Build-your-own-Dropbox service – AeroFS
Courtesy Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica
AeroFS has left its invite-only beta.
If you want access to the best features of Dropbox or one of its many competitors—automated file syncing between computers, a way to automatically keep old versions of your synced files, etc.—but you don’t want to keep your stuff in someone else’s cloud, AeroFS is a promising service. It can provide file syncing for many clients using your own local server (or, for businesses, Amazon S3 storage that you have more direct control over). When we last wrote about the service, it was still in an invite-only beta, but a message that went out to users last night declared that this beta is over and that the service is now open to anyone.
Now that the service is out of beta, though, it will start to cost money for larger groups of users. The "free" tier can support up to three "team members" (members who can be given full access to every synced folder in your AeroFS setup) and one "external collaborator" (an external user who can only view and edit the contents of a single user) per folder. Starting at four team members and going up to 50, the service costs $10 per member per month, and this also buys you unlimited access for your external collaborators. Finally, for teams larger than 50 members and teams that need integration with existing Active Directory or LDAP setups, you need to call AeroFS to get pricing, which will likely vary based on the size of your organization.
Existing beta users will be grandfathered in without being asked to pay for anything, but adding additional team members or external collaborators to your folders will be subject to the same pricing options outlined above.
I haven’t checked in on AeroFS since writing about it back in September, but a quick look at the release notes suggests that the product has made significant progress since then. Our two main complaints—that resolving conflicts was a bit clunky and that there was no Web interface—appear to have been addressed, among many other performance improvements and bug fixes. If you’re interested in giving it a try, you can register here.