iTwin USB Device Securely Shares Files Over the Internet


LAS VEGAS—iTwin was on hand at CES 2012 to show off Mac support for its self-titled USB device that allows users to share files across an encrypted connection over the Internet. The company was also demonstrating support for multi-iTwin devices.

iTwin Devices Being Paired

iTwin Devices Being Paired

iTwin derives its name from the fact that you need two iTwin devices for it to work. When paired with one another, the devices allow users to share files over the Internet using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 bit encryption. Plug in one to a Mac or PC, assign it files and folders that you want to be accessible, and when the other device is plugged into a second Mac or PC, those folders and files can then be accessed by that machine.

For instance, if you needed to share a bunch of files with someone in another city, or across the planet, you could pair two iTwins, set up one on your Mac and FedEx the other to your accountant, your publisher, your designer, your work partner, or your mother. With little muss and less fuss, the other person could then plug in the iTwin they received and use, modify, copy, and otherwise access whatever it is they need on their end.

Because the connection is tied to the specific iTwin hardware, it doesn’t matter what Mac or PC the second one is connected to. The user could hop around from machine to machine and leave no trace of those files on the target computer unless they were deliberately and specifically copied over. At the same time, the first iTwin could also be used on different computers, but the folders and files it accesses would be specific to each of those machines.

The key aspects of this tool are that the connection is encrypted with very strong encryption. Also, the files are not being stored on the iTwin, while the encryption and password are stored only on the iTwin. This allows for a level of security in file transfers difficult to replicate.

In the demo we were shown, file browsing was very fast because only the file information and icon are being sent across the connection. Files don’t actually get transmitted across the connection until they are specifically opened.

Mac support was announced in September of 2011, but new for CES is support using multiple iTwin devices. This is aimed at people and businesses with several people with whom they need to trade files. The “iTwin Man” seen below demonstrates the ability to use a USB hub to connect multiple iTwins to one machine at the same time, each one paired to a specific iTwin somewhere else in the world. 

“iTwin Man”

The company is exhibiting at booth #70605 at the Venetian Ballroom.

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I started seeing ads for this on line about a week ago. I think it’s the coolest bloody thing. I’m suggesting that my company start using these rather than an MSWindows Remote Desktop Server. For the scale of our operation the cost would be trivial and the security much better.

Bryan Chaffin

I agree, geoduck. For a lot of people and companies, this is an ideal solution for accessing another computer or sharing files. Very exciting technology. I hope to be reviewing it in the next few weeks.

Paul Goodwin

Wow. This little thing is really a Wow.  It takes an act of congress at work to get a secure Internet connection to a supplier. They’re $99 at Amazon. I wonder if that’s cheaper than what IT would spend to get a secure connection when both companies already have secure connections with other companies???



It takes an act of congress at work to get a secure Internet connection to a supplier.

As someone that is responsible for setting up secure connections between the office, our distributors, and our sales reps I’ll tell you that you are exactly right. At my last job we used OpenVPN to establish a secure encrypted tunnel, and then Remote Desktop through the tunnel into a Terminal Server for file access. It was a pain to set up and maintain not to mention expensive. This does the same thing without the hassle and without the Window$ $erver Licen$se.

A far better solution.

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