Sending big files over the Internet is still a big issue for many users. While it is possible to overcome those issues, it often means spending time preparing the files to do so. You could for instance pack and split the files before sending them, upload them to an ftp server or online file hosting service, use Microsoft's Hotmail which uses the company's own SkyDrive storage service to enable the sending of large files, or resort to handing out the data on physical discs.
Bittorrent is another solution, one that requires basic knowledge of creating torrents and seeding it to friends. Bittorrent Share tries to reduce the complexity by making it easier for users to share data with their friends (keep in mind that Share is a temporary name subject to change).
Users can download the alpha version from the official website. A free account is required which can be created directly in the application. Share is initially available for Windows systems, with Mac and Linux systems announced to be available at a later point in time.
Share users can then use the file browser or drag and drop to add files to the program that they want to share with individual friends or groups. Multiple files, for instance a folder full of photos, are automatically grouped together.
You can share the files with users either by entering individual email addresses into the share form, a name of a user that you previously shared with, or by selecting a previously created group. Groups allow you to share with multiple users at the same time, for instance your college football team, your family or colleagues at work.
The emails users receive point to a download page. Users who want to download the shared files need to create a Share account as well before they can download the files. This is different from downloading shared files with software like uTorrent, as no accounts are required to do so.
Share has no file size limitations as it is based on the same technology that powers all Bittorrent clients. Users should however keep in mind that they upload the files to the users they share with, which can mean that the total bandwidth spend sending those files may be larger than the size of all files.
All users with access can leave comments in the program interface. Invited users will also share the files automatically with other users that have been invited to download the files. This access restriction is one of the advantages of Share, as it allows users to limit access to files they want to share.
Bittorrent (the company) notes that it will "initially host and remotely seed a file for a limited time" to "ensure quality of service and file availability".
The big issue here is that the initial seeder needs to be online when other users start the file download. This can be a issue if the software is not open about this to both seeders and downloaders. This is probably one of the reasons why Bittorrent made that decision.
The company intents to integrate Share into Bittorrent and uTorrent clients. What they mean by this is that both clients will include features to download files shared via Share in the future. This is beneficial to existing uTorrent or Bittorrent users who do not want to download another software to download those files to their computer.
Share in its current form is a dumbed down Bittorrent client with integrated social features that simplifies the sharing of files. While it simplifies the sharing, it adds to the complexity of the operation by requiring accounts prior to downloading files.
What's your take on Bittorrent Share?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.