iTwin is a revolutionary new file sharing and remote access device brought to you by a company called iTwin. It’s like two ends of a cable, without the cable. It’s as simple to use as a flash drive. It’s literally plug-and-play. iTwin can connect any two online computers anywhere in the world. iTwin enables you to have access to any or all of your home computer’s files and folders while you’re on the go. Similarly, you can also use iTwin to access any or all of your office computer’s files and folders while on the go. There’s no in-built limit to the amount of storage you can access with iTwin while you’re on the go. The only limit is the size of your hard drives. The only other “limit” is the speed of your Internet connection. The faster it is, the better your experience.
You can select files for accessing later on the go, or you can edit them remotely, without the files leaving your computer. You can also back up files to your home or office computer while you’re out on the go. It’s so easy, it’s unbelievable.
iTwin is like two ends of a rod, without a rod. It is simple to use as a flash drive. It is exactly like plug-and-play. iTwin enables you to have access to your desktop files while you are traveling. Similarly, you can also use iTwin to access your office desktop’s files while on the go. The only drawback is the speed of your internet connection. The faster it is better is your experience. You can edit files on your desktop remotely when you have access to the desktop. You can also backup files to your desktop or office desktop.
iTwin is a Singaporean-based start-up that made it to the presentation stage at the TechCrunch 50 conference. The founders, Lux and Kal designed and implemented a product known as iTwin that allows plug & play remote file access. So, we catch them both here to tell us their story, the product iTwin and its features, and also their next steps on the product.
iTwin was invented by an Indian named Lux Anantharaman. After achieving a Bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from IIT in Chennai and a Masters degree from IISc in Bangalore, Lux worked first as an IT security researcher at the Institute of Systems Science, Singapore, and then as a senior researcher at Kent Ridge Digital Labs and the Institute for Infocomm Research. Lux specializes in PKI implementations, efficient digital certificate revocations, and usable security. Lux was pursuing a part-time MBA at NUS Business School, Singapore, but put studies on hold because of the potential of iTwin.
Installation of iTwin
- Before iTwin can be used on any computer, iTwin software needs to be installed on it. For first-time use of your iTwin device, join together the two halves of your iTwin device, to form a pair, and then insert the paired device into a USB port on your computer. This computer is henceforth referred to as “Trusted Computer “.If you have already paired the device, you can insert just one-half of the device into any computer to start the installation process.
- If you do not see the following splash screen within 2 minutes, go to Start -> Computer. You will see iTwin mounted as a CD-ROM device. Open ‘iTwinPro Installer’ -> double-click iTwinPro.exe. iTwinPro is the hardware platform used by iTwin connect.
- During the time that the splash screen is visible, iTwin downloads the latest version of the iTwin Connect software suitable for your computer. Press ‘Accept and Install’ to accept the iTwin End User License Agreement and install the software on your computer. Choose “Install” when prompted to install the device drivers. The installation will complete in a short time. Since the iTwin device is inserted as a pair, the pairing process will begin.
Follow the on-screen instructions to register your iTwin device.
- Name your iTwin device. This step is optional. An iTwin device name will be helpful if you have multiple devices. For example, you might carry 2 iTwin devices when you travel, so that you can connect to 2 different trusted computers, one in your home and one in your office.
- Set a password for the iTwin device if you wish to use 2-factor authentication for extra security. This step is optional and is available only when the iTwin device pair is being initialized.
- Note the Disable Code for your iTwin device. In case you lose one-half of your iTwin device, you can prevent unauthorized access to your computer by disabling the iTwin device by entering this Disable Code in the iTwin Remote Disable Web-Center.
- The installation of iTwin Connect and the pairing of your iTwin device are now complete.
- Unplug one half of the device and leave the other half plugged into your Trusted Computer. Leave it powered on and online. Carry the unplugged half with you, to be plugged into any other online computer. This half serves as your access key to your Trusted Computer over the Internet.
Working Of iTwin
- When you plug in iTwin, you will see a pop-up window, just as you would if you connect a USB device.
- Drag and drop files into this window to share as many as you want. Leave one of the iTwin connected to the computer.
- Plugin the other halves of the iTwin to the computer, to which you want to view, edit or remove those files. Even though, if you remotely edit or remove files on the second computer, files on the first computer will not be lost This is another advantage of iTwin Be sure that the two computers are online.
- Detach one-half of the itwin and take it with you.
- You can access the shared files, by plugging the half you are carrying into any online computer.
Create a private VPN to access a Network
You can create your own Private VPN and connect any two networks using the two halves of your iTwin device.
- To access your Trusted Computer and its network from a remote location, pair an iTwin device and install iTwin Connect on one computer in your network.
- Unplug one half of the device and leave the other half plugged into your Trusted Computer. Leave it powered on and online. Carry the unplugged half with you.
