File sharing is becoming huge, and better ways for sharing files are emerging as more people start joining in on the fun. Up until about a year ago, FTP’s were the best way to share large files that couldn’t fit in an email, but now there are things like AllPeers for Firefox and Xdrive for online storage. There is also another one called GigaTribe that I wanted to point out today.
GigaTribe puts its faith on the fact that people don’t want to take the time to setup FTP’s nor manage complex permissions for users. Instead, it has you create a GigaTribe username when you start the application and immediately goes to work at configuring your router (if you’re behind a router). It was able to do all of the necessary port forwarding since my router supports UPnP (it will let you know whether your router supports it).
After getting GigaTribe setup and configured, my next mission was to setup another account so that I could connect the two systems. That was pretty simple, and in no time I had two accounts setup that I could start sharing files between. So from one of the accounts I invited the other user which was as simple as entering in their GigaTribe username, but you can also invite people using their email address. They will then get notified that you want to share files with them, and give them instructions on setting up an account.
Next I went through and picked the folders that I wanted to share. This is done using the “Modify my shared folders” link on the homepage of the application. You should see your computer’s folder structure:
When you find a folder that you want to share, just right-click on it and choose the “Share folder” option. A window will popup asking you for configuration options, but none of them can be used unless you pay $3.99 per month or $24.95 for a lifetime subscription. Don’t worry though, the network is still pretty locked down even with the free version:
- You create your private network by inviting your friends.
- No one can join your network unless invited.
- You can dismiss or ban your guests at any time.
- Your guests can’t see each other on your network.
After getting the folder shared, I checked my other account and I was able to instantly start sharing files between the two computers. Any files that I downloaded were placed in a GigaTribe folder located in My Documents, and the status of the transfers could be monitored via the Transfers tab in the application.
Overall, the program is really nice because it creates a closed network for you, your friends, and your family to share files. Unfortunately you cannot restrict groups to what files they can download unless you pay for the premium version, so whatever files you decide to make available can be downloaded by anyone. One other downside to the free version is that you are limited to one download at a time, which can become a big pain unless you get your friends to ZIP up the files that you need.
So whether this software is right for you depends on how many people you are going to be sharing files with. If there are a lot of people you might be better off setting up an FTP real quick instead of forking out the money for GigaTribe Premium, that way the only limitation is the speed of your Internet Connection.
Thanks to JavaSharp over in the forum for pointing out GigaTribe! Another free file sharing application that you can try is Swapper, which was also mentioned in the forum by Chris.