Transporter Revisited – Part 1 – Introduction

Disclaimer: I recently received a second Transporter (Individual) unit from Connected Data in Australia to review how synchronisation worked between individual units on a LAN and WAN, amongst other things. I provided my own hard drive for the second unit. Big thanks to Philippe from Connected Data in Australia for reaching out to me in the first place and Josh from Kayell for organising the unit to be sent my way.

Firstly, if you’d like some background on Connected Data, check out my Storage Field Day 7 post here.

Secondly, the Transporter User Guide is the best resource to get started with the Transporter. Most operations with the Transporter are pretty simple, although the user guide provides some useful background on how and why things work the way they do.

My second Transporter arrived without a hard drive, so I went and bought a 1TB 2.5″ WD Blue drive [WD10JPVX] to use with it. I chose this model because it was the same as the one in my first unit, it was reasonably priced, and I’d had some good experiences with WD drives recently. The drive you choose is up to you, although going with an SSD will not improve the performance of the unit. You can find a list of the drive requirements here. Connected Data have also developed a useful video entitled “Transporter Hard Drive Installation Video”.

Once you’ve got your drive in, you’ll want to add the Transporter to your account. If you need assistance with this, the Quick Start Guide is a pretty handy place to start in my opinion.

Once you’re all setup, you can get to the interesting bit – sharing data between Transporters and other users. The first thing to understand is whether you want to store files only on your Transporter, or whether you want the files to sync to the machines you’ve installed the client on as well. The differences between the Transporter folder and Library are covered fairly comprehensively here. Broadly speaking, if I had some photos I wanted to keep a copy of on my Transporter, I’d probably copy them to the Transporter folder and have them synchronise with my laptop and any other Transporters in my control. If I wanted to copy GBs of video, for example, I’d probably store that in the Transporter Library. This would keep the files only on the Transporters, not my laptop as well. Note that the mobile application only downloads files as they’re accessed, it doesn’t automatically download files.

Note also I’m not super interested in performance from a synchronisation perspective, as I’m hamstrung from a WAN perspective with a pretty awful ADSL connection at my house. What I did want to cover, however, was a few of the different ways files could be accessed and move around using these units. These are the scenarios I looked at testing:

  • Photo data sync between laptop / Transporter over a LAN and WAN;
  • Video data sync between Transporters over a LAN;
  • Sharing video files to a non-Transporter user; and
  • Accessing files using the mobile app on iOS.

It’s not super scientific, but I was looking at scenarios that I thought would be useful to me as a consumer. Note, also, that for the large data tests, I had the Transporter units and laptop sitting on the same gigabit LAN. In the next post I’ll be running through the results of the testing.