Until recently, small businesses interested in file sharing and online collaboration had only a couple of solutions. They could e-mail documents back and forth, but that method is time-consuming and prone to errors. Or they could put files in the Cloud, trusting service providers to keep data safe while paying top dollar for storage.
Santa Clara, California company Connected Data came up with a third option. The company created the Transporter, a device that acts as a sharable storage device. Files are still online, but they’re shared only with those you specify, keeping you in control.
The Transporter was presented as a Kickstarter project earlier this year, far surpassing its $100,000 goal by earning more than $260,000 in pledges. The device is now for sale, with prices starting at $199. Unlike traditional Cloud-based file-sharing solutions, though, the Transporter has no monthly charges. The cost of the unit is all you’ll ever pay.
Transporter could prove especially valuable to small businesses that have tight security restrictions. Medical professionals and financial institutions subject to government regulations may be reluctant to turn data over to the Cloud, where security is entrusted with third-party providers. Transporter keeps data on the device, protecting customer data by keeping it visible to only those you specify.
To use Transporter, simply plug the device in and connect to a wireless router or switch. The device powers up and a blue light tells you it’s ready to go. You may then set up a free online account that will allow you to access your Transporter from any device that has an internet connection. You can set up shared folders and send invitations to friends and colleagues all over the world. Once they receive the invitation, they can log in via a browser and view those shared files, whether they own a Transporter or not.
Once your folder is set up, any files you add to your Transporter will be immediately visible, allowing for real-time updates. This makes it the perfect solution for teams collaborating on a project, since the latest version of files is always available.
“The Transporter is the world’s first social storage solution,” Geoff Barrall, says. “It allows you to share, collaborate, back up files, transfer files anywhere in the world to whoever you want, right within the storage device itself.”
While sharing devices via the internet is certainly one of Transporter’s most popular features, Barrall emphasizes the Transporter is made to communicate with other devices, which maximizes its security benefits. Furthering the user’s control, the transporter lets you set security on individual folders, choosing customized encryption levels for each new top-level file you create.
Following its successful Kickstarter funding, Connected Data will soon begin shipping Transporters. Customers can order Transporters with 1TB or 2TB drives (or without a hard drive) through Connected Data’s website or through major retailers like Amazon. The company orders a full money-back guarantee, so if you aren’t happy with your Transporter, you can ship it back.
As more businesses discover vulnerabilities in Cloud computing, Transporter’s security will become more attractive. For business owners concerned about keeping data safe behind company firewalls, Transporter is a great alternative to Cloud services. Since it’s fee-free, the price makes it ideal for small businesses.