BitTorrent Sync as an alternate backup solution

I’ve heard so many good feedbacks about BitTorrent Sync. The only complain seems to be how it isn’t open-source. Today, I’ve decided give BitTorrent Sync (btsync) a whirl to see what all the hypes are about.

The way it works is you first select a folder you want to share. btsync will create two keys: one for readonly access and the other one for read/write access. You then pass on the key to the person you want to share the file with. They paste it to their btsync client and that’s all, btsync will do the rest.

Here I thought why don’t I use it to backup stuff to my VPS. My Dropbox is just a bit over 70GB and the 50GB free space promo is going to expire soon. I’m going to need to offload some stuff elsewhere, namely Camera Uploads. BitTorrent Sync seems to the perfect fit for this kind of thing. Plus, I have quite a lot of free space on my VPS.


So I installed btsync on my VPS. It’s as simple as download the file and extract. You will get an executable btsync.

# generate a sample config
./btsync --dump-sample-config >> btsync.conf
./btsync --config btsync.conf

btsync by default will start on port 8888. I then create an Apache2’s virtualhost, bind it to port 8888 in order to access its webui.

From my local machine, I add a folder to btsync, copy its readonly access key and add it to my server’s btsync webui. Tick Override any changed files on the server.


BitTorrent Sync doesn’t support document revision yet so Dropbox is still far superior. But the sync speed it offers is just amazing, leaving Dropbox in the dust.

Though I don’t trust my server keeping my data safe, it doesn’t hurt to have one more alternative backup. You definitely shouldn’t use it as your sole backup solution.