Lately, transferring files both between systems and on the go has been limited to either using Dropbox or the largest USB stick I can find. Not bad for most of what I deal with, but when I want to transfer a large enough file, I still have to clear out my smaller ones to make room, and then remember to put them back on afterwards. Storage space has become cheap lately, but on occasion I still find myself making multiple trips to get the job done.
The iTwin is no harder to cart around, being just a little longer than an average USB stick, with ports on either end. The two halves separate in the middle, allowing you to leave one plugged into your system at home, take the other end anywhere, plug it in, and have instant access to whatever
files folders you choose to share.
This, and 256-bit AES encryption. Up until now, getting any kind of sharing done that would exceed Dropbox’s 2GB limit meant setting up an FTP server, which always seems easier in my head, until two hours have passed and I’m still changing port settings while googling every Servers for Dummies guide I can find. After that, encryption is the last thing I’m worried about and I’d gladly open my computer wide to the internet at large if it means it will work at all.
So how does it actually work? After plugging the joined twins into the home computer, there’s a brief installation where you can select files to share, set a password if you’d like, and you’re ready to take the other half, now paired with it, with you wherever you go.
On the remote end, you will still have to install software, but most of the setup steps have already been taken care of, so you’ll be up and running in just a couple minutes. I would still feel the need to ask a friend before installing something on their system, but it can be easily removed afterwards if it were a problem. About the only stumbling block comes if you’re at a library computer that locks out installation privileges.
Copying files is easy with the Windows Explorer interface. You can copy or delete files at will, with no discernible lag time. Your home system will even keep track of anything deleted by a remote connection in case you want to retrieve it from the Recycle Bin.
Running files straight off the home system has its quirks, though. The software needs to copy it to a temporary folder to do so, but it doesn’t make sure the copy is completed before it runs the file, so while most files will copy in the blink of an eye, large video files will attempt to play before they’re completed, so unless your media player can deal with playing partial files, you’re better off just copying it to a folder and waiting out the transfer.
In case of loss, you have the option of registering a kill-switch through iTwin’s servers so that in the event you lose the remote key and are unable to get home to remove the first half, you can still sever the connection.
Really the only thing that I would want to see in the next release would be the ability to carry the twinned halves on a keychain, rather than having to constantly worry about it ending up on the floor anytime you go to retrieve your wallet or keys.
Otherwise, the iTwin is a strong product with a worry-free installation capable of replacing your need for a USB stick in just about any situation. The iTwin is currently selling for roughly $89 on Amazon and NewEgg.