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AeroFS – all the file sharing goodness of Dropbox without the limitations [Freeware]


aerofs2 AeroFS   all the file sharing goodness of Dropbox without the limitations [Freeware]

At one point or another everyone has a need to share a file. Whether it’s sending a photo of the new baby to dear Aunt Maude, or circulating a document amongst work colleagues, it’s all the same problem. Modern files are typically too large to reliably send as attachments without a lot of work, and file sharing options like Dropbox are both vulnerable and limited because your files end up stored on their servers.

Which is where the new AeroFS service comes in to its own. This free peer to peer system offers fully private, unlimited storage and sharing of files using your own computer/s. No central server to log into, no file size limits, or password vulnerabilities. All the sharing is done privately between your hard disk and the people who you invite to share. In order to start a share, just create any folder (or use an existing one) and right mouse click the app icon and click ‘Share Folder’ to select it. That’s it.

aerofs AeroFS   all the file sharing goodness of Dropbox without the limitations [Freeware]

One huge advantage of this kind of system is you don’t need the Internet. Because you’re sharing via P2P, you can have multiple computers sharing on your home network without the need for your Internet connection to be working. That’s because the devices see each other directly over your WiFi connection, and don’t need to access a remote central server as they would with Dropbox. Great for sharing files for printing for example.

aerofs3 1 AeroFS   all the file sharing goodness of Dropbox without the limitations [Freeware]

The handshaking between computers and the sharing itself is securely locked behind some heavyweight 2048-bit RSA security, which makes sure the information can’t be eavesdropped and sharing is as simple as sending an email. There’s zero complicated setup or configuration, and in fact once you’ve downloaded the client (supported on Linux, Windows and Mac), it’s a matter of seconds before you’re ready to go. You can additionally share folders with as many people as you like (so long as they have an email address).

It’s worth noting that although there’s no central server storing or keeping files in sync, there is a minimal amount of data used by the AeroFS central server which is used to validate the user in case they need to set up a new device remotely and access their folders. This information is limited to hashed password, user name and their permissions, so that if all their devices are offline and they need access, they can quickly set up a new share.

aerofs4

The system is in beta testing at the moment, and so there are limited places available for those who want to test, so sign up is via email invite. I’ll try and get some invites going, so if you’re interested sound off in the comments. From our first view of the system, it looks to be an incredibly well thought out and engineered solution which offers all the benefits of large scale file sharing without the headaches of centralized control. Definitely one to watch!

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Gryphen

    I'd give it a go. Sign me up. I especially like that it doesn't necessarily require the internet.

  • Shas

    Very good article..application looks very promising.
    Hope to get an invite to test drive it :)

  • Frank Carbon

    Interesting article!! Please keep us informed and look forward to an invite.

  • Mark Gorey

    Incredible that it will be free. Sounds ideal for my workplace where the designers could share synced folders. Being local should make it vert fast and stable too. Can't wait to see more. If there are still invites floating around I would love to beta test it.

  • Jay

    Wow! this would be great as and when it comes out of beta testing.
    Please sign me up for an invite, thanks!

  • http://bit.ly/alexandr-fonari Alex

    I would like an invite, thanks!

  • Willie Tan

    I would like an invite too. Thanks.

  • John

    If you can share an invite, I would appreciate it!

  • http://www.redferret.net Nigel Powell

    OK, I've sent out invites to the eight of you so far. I had to fill out a survey to get these, so I hope you appreciate what we go through to keep you lot happy. :)

  • Mark

    My email just came through. Thanks Nigel, you're a survey filling star!! ;-)

    • http://www.redferret.net Nigel Powell

      We aim to please, Mark, we aim to please. :)

      Let us know what you think of it here after you've had a play.

  • ron

    I hope I'm not late.. Did you happen to get 9? :)…

    • http://www.redferret.net Nigel Powell

      You're good. :)

  • gisli

    i would also like to join in on the fun :) i submitted for beta in 2011 :(

  • Chris

    Would love a test run and more information on unix based platforms.

  • Jeff

    I'd love an invite. I've signed up a while ago for the beta, but haven't heard anything. :( My brother and I share files across the country and this would be perfect!!

    • http://www.redferret.net Nigel Powell

      Done. :)

      • Jeff

        Thank you!!!

  • http://www.redferret.net Nigel Powell

    OK, I'm out of invites for the time being. I'll ask the good folk for a new batch if enough of you ask nicely. :)

  • tazz7777us

    May i have an invite plz? would love to try the mac version

  • Dustonian

    If you get any more invites, I'd like to give it a shot. Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/C_Ellsworth @C_Ellsworth

    Great write up! I've been really excited about AeroFS for a while. Long time user of FolderShare and LiveMesh. Now that it's going away you're going to be the only player in this game!

    Boxie, Box.net, Dropbox, Live Drive, GDrive, etc. don't really solve the use case and force you to use their storage.

    Recently started using Cubby, but found it's OS support very lacking, and it's change detection buggy. Also tried teamdrive, but with it's limited free or even trial syncing capabilities are way to limited to really test.

    Can't wait till you launch. Until then, invite? =)

  • http://twitter.com/C_Ellsworth @C_Ellsworth

    Get your AeroFS invite by filling out a quick 2 min survey. ae.ro/UdtXw2 (from their twitter feed twitter.com/aerofs )

  • http://dl2c.com tjemar

    Please send us an invite please. :-) This is a great solution for the utilities b2b industry we are in currently! Thanks a lot for the post. Hopefully I'm not too late.

  • david

    Ready to join up….please

  • Ritesh

    I'll really really appreciate if you can forward me the invite! Thanks so much in advance!

  • http://twitter.com/333mjp @333mjp

    I'd love to check this out. Please send me an invite!

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