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Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

iTwin creates your own personal cloud, now works with Mac OS X

19

September

1_0.jpgAfter years of schlepping around with multiple USB keychain drives I finally joined the cloud generation. Cloud storage is all the rage now and many companies are switching to cloud-based file and application use for employees. There are many cloud storage options avalable, like DropBox, Amazon Cloud Drive and the upcoming iCould service from Apple. Most require special software or access through a web interface and you have to remember your password. Plus, your files are stored on a cloud-based server and that makes some people nervous.

The iTwin, is a new twist on the cloud concept and uses two USB keys to create a personal cloud with all files stored on your own computer. Previously only available fow Windows users it's now available for Mac OS X (Lion and Snow Leopard) too. Now both PC and Mac users can effortlessly share files via iTwin, no matter where they are.

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The iTwin looks like two USB key chain drives that snap together to make a double-ended USB stick. You attach one half to the computer with the files you want to share then you take the other half with you. When you connect to any computer on the Internet, Mac or PC, you can access the files as if the two computers were connected by a cable. The files themselves are not stored on the USB devices but remain on the hard drives of the computers used. This gives you storage space to the limits of your hard drive and any attached storage with all files are securely transferred using military-grade, AES 256-bit encryption.

As compared to using a traditional cloud service, the iTwin requires you to keep the second half of the USB key with you or you're out of business. If you lose it and someone finds it, when they plug it in they will have easy access to your files. To avoid this you can secure both halves of the iTwin with passwords or you also can simply unplug the other half once you realize one half is lost. And when all else fails you can use a remote disable feature to shut down the half that's lost.

The Windows version of the iTwin has received glowing reviews since launch. The new Mac OS X version is available now for $99 at iTwin.com and at Amazon.com.  Owners of the original iTwin can get the free Mac OS X compatibility upgrade from iTwin.com/Mac. Future updates will be automatically pushed to the iTwin when plugging each half into a computer.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 2:35am]

    

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