Archive for February, 2006

Power to the people

February 27, 2006

power.gif Until recently, P2P was infamous mainly for its use for piracy and as a conduit for spreading malware. But with the exponential growth in digital media consumption (how much storage are you using just for digital photos, music and video?), the client-server model breaks down. You simply cannot, not even if you’re Google, store all the music and videos produced everywhere around the world on your servers, and still not charge anything for it.

So lately, we have been seeing some very exciting developments. We’ve seen a BitTorrent-like service pilot by AOL, aimed at distributing videos to many subscribers efficiently and cheaply (http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=88118&WT.svl=news2_1). Another interesting development is from startup FON (http://www.redherring.com/Article.aspx?a=15604&hed=Google%2C+Skype+Make+Wi-Fi+FON&sector=Industries&subsector=VentureCapital). With FON, any individual can choose to share his or her WiFi connection with others in the FON community, thereby generating a worldwide WiFi access network owned by its subcribers. And lastly, of course, there’s BeInSync, which makes use of P2P technology to enable people to securely access and share unlimited amounts of data without storing it on servers.

So, it seems the power is shifting to the people. The end points, or peers, become important, while large server are becoming a thing of the past. Perhaps that’s what P2P really stands for, Power-2-People. Using new P2P techniques, people will be able access the Internet from anywhere, securely access and share files of any size across network boundaries, distribute any size data to any number of people, and I’m sure there’s much more to come.

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BeInSync Vs. GoToMyPC

February 26, 2006

iStock_000000463823Small.jpgFunctionally speaking, BeInSync can be viewed as an alternative to remote access software such as GoToMyPC or a VPN. However, the underlying concept is different: with BeInSync you don’t need to access your data. Instead, your data can follow you! In other words, beyond plain remote Web access, since BeInSync can automatically keep your files and folders in sync across multiple computers, you can use it and not have to worry about accessing your data anymore. There’s also a performance benefit here. Since you essentially work on files locally, you don’t have the roundtrip time involved when using VPNs and other remote access applications. Imagine editing a huge PhotoShop file with a VPN…

I believe a VPN-type software is a huge overkill for an individual or a small business: it’s expensive, difficult to set up and doesn’t do what you really want, which is simply to make sure you have your data with you anytime, anywhere, without having to work hard at getting it.

About privacy…

February 21, 2006

iStock_000000067821_1.jpg You’ve probably heard about the recent concerns voiced around Google’s new Google Desktop product. It seems, according to the EFF and others, that if you choose to use this software for file sharing, remote access or for searching across multiple computers, your private files end up on Google’s servers. Worse yet, recently we’ve all heard about the justice department requests from Google, Yahoo!, AOL and MSN to disclose certain user information. The combination of these things is something to be concerned about.

When designing BeInSync we used secure Peer-to-Peer technology in order to access and share files across PCs. We took extra care not to have to store user files on our servers. Moreover, we took care not even to store user file name and indices. I want to stress this point, as some of our users are still coming to us expressing concerns about privacy and asking where their files are stored. The answer is: nowhere, only on your own computers! When you access a remote file through a Web browser or sync it to your computer, the connection is made directly to the peer PC and does not go through our servers. So you can be assured BeInSync, and of course any other entity, cannot access your private files.