We’re pleased to welcome as our latest TidBITS sponsor an entirely new company — Connected Data, Inc., — whose storage-industry veteran founders last created the Drobo and have now come up with the Transporter social storage device. It’s an odd term — social storage — but it’s apt, since what the Transporter does is enable you to share data across the Internet in a totally controlled fashion. You share with only the people you want, or even just other Transporters and computers of your own, but unlike services such as Dropbox and SugarSync, your data is never stored in the cloud, and there are no recurring fees.
Those fees aren’t trivial, once you’re talking about significant amounts of data, since a 500 GB account will run you $499 per year on Dropbox and $399 on SugarSync (other cloud storage services are similar). In comparison, you can buy a 1 TB Transporter for $299 or a 2 TB Transporter for $399, and never pay anything more (well, until the hard drive dies or you need yet more space). You can even buy an empty Transporter for $199 and install your own 2.5-inch hard drive. And if you use code “tidbits” when you order directly from Connected Data, you can save an additional 10 percent!
From a backup standpoint, the Transporter is quite interesting. Although you can always choose which other Transporters and computers should maintain copies of shared folders, as long as all the data on each of your Transporters is shared somewhere else, you can easily replace a dying drive or install a larger one; the Transporter’s software will automatically bring the data back from the other locations. Joe Kissell and I will be testing this and other Transporter capabilities in the future and reporting back on our findings.
Thanks to Connected Data for their support of TidBITS and the Apple community!