Transferring data from one PC to another can be difficult, especially if it's a large amount of data. For example, if you want to send some data to somebody in another country, you’re going to have to go through the hassle of either sending it via e-mail, or upload it to some file hosting service. Chances are, if your file is too large, you’ll probably need to buy more storage. Enter iTwin. This new USB dongle/USB drive allows users to remotely access data from anywhere in the world. It’s a one time investment, but is it worth your money? Read on to find out.      

Works on PC and Mac

Works on PC and Mac

Features

The method of operation for the iTwin is surprisingly simple. First you connect the device to your local computer, which has all your data stored. Depending upon your internet connection, it will take a few seconds to install the necessary plug-ins and files for iTwin to work on your PC or Mac. Once that’s done, a folder named iTwin gets automatically created and you can transfer the data you want remote access to, to that particular folder. Thereafter, you can plug-in the other half of the drive to any computer (connected to the Internet), anywhere in the world and you can access your files on-the-go. The important thing to mention out here is that none of the data is stored on the drive. The drive only stores the log files, so in case you happen to lose one half of the drive, you need to simply unplug the one connected to your local computer and your data is safe. Also, there’s an option to password protect the drive. If you happen to lose both halves, you can use your registered email address to disable them. So, privacy options are pretty much covered.

Impressive features

Impressive features

The second and equally important reason is, how secure is this device? Well, according to the company, the iTwin USB drive has a two-factor authentication scheme (hardware device + password). The two iTwins together generate a random 256-bit AES key, everytime they are physically paired and plugged into a computer. When two halves of the iTwin are paired, the owner is sent a Remote Disable Code (through e-mail), which can be used to break the connection between the two iTwins. Using this disable code, if an iTwin is missing, it can be disabled remotely. All data traffic is first compressed and then encrypted. Before allowing any data transfer, every iTwin is authenticated by iTwin's TwinTrust servers. All communication between iTwin and TwinTrust is secured using the HTTPS (RSA 1024 bit, 128 bit RC4) protocol. There are no storage limitations and you can put your entire hard disk onto the cloud. 

As simple as sync, unplug and plug

As simple as sync, unplug and plug

Peformance

Setting up the device for usage is extremely simple, as compared to setting up a virtual private network for sharing of files. We put a 200 MB file up for sharing and access to it was almost instantaneous. There are a lot of factors involved, though, the main one being how fast your Internet is. Accessing, copying and remotely editing files on computer A from computer B, and on B from A works brilliantly smoothly and the files are available on both A and B. Removing any of the iTwins instantly stops data sharing between the two.

The initial setup takes about two minutes on a decent network connection

The initial setup takes about two minutes on a decent network connection

We tried checking if any temporary files or folders were created as it’s important when you’re accessing your personal data from a public computer. When you plug-in the device, temp files are created, but they are mainly log files, which get wiped out automatically once the device is removed. Dumping files via network shared computers was pretty easy. All in all, this device works pretty smoothly.

Cableless iTwin drive

Cableless iTwin drive – a worthy buy

Verdict

So, in this age of cloud storage being provided by a whole range of companies (like Dropbox, YouSendIt), does this device really stand a chance? Well, the answer to this depends on your usage. If you’re an extremely basic user, who just wants to get remote access to pictures and a few documents, the iTwin may be a little expensive. But, for those having 2GB or 5GB limitation issues on the various cloud storage sites, this one’s a must buy. The plain reason being that with iTwin you can put your entire hard disk onto the cloud. Though speed over the Internet might be limited, this device doesn’t have any limitation in terms of data storage. Secondly, there’s this issue about security problems with services like Dropbox and, as mentioned earlier, iTwin is relatively more secure. At Rs. 4,990, it’s a one time investment and definitely worth the purchase.

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