNAP offers Sync as an add-on to its NAS devices, and BitTorrent said a version of Sync could be rolled out for Synology customers soon. Overland Storage integrates Sync directly in its SnapServer line of NAS arrays.

BitTorrent Sync allows encryption key sharing for file sync

BitTorrent Sync 1.4 for enterprises includes clickable links for enterprise users to share a 32-digit alphanumeric encryption key when synching files between devices. Earlier iterations required a user on the receiving end to cut and paste the key into the BitTorrent client to access file directories. Users now can click on the link and follow a set of instructions for validating their device to gain access to shared file folders.

Clickable links boost the security of Sync for use with networked storage, said Erik Pounds, BitTorrent vice president of product management for Sync.

"It's strictly around making the product a bit more accessible and easier to use by other people. It does change things from a security standpoint. BitTorrent Sync security system is cryptographic, so that key is everything. And if users are moving that key around through insecure methods like email, then you've got some vulnerability," Pounds said.

"We wanted to make synching between devices more of a workflow, rather than something people have to remember how to do."

Sync 1.4 also includes enhanced tracking of folders as they get moved within file systems to enable near-instantaneous synchronization of files between devices.

Sync offers unified functionality to support major operating systems

The BitTorrent Sync interface was redesigned to provide unified functionality supporting most major operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and various flavors of Linux.

Greg Falgiano, a senior product marketing manager Seagate's Business NAS Solutions group, said Sync has been popular with customers since Seagate began offering it with version 1.3.

"Customers were surprised to see the app available, but once they knew about its capabilities, they jumped right in to try it out," Falgiano said. "So far, the favorite feature from customers is (the ability to) securely share large files without the cost of the cloud."

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Does peer-to-peer file sharing provide enough security for enterprise storage?