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Transporter backs up your files off-site, on other peoples' hard drives


January 8, 2013

The Transporter is a device that allows people to back up their files off-site, on the hard drives of people in a trusted network

The Transporter is a device that allows people to back up their files off-site, on the hard drives of people in a trusted network

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When it comes to backing up your files, there are generally two approaches ... you can put them on a physical device such as a hard drive, or you can upload them to the cloud. Hard drives can be lost or destroyed, however, while cloud-based services usually charge monthly fees for larger amounts of data – plus, not everyone feels comfortable trusting their files to faceless corporations. Well, that’s where the Transporter comes in. It allows you to store your files off-site, on the hard drives of people whom you know and trust.

The Transporter device itself contains a standard hard drive – it’s available with either a 1TB or 2TB drive included, or without one if you have a drive of your own that you wish to use. It communicates wirelessly with your computer, allowing you to save files on it as you would with a regular portable hard drive.

However ... when you save files to your Transporter, those files are also automatically saved – via the internet – to the Transporters of people you have selected. In other words, all of the people in your Transporter network will have your files on their devices, and you’ll have all of theirs on yours. You can still pull your files directly off your own Transporter, access your device online from anywhere in the world, and know that there are back-ups stored on multiple Transporters by people you trust.

The Transporter, spied by Gizmag staff at CES 2013

That said, you may have files that you really don’t want anyone looking at. In those cases, you simply choose to save them in an encrypted “backup” folder, that can only be accessed by you.

You might also wish to share files with other people in your network, however – if you’re working with them on a project, for instance. In those cases, you save the files in a “collaborative” folder, that select people can access. When any of those people make changes to the content in that folder, the changes are automatically saved to all of the network members’ Transporters.

The Transporter company is currently raising productions funds for its product, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$179 will get you a drive-less model, $269 will secure you a 1TB model, and $359 will get you the 2TB version. There are no fees involved in using a Transporter network.

The funding goal has already been more than doubled, so it looks like the device should indeed see commercial production. More information is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

I use CrashPlan. You can download the client for free and backup to friends' computers using that free client. You get 2 weeks of trial for the cloud backup and 4 years of unlimited storage is only $140. I use Microsoft SyncToy to sync files from my system to an external drive, and then backup all of that to CrashPlan's cloud. I don't have any friends that can handle the 700+GB of backup space I need, and CrashPlan's offsite backup is more economical than buying a new external every 2-4 years. It requires a substantial internet connection (it took me more than 2 weeks to backup my 700+GB even on my 35mbit FiOS connection).


I use GBridge for that. It's a free program which I'm using for years now. You install it on 2 computers or more, that are connected to the net. You tell it which folders to sync and how often, and it will copy just the files that were added or changed.

Moshik Levin
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