It’s really that easy. I was actually floored by how simple it was.
No signup, no forms, no hoops to jump through. Just drag a file into the window, watch it upload, then a link appears with share buttons near it. Send the link to anyone you want and they can download your bounty instantly.
I dragged a small test file into the window and then the share link appeared with Email, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Sinaweibo icons to the right.
What is it?
This is all made possible through the magic of Sharefest.
Sharefest is an open-source HTML5 based file sharing application that is both anonymous and direct. It doesn’t use cloud storage, instead it’s based off a direct P2P model like Bittorrent. It uses WebRTC Datachannel for file sharing. WebRTC is a joint initiative by Google, Mozilla, and Opera to allow high quality real time communications in the web browser. You can view a quick 21 slide overview of WebRTC on Slideshare.
All the Sharefest data is sent peer-to-peer.
By peer-to-peer I mean it uses a swarming technique to allow any peer node to connect to any other peer for data exchange. All nodes collectively facilitate the transmission of the file. The peers discover each other quickly and dynamically retrieve more data from peers that have better performance.
Anyone who connects to the share URL can retrieve the data from your machine via the peer-to-peer network. And it’s fast. In fact, you can watch one minute demonstration showing off WebRTC and Sharefest during the Google I/O conference earlier this year.
Give it a shot and see for yourself.
The Bottom Line
Simple. Fast. Free. Check out Sharefest and tell me if you like it in the comments!
The technology made it’s nascent introduction in 1999 with Napster and then evolved into Gnutella and Kazaa. People were using these programs to transfer music and software illegally and therefore these technologies got a bad rap.
But I have to ask: is the technology itself bad or was it the way it was being used? I think P2P file sharing is a great when it’s used in the right way. Since Fault tolerance is an innate characteristic P2P networks, the network has built in resilience. In addition, performance adapts based on bandwidth requirements and has less overhead than a traditional client/server model.
Projects like Sharefest are making it easier to share your content with the world. In this sense, it’s no different than Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Skydrive. On the other hand, the music and film industries probably shun these technologies because of widespread abuse and copyright infringement.
I think we need to implement barriers to reduce abuse. I don’t know what those barriers look like, perhaps a paid subscription service is the answer like Xbox Live or Spotify? I don’t know, but I do think tools like Sharefest will only gain ascendance as digital music and movie producers see safe guards to protect their intellectual property.