BitTorrent is taking another crack at solving the age-old problem of pushing really big files around with the beta launch of SoShare, a utility that will let users share bundles of files up to 1TB in size. That's a pretty massive amount of data to be sharing over the internet, more than many users' hard drives, but BitTorrent says that SoShare's focus will be on creative professionals and others who deal with transferring huge files on a daily basis.
As for how the service is implemented, BitTorrent told us that SoShare allows for distributed transfers (ala the standard BitTorrent protocol) while also maintaining one master copy in the cloud for constant access. However, it's not clear how the "distributed transfers" are used here — users still have to upload the full copy of the file to be shared before anyone else can access it. That'll be an issue for those hoping to test that massive 1TB file limit without the requisite bandwidth to back up their ambitions, but this shouldn't be too big of a deterrent to the creative professionals (who likely have the bandwidth necessary to push bit files around) that BitTorrent is targeting with this service.
BitTorrent's new service is entering a crowded filesharing market
Uploading specifics aside, using SoShare is quite simple. Everything goes through the web browser — after installing a small plug-in, users choose the files they want to share, add the email addresses of the intended recipients, a subject, and a quick message, and start the upload process. Thanks to the plug-in, uploads can continue even after closing the browser window, and SoShare notifies you once your recipients have received the file and whether or not they've downloaded it, as well. Files live for 30 days, though you can cut off access at any time, and you can also grab links to share your uploads publicly. Recipients don't need to be SoShare users, either, which speeds things up for those who don't want to sign up for yet another service.
At first glance, SoShare seems like a solid, useful sharing option with one huge differentiating feature — the 1TB file size limit. While there's no doubt a market that'll take advantage of that huge space cap, we're still not sure how SoShare will fare against the many entrenched cloud-based file sharing services like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and all the rest. It's likely the creative professionals that SoShare is targeting have already adopted one of the competitors offerings, so BitTorrent may face an uphill battle finding users. Regardless of the competition, SoShare is a solid option for those who occasionally need to share a huge amount of data.