Transporter – An alternative to cloud storage
I qualify as a heavy user of cloud storage. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive are essential to my collaborative workflow. There are certain caveats to this, though:
- As a photographer, sharing 20GB of photos (from a single wedding shoot, for example) through Dropbox is cost-prohibitive. Collaborating on multiple wedding shoots will cost a pretty penny. Videographers have it worse.
- Companies require certain rights to your files in order to provide the “sharing” portion of their service, since your files will be living on their servers. As such, you are subject to their whims. (In general, you should be wary of any free service you make use of. Facebook, for example, just released new “functionality” in their mobile apps that automatically uploads ALL photos you take into a private album onto your account. It sounds convenient, but realize that once your files are on their servers, Facebook has certain rights over them.)
- My particular cable internet provider has a data cap of 250GB/month for my service tier (30Mbps). Once we hit that limit, we get throttled down to around 1.5Mbps (which is still preferable to getting overage charges). When I was experimenting with online backup solutions, I hit that data cap in half a month.
Enter Geoff Barrall, CEO and founder of Connected Data (and former CEO and founder of Drobo, Inc.). He is aiming directly at users like myself with a new product called Transporter. In a nutshell, it is a non-RAID NAS that provides Dropbox-like sharing. The kicker is how it works with other Transporter devices. If, let’s say, my photo business partner had a Transporter, we can have a synced folder for wedding photo shoots. Our Transporters will sync with each other automatically. The only “cloud” element is in the hand-shaking protocol between Transporters so that they can find each other. None of your data passes through their servers. This seems like a near-perfect win to me. It takes care of caveats 1 and 2 above.
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