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Sendoid offers simple zero-config P2P file sharing, doesn't work that well

Sendoid: P2P file sharing
Yet another file sharing tool is doing the rounds, but this time it has a rather interesting selling point: zero-config peer-to-peer transfers. Sendoid, which has nothing to do with Android and everything to do with sending, lets you send files directly between two users without a server in between.

Simply pop open the Sendoid website, and use either the built-in Flash client or download the AIR desktop client to select a file to send. A short URL is generated, which you then send to the recipient. You can put a password on the URL -- but that's it, as far as configuration goes. The recipient can download the file via the website, or via the AIR client.

Being P2P-based, Sendoid has a few great features that set it apart from its central-server cousins. Sendoid has no file size limit, and your download speed is only limited by the sender's upload speed. Then there's the fact that it's a lot more secure: files are sent directly to other users and never touch Sendoid's servers.

Ultimately, though, Sendoid is hampered by peer-to-peer's (P2P) well-known and time-honored issues. If P2P was meant for sending individual files, file dumps like Megaupload and RapidShare, and tools like YouSendIt, wouldn't exist.

Sendoid: peer-to-peer simple file sharing


It's very hard to get excited about a file sharing tool when it simply doesn't work on most of our test machines. We wouldn't mind so much if there was some way of debugging it, but Sendoid gives absolutely zero feedback about why it fails to connect. You just sit there, watching "Connecting to peer..." fade in and out hypnotically.

Sendoid fails to send because, like all P2P programs, it suffers from NAT and port forwarding issues. If you're behind NAT -- and most Internet surfers are, thanks to their combi-Wi-Fi-modem-router -- and the recipient is also behind NAT, then the file will probably fail to send. Fixing it would be a simple matter of forwarding some ports, but the Sendoid website has no mention of which ports you need to forward. Useful.

At the end of the day, Sendoid is clunky. It lacks the beautiful simplicity of Let's Crate, and when combined with a spartan FAQ and zero feedback, the whole process feels a bit like pulling teeth.

A promising start

Let's not forget that Sendoid is very new, though. It was only released a couple of days ago, and the developer will almost certainly be working through a huge list of bug fixes and feature additions.

No matter how you slice this particular pie, though, Sendoid is always going to compete with the One True P2P protocol: BitTorrent. The upcoming version of uTorrent supports direct P2P sharing with short URLs -- and unlike Sendoid, it actually works.

Still, the idea of a Web-based P2P file-sending tool is definitely a good one. Being able to visit a website and share a file with two clicks is undoubtedly very cool -- and with some polishing, even with BitTorrent looming overhead, Sendoid could become a go-to tool for sending large and/or sensitive files across the Web.

Tags: apps, bittorrent, features, file sharing, FileSharing, lets crate, LetsCrate, p2p, peer to peer, peer-to-peer, PeerToPeer, sendoid, sharing, web, web apps, WebApps