BitTorrent teams with Onehub for 'hybrid' enterprise file-sharing service

BitTorrent has long billed its Sync file-sharing service as a peer-to-peer alternative to cloud storage, but on Wednesday the company announced it’s working with Onehub on a new, combined offering for large businesses.

Onehub Sync integrates BitTorrent Sync into Onehub’s online file-storage service through what the two companies call a hybrid, peer-to-peer+one approach. The result combines the benefits of syncing directly between peers with using Onehub as a “persistent peer” that’s always available in the cloud.

BitTorrent’s Sync service requires at least two peer computers to be connected in order for file-sharing to occur. With Onehub Sync, the cloud part of the equation means that users’ Onehub Sync clients will always have a peer to connect with, ensuring that their content can stay current.

“Sync is ideal for organizations with hundreds of people, or individual workgroups,” said Erik Pounds, vice president of product management for BitTorrent Sync, in a blog post announcing the news. Onehub is well-suited to companies of all sizes and delivers key features for enterprises, he said.

The combined offering provides numerous benefits for large enterprises, including speed, scalability, reliability and security, Pounds said.

For example, when changes are made to a file, Onehub Sync chooses the fastest route to update all collaborators, whether directly through a local network or via the cloud.

On the security front, Onehub provides bank-level encryption for all data, and file transmission between peers is always encrypted, Pounds said. The service also provides activity tracking to monitor who has accessed files, and role-based permissions are available to control who can access data.

Onehub Sync is now available for a free, 14-day trial on Mac or Windows; after that, pricing starts at US$29.95 per month for up to three users.

The fundamental challenge Onehub Sync faces is the maturity and strength of competitors like Box and Dropbox, said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT.

Both of those competitors have long offered similar features and services, King said.

So, while it may be possible to entice new customers to use Onehub Sync, “peeling away existing Box and Dropbox enterprise customers will be far more problematic,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, BitTorrent updated its Sync API with more functionality and flexibility. Both paid and free versions are available.

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