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BitTorrent Sync Create a Social Media Network



By   WirelessPhreak      Monday, May 27, 2013      Labels: , , ,  
Overview:
BitTorrent Sync is a recent addition from BitTorent Labs. Using Sync you can securely sync files between many users. The BitTorrent p2p protocol takes care of NAT and user discovery issues. Just launch the application and generate or type your shared key. The client will create a point to point encrypted tunnel and start syncing.  The application creates a sudo random 20 bytes that used to creates an AES 256 bit key that encrypts data during transit. For a more in depth security explanation you can visit Steve Gibson's Security now pod cast episode 402. https://www.grc.com/sn/sn-402.pdf. BitTorrent Labs has not released their encryption documentation. So Steve Gibson has not provided an in depth analysis of the security implemented in BitTorrent Sync.

Use Case:
BitTorrent Labs has an active forum and an entire thread dedicated to use cases. The one use case I didn't see and thought of immediately was a p2p secure media network.  I understand the legalities around sharing media so this would be for non copyrighted material of course.

Example:
Say you have three friends one is using Windows with Plex, the second Linux running ps3 media server, and the third a Mac running servo.   As stand alone DLNA solutions they are all capable. If each wanted to share content they would need an SFTP, or cloud solution like Dropbox. This could possibly expose their data to a third party. Because BitTorrent Sync is multi-platform you can sync these media liabraries seamlessly.

So how do you do this?
All three installs BitTorrent Sync
One user creates a folder for shared media
Selects the new folder
Creates a Key
Clicks Finish
Then shares the key among his friends
Each friend opens Sync and adds the shared key
Chooses the folder they want to share
Click Finish
Now everything starts syncing.

The elegance is in the design.  When a users adds content to their shared directory BitTorrent Sync will send that data to all systems.  So If your DNLA server is indexing that directory on a regular interval the new content automatically shows up on your TV.  Below is a high level digram of how the data sharing would propagate to your TV.



Enhancements:
Additional tweaks can enhance the shared media network, for example. You could build your own statusnet server, and have a script monitoring the shared directory.  When a new file syncs it will generate an automated message to the group identifying what files are new.  You could also create a script that would generate an email every time a new file is uploaded.

It is also important to set a folder hierarchy so that all media uploads adheres to a standard structure.  If you had multiple people just dumping data to the shared network it would definitely get out of hand and would be almost useless.

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