Syncing files with a phone is sometimes a cumbersome and tricky task. I blogged about a few solutions before like this one using FTP, but recently I found another gem.
Bittorrent Sync turns out is awesome to sync large amounts of files over WIFI to and from a mobile device without a lot of effort.
So what is it? Bittorrent Sync is, as you probably guessed, a product from the Bittorrent lads. You can use it to synchronize folders between machines in a distributed, non-centralized way. So you could think of it as Dropbox without having to use the central cloud server. There are
clients for all sorts of operating systems like Windows, Android, Mac and Linux.
The only “downside” here is that you need to have another machine online before the syncing happens as there is no central server that keeps a copy of your files in the cloud. You can also see this as an advantage if you don’t want copies to end up on third-party servers.
So to sync from your main machine to a mobile device, this works perfectly.
Basically you do the following to set up file syncing between your PC and your phone:
- Install the BTSync application on your PC.
- Install the BTSync app on your (android) phone.
- Setup a sync folder on your PC.
- Scan the QR barcode for this folder from your PC screen with your phone from the app to set up the sync folder on your phone.
- Sit back and watch the magic happen.
Depending on your settings you can use this to sync in both directions, set up multiple sync-folders, sync with multiple machines etc.
It’s awesome, it’s free and it works like a charm.
I love it.
Addendum: if you upgrade from an older version to v2 of Sync your old sync folders might break. I ended up uninstalling and reinstalling Sync on my PC & phone + recreate the sync folders to have it all work flawlessly again.
Photo by Grant Hutchinson, cc-licensed.