15 Nov 2018

More Than Memory Sticks: Sharing Data Between Systems Without The Internet

Nowadays, you don't have to put much effort into accessing your data. Whenever you create a file on your phone, laptop, or any other device, you can easily save it somewhere which all of your devices have access to. This makes it possible to access your important documents wherever you are, and this is something which people are getting far too used to. In fact, for some, moving data without the help of the internet sounds like witchcraft, especially when there isn't a memory stick involved. To show you just how easy this is, this post will be exploring the three main operating systems, Linux, Mac OS, and Windows, giving you an idea of what to expect from their peer-to-peer data transfer systems.


Starting with the easiest option, Linux makes it very simple to move data between machines, as long as you’re used to using the OS in the first place. You'll need to use an SSH server for this, enabling you to send and receive files using the command prompt. When this is setup properly, you will have access to all of the unrestricted files on the machine which you're connected to. Unfortunately, thanks to this method requiring a server, the files will only be able to move one way without a switch each time you want to swap them around. This can be achieved without a single cable, as long as your machines are connected in some way.

Mac OS

True to their usual form, Apple make this process easier than anyone else. Using the normal iCloud app which is already installed on your machine, you can start transferring files to any other Mac which is logged into the same account. If you'd prefer to remain on seperate accounts, though, a tool called Forklift can be downloaded for free. You have been able to sync files between Macs without cloud for a long time. Only recently, though, have people been using systems like this as a replacement for sharing online.


Surprisingly, Windows makes this process a little harder than its alternatives. Instead of giving you a fancy tool to use out of the box, you have to configure your machines to use the same subnet and IP address range if you want them to connect. Along with this, they will also need to be on the same network, and the best results will be found if you use wired connections. There is a UI to help you with this, and it can be found in the Homegroup settings within Control Panel. Of course, though, even with a little bit of help, most inexperienced users will find this route impossible to follow without the right help.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start looking at new ways to share data between the machines you use. Even if you don't have any issues with the Internet, this sort of system can be far more secure than relying on the cloud, making it perfect for those who need to share sensitive information around.

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  1. If you need a simple, FLOSS and cross-platform solution check Dukto: http://www.msec.it/blog/?page_id=11

  2. "Unfortunately, thanks to this method requiring a server"

    every linux is a server (or can launch services) !

  3. Errrh ... how is iCloud *not* doing data sharing using the internet?

  4. I kind of agree with 'tink's' comment. All the sharing mentioned here is done over the Internet. My only way of sharing is to use a flash key. Not only can I give a copy to anyone I wish, but I automatically have a backup. I never, ever purposely use the Internet to store or transfer data. I have seen too many 'cloud' companies suddenly die or change the size of their storage with the lose of users' important files.