Photos, music, videos... more and more of our files are being shared online and via email. And as more of us have mobile phones, tablets and laptops in addition to a desktop, sharing among devices becomes important. Various services have come out that allow users to store data and media files remotely, where they can be accessed by numerous devices at will. TappIn is a free or inexpensive online service that allows files to be shared by an iPhone, Android or Windows 7 mobile device (such as phones and tablets), as well as a desktop or laptop via TappIn's website.
TappIn works slightly differently from remote access storage services like Dropbox. With Dropbox, you are buying storage space on the company's server and allowing others to access your files and folders there. With TappIn, you allow the app to retrieve your data from a designated folder, encrypt it, and send it to another computer or mobile device. TappIn is less expensive than Dropbox, because you are not paying for storage space, and it's faster, because you don't have to upload files. You're essentially opening up a channel into a folder on your computer for TappIn to access. The downside of this method is that the computer where the files are located must be on and not in sleep mode in order to be accessible to remote computers. TappIn insists that files are kept secure and private because they are SSL encrypted along the route from your computer to the remote computer.
It was easy to set up and use TappIn. After you sign up for an account, you browse through your files and folders and designate which ones you want to give access to. Then you enter the emails of the people to whom you want to give that access, along with a customizable message letting them know that the files are available. The sharer can require those they share with to log in to TappIn with their own ID and password or they can allow others to see the files without logging in. It would seem to be a no-brainer to require the recipients to log in with a password to keep privacy to a maximum, given how many emails get hacked these days.
TappIn adds some nice features to make it easy to share files. There's a built-in music player, so you can listen to music files directly in the app, and a slide show by CooliIris, which lets you scroll through pictures quickly and easily.
The standard platform is free, and the pay versions add extra features, such as sharing from more than one computer, streaming video, wireless printing from the app, and more. The pay service costs $20/year per user up to nine users.
TappIn is a simple tool that lets you and others access your files quickly and easily from a variety of devices. If you're comfortable about the method that TappIn uses, it is a step up from other remote storage systems in terms of ease and speed.