Creative Agency (Singley + Mackie) x (BitTorrent Sync)

Matt Singley is the CEO of Singley + Mackie, a creative digital agency based in Los Angeles with associates around the world:

When I co-founded our agency in 2010, one of the core values we established right away was to let our employees and contractors be “intellectually green”, which often includes working remotely instead of in a central office. Because of this, our team can be spread out around the United States, even around the world. Finding the right system for project collaboration was difficult until we started using Sync.
Singley Mackie BitTorrent SyncFor years, we used the typical “box” solutions for syncing data. I suppose they worked okay, but they certainly weren’t ideal solutions. One problem was syncing everything through somebody else’s server, a concept I have never been fond off. It’s slow, and in my opinion, trouble waiting to happen. There have been too many security breaches in the news, and the last thing I want is for my client’s work, or our internal information, to be become another leaked-data story.

Another issue with the box solution was the price. Bottom line, as we added team members and needed more and more storage, the cost was becoming ridiculous. I considered building our own private solution, which would have been somewhat costly and time consuming, but then I saw a tweet about BitTorrent Sync and knew I had to check it out. Free? Sign me up! Ultimately we did decide to move from the free to the Pro plan, but it was only $40/year; far less than the thousands per year we were paying for the other service. I’m so glad that I did look into it; now I cannot imagine how we got along without Sync all of this time. It’s made sharing internally with employees and externally with clients so much easier.Singley Mackie BitTorrent SyncFor internal sharing, I love the ease of use and the speed. We work on a lot of video editing projects, and the files can get pretty massive. Syncing these project files used to be an overnight ordeal…drop the file into the box, send an email to the team saying that it’s syncing and they should check in the morning, then wait for it upload to the central servers before downloading to the team laptops. I would get emails and IMs all the time that said something like, “Are you sure you put it in there? I don’t see it yet”, to which I would have to reply, “It’s there, but sometimes it takes quite a while to show up on your side. Check back later and let me know”. Instead of moving forward on a project, we would play the not-so-fun game of waiting to see how long it took to sync up.

We have never had that problem since we started using Sync. Since files are transferred directly between peers, the more devices we have using Sync and sharing the particular files, the faster the transfer is. It’s really helped our productivity a lot. I also love how Sync is easy to use and understand.Singley Mackie BitTorrent SyncSome members of our team are really familiar with bleeding-edge technology; some…not so much. Syncing up accounts to mobile devices by using QR codes is smart. The not-so-techy members of our crew have never had a problem holding their phone up to the screen and scanning the code; it’s worked flawlessly every time.

Sharing with clients has become a lot easier too. When we create a client share folder, we just right-click, share with BitTorrent Sync, then choose the permissions and security settings we want. It feels like every client we have ever had has used a completely different system for sharing files. Sync is just so much easier and faster, and I’m glad I can easily lock down permissions to read only if we want more control.

Although I love how easy and fast it is, I cannot state enough how much more comfortable I am with the security. I just don’t like having our private files on somebody else’s server, which is all the “cloud” is…somebody else’s server.

I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m tired of constantly seeing news of data breaches within large companies that we trust with our data. This is why I love Sync; my data stays with me, and is only shared with those I choose. There will never be a data breach on the Sync centralized server, because there are no centralized servers! The use of torrents to transfer data is great, and I’m so glad that it’s finally being used in such smart business capacity.