BitTorrent Inc. is bumping up the capabilities of its Sync cloudless cloud storage system with a new update to the desktop debuting Tuesday.
Sync 2.0.120 is all about bringing better organization to your synced files with a flexible search function, simplified device management, and new optional columns to make it easier to find critical information at a glance. And of course, your data still stays in your control, rather than residing on a third-party server somewhere.
The new version of Sync is available for Windows, OS X, and Linux and will cover both free and pro users.
All about search
For anyone with tons of folders in Sync, the biggest update is by far the new search function. We haven't had a chance to try the update yet, but once it rolls out Sync will let you sniff out particular folders, users, and devices.
You can, for example, search by user to see all of your folders that person is connected to. Search works across folder lists, peer lists, and in licenses (pro users only).
One thing the new search does not add is the ability to search for specific files. A BitTorrent spokesperson told us the company decided not to add this as your desktop system already indexes your files for you, so you can search for individual files using your operating system's native search tools.
Nevertheless, a future Sync update will include a redesigned "History" section with a search function allowing you to find files that have been added, deleted, or changed in a Sync folder.
Why this matters: For anyone looking for an alternative to cloud sync services like Dropbox and OneDrive, Sync is one of your best options. It offers secure connections, doesn't require a server, and is completely under your control. But it has lacked some basic features you need to manage a large amount of files transferring between devices. The new search function is an important step toward making Sync your full-time "cloud" provider.
The current Sync desktop client allows you to display up to 10 columns of information such as the date a folder was added, folder size, date last synced, and sync progress. Apparently 10 wasn't enough, so BitTorrent is adding another two columns to better customize your Sync dashboard.
The first is an "Owner" column that shows you who owns the folders in your Sync list at a glance. The second new column is "Last transferred," which shows you the last time files were changed in a folder.
Odds and ends
If you switch devices a lot and your list of Sync-connected smartphones, tablets, and PCs is getting a little messy, you can now hide any devices you no longer use.
The new version of Sync lets you hide offline devices in the My Devices list under the Settings cog in the upper right hand corner.
Beyond those changes, the new version of Sync remembers the share settings you last used for each folder instead of reverting back to the defaults. BitTorrent also added some new icons to the right-click contextual menu for Sync-connected folders and files in Windows and OS X.
Sync 2.0.120 will roll out to all users as an auto-update over the next few days, or you can download the new version directly from BitTorrent.