File-sharing USB launched at Gadget Show

A nifty USB web “tunnel” tool caught Gail Purvis’s eye at the recent Gadget Show Live in Birmingham.

The Gadget Show Live is the nearest the UK can offer to the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Thanks to its TV tie in with Channel 5’s ‘The Gadget Show’, the event lured thousands of nerds to the NEC in Birmingham last week.

IT Pro’s veteran tech commentator John Martindale confessed himself underwhelmed at the gismos on offer, but among the self-balancing, motorised unicycle and retro arcade games to the inconspicuous iTwin caused quite a stir.

iTwin is a pair of linked USB keys that turns your computer into a server and VPN so you can access files between connected machines over the web. The device was the brainchild of iTwin co-founder and CEO Lux Anantharaman.

“Two years back, I wanted to check on some personal investments and finances that were stored on my computer at home. I was at the office and I realised that there was a need for a simple and secure remote file access solution. The secure stuff was way too complicated to configure, and the simple stuff was way too insecure. That led to the invention of iTwin.”

The £89 iTwin is effectively the two ends of a network cable, but without the cable. Plug one end into one computer, and the other end into another computer and the two computers are connected and users can access any files they have stored in their iTwin folder.

The device uses military grade encryption and is compatible with different operating systems (eg Windows and Mac). It includes a facility to set read/write permissions at folder and file level, and the ability to disable the travelling key remotely should it be misplaced or stolen. Unlike other existing remote access solutions there are no ongoing subscription fees or cloud storage requirements.

“iTwin users can travel without a laptop or the risks associated with USB flash drives or the storage limitations of the cloud,” said UK sales agent Bill Dent.

“Portable storage devices have limited storage capacity. If lost, security and privacy is compromised. Login-based solutions rely on passwords, which are difficult to remember and risky, as they can be hacked, while cloud based options use a third party to host information.”

Following its UK launch at the Gadget Show, the iTwin will be available for around £89 from Amazon, Warehouse Express and Play.com.

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