There has been a lot of talk about Google’s nearby-sharing feature (or AirDrop clone) in the past few days. We recently saw it in action thanks to XDA-Developers and it looks really promising. But what if I told you that such a service already exists, works without any problems and is completely free and open-source? Furthermore, there is no privacy risk since the files are transferred directly between the two devices and not through a server. Also, you don’t need to install any app, since it works directly from the browser.
It may sound too good to be true, but we tested it and it works like a charm. The service is called Sanpdrop and is free to use, or, if you have the knowledge, extend it yourself since the sources are available online. So, without any more jib-jab, let’s see how it works. First, you open Snapdrop.net on one device and again on the second device. Once this is done, you will see the devices on screen. It works with any OS and form factor (smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, etc.)
Click (or touch) the icon corresponding to the device you would like to send a file to and browse for the file. It will be transferred to the specified device over the Wi-Fi connection without involving a third-party server or storing the files somewhere else. You can even use it to send multiple files at the same time or for sending a message between the toe devices. Another great feature is that you can see all the devices on the network that have the site opened and select the one you would like to send to.
There are a few limitations though, so keep these in mind before using the service. First, both devices must be on the same network, otherwise, they won’t see one another. Second, if you are using a VPN, you may encounter problems with either device discovery or file transfer, so for now at least, I recommend you use it directly. Hope you find it useful.