It's a trap!!
November 21, 2005 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Folder Share is an online service that synchronizes multiple pcs, or just specific folders in multiple pcs, by creating a localized p2p network. You could use it, for example, to keep your work & home mp3 collections identical. Until recently, the service cost $50/year, thanks to corporate largesse (and doubtless, evil intentions on the part of the new owner, Microsoft), it's now free. Unless you place some value on not letting Microsoft catalog what's on your PC.
posted by jonson (28 comments total)
Oh, I should mention that it's cross platform (PC & OSX), and requires a client install. That said, I've been using it for a couple weeks synchronizing important work related mp3s between my home & office computers, and it works great. Also they pay you $5 for everyone who signs up based on posts on community blogs.
posted by jonson at 2:51 PM on November 21, 2005

Did you just acknowledge that you're trying to make money off of metafilter?
posted by Hildegarde at 3:02 PM on November 21, 2005

I doubt they pay the bounty any more.

I've been using it on Windows for a year or so. I mostly use it among my own PCs, but I've used it to collaborate as well. I'm very happy with it, was even paying for a subscription.

Now that it is owned by MS I'm a bit worried that it will be a more attractive target for the malicious elements on the net.

As for giving MS access to what's on my PC, if they were really interested in that, they have plenty of other chances to get that info. In general, I think they are working from such a trust deficit with users that they are going to be pretty careful with Foldershare and the other services they are rolling out. They are really really going to need it if their broader services offerings are going to work out for them, and they really need their broader service offerings to work out if they plan on being viable long term.

My other worry with MS is that they'll bloat up the client with lots of other features.

This probably puts pressure on BeInSync, and, hopefully, will generate more developer interest in ifolder, which is a similar Open Source solution spawned from Novell to compliment a feature of their commercial server software.
posted by Good Brain at 3:03 PM on November 21, 2005

I'm guessing if jonson wanted to make money, he'd have to provide some sort of affiliate ID, rather than the bare link he did.

That said, it does look interesting, but not enough for me to bare the guts of my private folders to anyone. I'll stick to RDP over VPN for now.
posted by pivotal at 3:06 PM on November 21, 2005

I use it. It is a pretty quick way to sync folders between machines. It had some buggy graphics in the system tray at first but I haven't noticed it in a while. About a 6.5MB memory footprint.
posted by srboisvert at 3:06 PM on November 21, 2005

I don't want MS to have a list of my vast, vast collection of porn^H^H^H^Hvideo files. But thanks.
posted by solid-one-love at 3:13 PM on November 21, 2005

I wonder if watching the data that goes through helps Microsoft do an endrun around Google. Beyond porn and illegal music, your files can say a lot about the things you buy and use.
posted by Rothko at 3:20 PM on November 21, 2005

"Try it for free!" has me believing that once I have tried it the service will no longer be free.
posted by fluffycreature at 3:37 PM on November 21, 2005

wasn't this going to be a 'feature' in Vista?
posted by tiamat at 3:40 PM on November 21, 2005

Wonder if they'll somehow combine this with their SyncToy. I use that mofo all the time.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:55 PM on November 21, 2005

"Did you just acknowledge that you're trying to make money off of metafilter?"

Quick, email me about it. Bill Gates is personally paying $5 for every email generated on this subject via community blogs.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:12 PM on November 21, 2005

Right on! I love Bill Gates' money.
posted by Hildegarde at 4:15 PM on November 21, 2005

I swear, if I make a joke and NO ONE gets it besides crash davis, I'm still pleased.
posted by jonson at 4:20 PM on November 21, 2005

Why would you use crap like that? Get Hamachi. VPN with 256-bit AES ecryption that is only shared in the network you make, and you can broadcast it with a password so anyone you want can come in. No microsoft.
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:28 PM on November 21, 2005

Dean - that's awesome, thanks, will look into it. But do you get five dollars from them if I sign up?
posted by jonson at 4:32 PM on November 21, 2005

OS X users see (the FREE) rsyncX for the same functionality.
posted by spock at 5:33 PM on November 21, 2005

Wait a sec... Dean, Hamachi doesn't auto-sync your folders, it's not quite the same thing. This is transparent, automatic synchronization between two or more pcs or macs, which is in my specific case, exactly what I need. Sometimes I'll add a song (or several songs) at work and never remember to migrate them to the home PC.
posted by jonson at 5:50 PM on November 21, 2005

I've been using this for about a week now and highly recommend it. Free and effortless!
posted by Elpoca at 7:11 PM on November 21, 2005

This doesn't make any sense. What if the same file is modified separately on disconnected segments? As far as I can tell, it's not quite up to unison.
posted by cytherea at 10:34 PM on November 21, 2005

In the case you describe, cytherea, and indeed in case where there might be confusion (same file with two different "last modified" dates, deleted files on one end with changes to the undeleted files on the other end, etc), FolderShare asks you what you would like to do on the end it goes to update. thanks for pointing out Unison, however, that does look interesting.
posted by jonson at 10:49 PM on November 21, 2005

Question on install: Where did you hear about FolderShare?


So there you go, jonson, I've done my level best to make sure you get your $5. ;-)
posted by Pigpen at 11:15 PM on November 21, 2005

Awesome! If we are ever at the same meetup, I will give you two dollars and fifty cents.
posted by jonson at 7:14 AM on November 22, 2005

Please explain the "localized P2P" bit. If this requires registering with a central server, and that central server is storing files, then it's hardly localized and hardly directly P2P.

Also, PepsiBlue. And of the worst, money-grubbing sort. Shame, jonson.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 PM on November 22, 2005

1) The central server is not storing files, files transfer directly from my home pc to my work one; the central server routes traffic, and if it went down, yes, the service would stop.

2) there's no money grubbing going on, the $5 comment was a joke, which was referenced by crash davis earlier in this thread

3) Alerting people to a free service isn't hawking a product.

Thanks for the call out fish, I'm totally shamed now. Moron.
posted by jonson at 1:23 PM on November 22, 2005

Um, I think the $5 is a joke.

this looks like a great idea, and maybe a good implementation. I'm definitely gving one of the competing products a try before giving MS any more acess to my data than they already have.

posted by Four Flavors at 1:24 PM on November 22, 2005

So why is there a 2Gb limit, if it's P2P?

Why must traffic be routed through their server? Unless things have become seriously degraded over the years, the Internet doesn't require any fixed-path routes from IP address to IP address.

As for the "joke," given the asshat behaviour reported in MeTa today, it was a poor joke indeed. Moran.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:04 PM on November 22, 2005

Ah, your use of "quotes" around the word joke has certainly put me in my place. Kudos to you sir, your wit & sense of humor are still well intact despite all evidence to the contrary.
posted by jonson at 2:15 PM on November 22, 2005

Okay finally got around to using it. I'm really iffy on the security. I don't like how if I log in from another computer I can access every single file on the computer running ShareFolder, for extra security I'd prefer to have (for example) my mp3 folder and only my mp3 folder remotely accesible. I can sorta workaround this by creating a second account and adding that as a friend, so that way I can only access a single folder, but that's a little convoluted. Also it seems like it's not possible to have only a single folder accesible from the web, it's all or nothing.

Why must traffic be routed through their server? Unless things have become seriously degraded over the years, the Internet doesn't require any fixed-path routes from IP address to IP address.

I synced up two computers on the same network and the transfer was way faster than my dsl, so I'm pretty sure it's not going through their server. The central server would be necessary to find out the ip of the other machine.
posted by bobo123 at 5:53 PM on November 22, 2005

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