Personal P2P Getting Hot

First there was Grouper, and then came services like Hamachi. Both have been successful, but a new breed of personal peer to peer file sharing start-ups are coming to market with their solutions, and a renewed focus on ease of use. I wrote about three of those start-ups – Pando, Perenety and Wired Reach – for my column on Business 2.0/CNN Money, and pointed out that they have made personal file share as easy as email.

And now it is time to meet two new entrants. One is Zapr, which till recently was called Zingee. Now I have not tried this service because it currently works on Windows only (made with dot.Net actually,) but I have heard some good things about them. They ask you to add the email addresses of your friends (individuals or groups) and then drag-and-drop the file on to the window that pops up. Your friends get the email and download it via a browser.

Michael Liubinskas, Zapr head of marketing and business development wrote in an email that, “we’ve just launched an invite only beta, so if you’d like a sneak peek, then let me know. We are launching a new GUI with some network improvements in about four weeks.” In case you get to check them out, and let me know about your experience, I would be glad to post your thoughts at the end of this post.

The other company that just launched is PeerFactor, which is based in Paris, France. Users upload a file to our servers and get a link to share with their friends by email. If only a few people are downloading the file, then the downloads happen through a browser. However, if there is a lot of people downloading the same file, the company says you need a tiny P2P client, called PeerFactor Provider, that is about 69 kilobytes in size. (I need Jeff Clavier’s help here, since the site is in French.) The company wants to target the email providers and telecom operators to offer them a OEM type solution.

As I had said earlier, the rise of these start-ups is in response to the ever-growing size of files – videos, photos, documents and Powerpoint presentations. It is becoming difficult to send attachments as e-mail servers tend to flag anything with a big attachment. Is there a big business in these services? I am not so sure, but as always your feedback is welcome. [Personally I would love for Diego to bring back Clever Cactus.]