BitTorrent Sync: Everything you need to know

by: Joe HindySeptember 8, 2013

BitTorrent Sync

There are a lot of ways to sync files between your PC and your various mobile devices. The most popular one is cloud storage, but there are other ways. BitTorrent Sync is an app that keeps your phone synced to your computer and both synced to your tablet. It’s a unique and powerful application and here we’ll take a closer look. If you’d rather watch than read, the video is at the bottom.

BitTorrent Sync screenshot 1


Okay so here’s how this app works. You download the app to your device and download the companion app to your computer. According to the download page, it currently supports Mac, most forms of Linux and Windows. Once both are installed, you’re ready to get started.

So what you need to do is turn both apps on and get them synced up. This took a minute to figure out but it’s not overly difficult. Once it’s done, you simply put items from your computer into the sync folder to sync to your phone. Likewise, you can put files into the folder on your phone and it will sync with your computer.

Once the setup is complete, using it is easy. You can sync files as often as you wish and only download the ones you actually want. This is an amazing app for movies, as you can sync your movies and then only download ones you want to watch right then. It works with photos, music, and pretty much everything else.

That’s really all there is to it. This app connects your computer to your android device in an easy manner to sync files both ways. To top things off, you can even sync mobile to mobile using QR codes. So you can keep your phone connected to your PC, your tablet connected to your phone, and your tablet connected to your PC. It’s also really handy for sharing things.

BitTorrent Sync screenshot 2

How can I use this?

Many maybe asking how they can use this. The real questions is what can’t you do with it? You can sync literally every file type from device to device and download only what you need. It’s a truly powerful service that has the capacity to completely replace your cloud storage options and keep everything between you and no one else.

If you’re looking for recommendations, we don’t really have one because the sky is the limit here. Our favorite is to sync media only when you need it and save the rest for later so you don’t waste your internal storage. You can sync presentations, documents, and all sorts of other files for quick reference later if need be.

BitTorrent Sync screenshot 3

What we liked

Okay so here’s what we liked. You can literally sync every conceivable file type out there. That gives it a wide range of uses such as backing up applications, keeping your media in sync, and all sorts of other uses. You can even use it to transfer files from computer to device without plugging your device in, which is really nice.

The other thing we liked was the selectiveness. You can choose to download items that are synced and you can choose not to. So if there are some files you don’t need, but want synced anyway, they don’t take up precious storage space on your device. They’re simply there when you need them.

BitTorrent Sync screenshot 4

What we didn’t like

And here is what we didn’t like. The setup process isn’t difficult, but it isn’t exactly obvious either. It took some fooling around to get things going and both the computer and mobile interfaces took a few minutes to get used to. Once you get it, it’s not bad, but until then, it can get a tad frustrating.

Other than the difficulty at the beginning, there really isn’t much else wrong with the app. We suppose we could take a few points off for the bland look of the interface, but really that would just be nitpicking. The app is legitimately well done.

BitTorrent Sync final thoughts

So would we recommend BitTorrent Sync? The answer is a resounding yes. The app simply has too much upside and virtually no downside. Turning your computer into your own personal cloud storage solution negates the need to pay for things like Dropbox or Google Drive for most people who want the storage but don’t really use it for anything specific.

We do wish the beginning process was a little easier to get through, but all things considered it wasn’t all that bad to begin with. At the end of the day, this is a very useful application and it’s flexible enough to do with what you please. Do yourself a favor and check it out. We can see this app becoming a must have app in any Android app collection. If you want to download this, click the button below.

Get it on Google Play

The Video

  • aninstinctkiller

    This feature was already available in es file browser .. lan>user>public and whatever content is there in the folder synced and u didnt need to download anything. It was all live steamable. Why go through so much hassle when I could use that!..

    • aninstinctkiller

      Oh yea had to be connected to same wifi.. but then I usually need the sync when im home.. movies I wanna watch but not download. So yea for me esfile browser sufficed..

      • JosephHindy

        Yeah, the feature is definitely similar to ES File explorer. However, not everyone uses ES and people who need this particular solution may not want a whole file browser (especially if they already have one).

  • MasterMuffin

    “Many maybe asking how they can use this. The real questions is” and the last part of the article is written twice (first there’s “what we didn’t like”, then there’s again “what we didn’t like” with different text below it and then there’s “BitTorrentSync final thoughts” with the same text that was written below the second “what we didn’t like”) :D

    • JosephHindy

      It’s been fixed. That’s what happens when you post things on Sunday :P

      • MasterMuffin

        Good :D

  • Javier

    Dropbox & Google Drive each have their own uses, neither of which serves the writer’s main goal here (to sync movies, etc..), so the purpose of ‘offline’ and ‘remote secure backups’ was missed in this article, but then again I don’t think that’s what this write-up was about. BitTorrent traffic (ie. blocked ports) may be an issue to keep an eye on depending on your location, otherwise it seems like another file-transfer/sync option to have, and options are a good thing.

    • JosephHindy

      They do have their own uses (and I actually do use both), but the point I was going for was that you didn’t have to store your files on someone else’s server. They stay on your computer and were equally as accessible and thanks to the overwhelming privacy concerns people have been having lately, I felt maybe people would enjoy having cloud storage without trusting others with their info :) thanks for the comment!

  • Cecil

    Can you stream media (movies, music) to your devices to this? Or do you have to download and save it to your device to play it?

  • Winstonchurchill

    Gave it a go you are right it has potential but is very clunky hopefully someone will improve the interface soon

  • Bt

    Other than connection routes, what traffic/information is sent to other servers? I’m looking for a much of a point to point connection without giving any data to other services.

  • Jason Bailey

    Foldersync is another alternative for this task. And it will allow you to sync to the cloud as well if you desire. I use it to sync movies to my NAS

  • peter coker

    I have the app but I don’t know how to sync files from mobile phone to the computer. it’s really ignoring to get used to, I’m starting to hate using this app in general.