Transporter Update Finally Turns It Into Personal Dropbox Alternative


After some confusing starts, a software update makes the neat Transporter into a true alternative to cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. Previously, the Transporter was a hard drive which could stay in sync with another Transporter kept anywhere, letting you have a safe and up-to-date offsite back up at all times.

Now, finally, the software has adde in features that turn this connected storage into a proper cloud service. A cloud service that’s hosted by you, and not by the NSA.

Here’s a list:

  • Auto upload of your iOS Camera roll.
  • Sync Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Movies, Music and any other folders between devices.
  • Selective Sync – don’t sync that giant movies folder to your little 128GB MacBook Air.
  • Online storage – use the Transporter as a kind of NAS drive, only it’s accessible from everywhere, not just when you’re on your home network.

If you add these features to the neat sync that Transporter already does, you can see that it’s pretty easy to roll your own Dropbox. And if you have a few of these dotted around the world then you have great backup, too. The best part? You pay once to buy the hardware instead of monthly to rent drive space.

The downside? If you’re used to using apps with Dropbox built-in, then you might want to keep Dropbox’s free tier around just for that.

Prices start at $99.

Source: Transporter
Thanks: Lindsay!

  • As the owner of both a Drobo RAID Array and a Drobo Transporter, I feel compelled to point out that the Transporter is a total fail from the software aspect…

    If you have files on another drive, in my case, a Drobo RAID array, you can’t just select a folder, right click and select “share this”, you have to go through this overly-rube-goldberg’esque process to manually duplicate your files to THEIR determined directory (usually on your system drive but it can be moved). Either that, or you are forced to change the way you store your files to meet their strict conditions…

    Even once you’ve done that, your files must then be TRIPLICATED onto the Transporter drive. Trouble is, you have to go through the manual process of copying files all the time versus simply sharing a folder out to the your mobile devices (as it should be), which makes the Transporter — so far — completely and totally useless for, say, streaming your iTunes library to your iPad while on the road (not connected to your network)..

  • Malacandra

    Well, this update arrived just a bit too late for me. I purchased a Transporter Sync last month and returned it to Amazon.

    Here’s a few problems with the device: first of all – the software is just buggy. Simple file operations like moving folders behaved in a flaky, unpredictable manner. I’d find folder trees nested inside other folders where they simply didn’t belong. I’d try to delete files… and not be able to. It simply wasn’t ready for prime time.

    Finally: even though the device is directly attached to your LAN, there’s a USB 2.0 bottleneck in communicating with the external drive, even if you’ve got gigabit ethernet between your computer and the Transporter. Given how common consumer-priced USB 3.0 drives are, that’s just inexcusable. It made moving media libraries much much slower than it needed to be.

    And yes, I know there’s a version of the Transporter that allows you to install disks directly inside… but the newest model doesn’t have the older ones’ 2TB limit on storage.

    After being disappointed with the Transporter… and with Western Digital’s My Cloud (if anything, slower than the Transporter!) I find I’m really happy with – and appreciative of – my new Synology DS214. It’s more expensive, but the software is polished and the performance is solid.