Syncthing Review

Syncthing aims to offer an open, reliable and decentralized P2P file synchronization solution. It allows you to sync data across devices within your local network or online. It stands out for being free and open source, which means that it can be independently audited to confirm that it doesn’t feature any backdoors. With Syncthing, you will be able to backup data without relying on a third-party cloud service. You can manage the files after they are backed up to a computer or server, to which you have direct access. There are no third parties involved as you provide your hardware and only you have the encryption keys, since the data is encrypted on your side. We will find out more about this storage solution that gives you greater control over your data.

Security and Privacy

Privacy is one of the highlights of Syncthing since the data is saved to the location you select. Since end-to-end encryption is applied, only you will get access to your files. Data is secured using the Block Exchange Protocol v1, which uses TLS 1.2 certificate-based authentication, along with PFS. The level of protection that Syncthing offers will keep you safe against man-in-the-middle attacks and other threats. To protect data during transfer, TLS is used and your files are stored on your own computer, instead of on a central server that could be compromised.

How does it work

Syncthing doesn’t require sign up and the program is compatible with multiple platforms including Linux, Windows, macOS and Android. Once you have downloaded Syncthing, you will need to unzip the files but no additional installation steps are required, besides setting up a folder to sync the data. A default sync folder will be created when you run Syncthing for the first time and a wen interface will be opened. You will need to add a new device to get started using its unique ID. This is created along with the key generation when you first run Syncthing. In order to sync two devices, you need to configure them to be paired. You can share your computer’s device ID with your mobile phone by scanning a QR code.

You can create a folder on one device to save the synced data and at the end, you can simply press the Save icon at the top right. The data that you add to the folder on one device will be synced to the correspondent folder on the second device. It should be noted that if you delete a file from one folder, it will also be deleted from the other device’s folder. If you don’t want this to happen, you will need to make sure that Folder Master mode is enabled. With this option, the changes to the folder won’t be reflected on other devices. Unfortunately, overall the process of pairing folders can be complicated and it will take some time to figure out how to adjust things according to your preferences. However, once you get used to the process, Syncthing offers effective performance,

Features

As previously mentioned, Syncthing is free, but you can donate via Stripe or Bitcoin to support this open source project. The web interface gives you the possibility of configuring and managing the program. Apart from popular options like Windows and macOS, the platforms supported include Solaris, OpenBSD and other advanced systems. Although the setup can be confusing, the fact that IP addresses are not required simplifies things. You can share a folder by providing your ID and it is possible to synchronize as many folders as needed.

Syncthing supports advanced settings that allow you to adjust the way in which the files are synced according to your preferences. The folders are scanned every 60 seconds, but you can manually modify this and establish the versioning options that suit you. The fact that file versioning is supported is one of the benefits of Syncthing and it makes it a practical solution as cloud services. In addition, the impressive transfer speeds should be highlighted. For added security, you can run a VPN while transferring the data. Even if you are transferring large files, you can expect to reach almost the maximum speed of your internet connection.

Conclusion

Syncthing gives you the possibility of storing data with functionality similar to that supported by cloud services, but without third-parties’ involvement. You can transfer files between your devices by just placing the data in the sync folder, and then you will be able to access it on the other device. It uses powerful encryption to keep your information securely backed up. The only downside is that the setup is not exactly simple and it will take some time to complete it successfully. However, once it is done, you will enjoy an effective alternative to cloud solutions.

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