Transporter Sync

This is the Transporter Sync from Connected Data. The easiest way to think of the Transporter is essentially like Dropbox, but rather than the hardware and service being owned by Dropbox, you own the hardware and operate your own private cloud storage from your own home network.

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The box is pretty simple, and a little Apple-like in it's presentation.

The box contains the Transporter unit, a power cable (with British and European plugs), a short ethernet cable and a card that explains the meaning of the unit's LED indicators. The setup instructions are printed on the underside of the lid.

The unit itself is small and lighter than I expected but it is still somewhat larger than an Apple TV or an Airport Express. The design is minimalistic and the glowing indicator band is a cool touch, particularly in low or no light. It's also clearly visible at a distance if you need to keep an eye on it's status. The Sync model connects to any external USB hard drive and makes that storage available on your local network and externally via data connection.

Once connected the Transporter reformats the connected drive with its own file format. You'll lose any data on this drive that you don't have another copy of somewhere else so you might need to copy files to another location temporarily.

The majority of setup then happens via the Transporter website. You create an account and 'claim' any transporters connected to your home network, which links them securely to your login details. You're guided through a simple install process on your computer for the software required to access and sync your data. It was easy enough, and required the login details I had just created and for my Mac account password to install some software components. Your less-computer-savvy family members will be able to do this with minimal guidance. There are also mobile apps for your phone and tablet.

At this point, any users of services such as Box or Dropbox should feel right at home. Storing and syncing files is as simple as copying them into the Transporter folder on your computer; much the same as with Dropbox. They can be shared via e-mail in a similar fashion. The mobile apps aren't quite as polished as I would like, and I have occasionally had to restart the iPhone app when switching between mobile data and my wi-fi to reestablish a connection.

So far I'm really impressed.