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Create your own, private cloud with this handy peripheral
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Features Gigabit Ethernet connection; USB 2.0 device support; Mac, iOS, Android and Windows support
It’d be churlish to go through the minor niggles with Transporter Sync, but we’re not here to be nice, we’re here to be honest. We didn’t like the UI graphics, and we’d prefer USB 3.0 support. But apart from that, Transporter Sync turns out to be pretty much a no-brainer addition on the kit-that-pays-for-itself list.
The appliance itself is a small, black, conical frustrum, with a wraparound Cylonesque LED. You plug it in to an external USB hard drive (which alas, gets reformatted) and your ADSL router or Ethernet network, and then wait ten minutes while it does its thing. During this time, you can visit the website, create an account, and download the appropriate software to your weapon of choice (Mac, Windows, iOS or Android device). Once the LED has settled to a steady blue line, you nip back to your account and ‘claim’ the Transporter by giving it a name and clicking ‘Next’ a few times, and voilà! Your own personal, and above all private version of Dropbox.
For Mac users, it’s almost exactly the Dropbox experience. There’s a Transporter folder into which you can shovel whatever data you’d usually keep on Dropbox – files, PDFs, 1Password keychains, photos, and so on. With the correct login and the software installed on another Mac, your Transporter syncs your files in the background. The files are stored on the transporter – not in the cloud – and encrypted during transfer.
For iOS users it’s almost the Dropbox experience: Transporter lacks the deep integration with third-party iOS device apps that the Dropbox API offers. Instead of being able to open a text file in, say, Byword directly from the Dropbox folder, you find the file in the Transport app, use ‘Open In…’ to open it in Byword, edit it, and then use ‘Share…’ and ‘Open In…’ to upload it using the Transporter app. Slickness it isn’t, but it works.
So, question: if it’s private, why do you need an online account? The Transporter account handles the network shenanigans the
same way as FaceTime does, and manages the shared folder function with other Transport users.
There’s one final trick up its sleeve; anything stored in the Transporter Library sub-folder is stored on the Transporter device, but not on the client. That means larger files can remain accessible, without taking up valuable space up on your precious iOS devices. Clever, huh? Richard Dyce
Looking for Dropbox-alike remote access, and offsite backups without privacy issues? This is ideal.
Expandable above 2TB storage
Straightforward to set up
Low cost, non-subscription
iOS fiddlier than Dropbox
Not only does Transporter Sync offer a great alternative to Dropbox, it also looks like it’s fresh off the set of Battlestar Galactica.