BitTorrent launches beta test of its P2P-based Sync service, adds Android app

BitTorrent officially launched the beta test of its Sync file synchronization service Wednesday, adding an Android (s GOOG) app and announcing that Sync users have transferred more than 8 Petabytes of data ever since the company began alpha testing the service in April.
Sync makes it possible to synchronize folders between Windows (S MSFT) and Linux PCs, Macs (s AAPL) and Android devices without the reliance on any kind of centralized server. Sync users simply have to install the application on two or more machines and then exchange a passcode used to encrypt the data in transfer. Users of the Android app can also utilize a QR code to exchange passwords and give others access to their files.
Another feature introduced with the new version is basic versioning: Sync simply adds a folder with previous versions of a file to your synced directory.
I had a chance to play a little with the latest version of Sync this week, and particularly liked the ability to back up files from my Android phone to my Mac. I’ve been using a cloud service for this in the past, but Sync automatically detected that both machines were on the same network, and transferred the files super-fast. BitTorrent has said that it wants to launch an iOS version of the app soon.
That being said, adding cloud backup to your syncing also provides some peace of mind, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if BitTorrent added this as a feature for paying users sometime down the line. The current version of BitTorrent Sync is entirely free, and allows unlimited file transfers, something the company can easily afford because of the P2P technology used for Sync.