- With one half of your iTwin attached to your Trusted Computer, insert the other iTwin half into any other online computer. If iTwin Connect is not installed on the computer, it will first install iTwin Connect. The iTwin Connect icon will then be visible in the taskbar notification area once the software starts.
- The two halves of your iTwin have now created a secure Virtual Private Network between your two computers. Using this VPN tunnel you can access your whole remote network using iTwin Connect.
- By default, iTwin Connect allows you to access resources from two networks simultaneously. This feature is called partial tunneling. You can simultaneously access sites from your home networks and your remote network. This means that sites blocked on one network may be accessed though the other network.
- If you use “Teleport Remote” all Internet traffic will be routed through Trusted, via a secure encrypted channel. Thus, it will appear as if you are browsing the Internet from your Trusted Computer. This feature is called full tunneling. ‘Teleport Me’ feature is useful when you need to protect yourself from eavesdroppers on your untrusted local network or free public Wi-Fi hotspots at airports and cafes.
- ‘Teleport Me’ effectively changes your IP address to that of your Trusted Computer. To websites and services that depend on your IP address for the location, it will appear as if you are browsing from your Trusted Computer.
Access Your Shared Files
This requires you to set up a Trusted Computer and create a Private VPN as described in Chapter 3. With one half of your iTwin attached to your Trusted Computer, insert the other iTwin half into any other online computer. You can access your files from your Trusted Computer using iTwin Connect.
iTwin Connect uses native File Sharing methods available on your computer to allow you to access your files from a remote computer. Hence to enable File Sharing, a few simple steps need to be followed to set up sharing from your Trusted Computer.
Here are steps required for file and printer sharing from a Windows 7 PC attached to a WORKGROUP:
- Login to your PC with your account name and password. Say
“Alice” and “Alice Password”.
- Right-click on the file or folder you want to share.
- Select Share With ->Specific People…
- Click the ‘Share’ button in the file sharing window.
- Make sure your username is selected and click ‘Done’. A complete guide to file and printer sharing for different versions
Features of iTwin
- Like a Limitless Capacity Secure USB Drive
iTwin allows you to securely access your entire hard drive. It’s as if you are carrying an access key to all your files in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. And unlike portable storage, iTwin lets your data stay safely at home (or in-office).
- Remotely edit shared files
Remotely edit any shared file from any location. iTwin allows you to keep a single version on one computer, with you and your chosen iTwin partner collaborating directly on this version. Say goodbye to multiple versions of files flying around by email. Say goodbye to the headaches of needless re-work. Say hello to iTwin.
- Backup your data from anywhere
When you are on the road, you can use iTwin to move copies of files from your laptop to your home or office computer. If you are traveling and taking lots of pictures, you can free up your SD card by moving files onto your laptop and transferring them back home. It keeps your data safe and secure.
- One-time cost. No fees, ever
Don’t pay for cloud storage. Don’t pay subscription fees for file access. Don’t get locked in. You have all the storage you need on your computer and home hard drive. With iTwin, share it and access it from anywhere. Create your own personal cloud. Secured by hardware-grade encryption.
- Windows and Mac OS X compatible
You can use iTwin on any of both Windows and Mac OSX platforms. iTwin works on Microsoft® Windows® XP (Service Pack 2 and above), Windows® Vista, Windows® 7 (32-bit and 64-bit). iTwin also works on Apple® Mac OSX® 10.6 and above, i.e. Snow Leopard and Lion (32-bit and 64-bit).
- Data security
iTwin doesn’t store any data on itself. It just enables a secure connection between two computers. Your remote data can only be accessed if you have the physical iTwin with you. Additionally, you can set up your iTwin to require a password. iTwin is a secure USB device providing Two-Factor Authentication (hardware device + password). We also allow you to remotely disable iTwin with our remote disable feature. So you can rest assured that your data is safe, even if you lose your iTwin device. If you have ever lost a portable memory device, you know that terrible feeling. We want to make sure this never happens to you again.
Prevent Unauthorized Access
In case of loss of one or both halves of your iTwin, disable your iTwin device to prevent unauthorized access to your data. During the install process explained in Chapter 2, you saw some of the safeguards available.
Given below is a more detailed explanation of each.
Click the iTwin icon in the M and select ‘Security Options’ followed by ‘Show Disable Code’.
If you have lost one half, you can prevent unauthorized remote access to your files by entering the Disable Code in the iTwin Remote Disable Web-Center and the iTwin back-end will block (within 90 sec) the lost half from being used to remotely access your Trusted Computer. We recommend that you note the Disable Code and save it in a safe place or send a copy of the code to your email account for later use.
When you plug in the paired iTwin device, you are provided with the option to set a password for an additional layer of security with two-factor authentication. Once set, the password will be required to use each of your iTwin halves, every time you insert either of them into a computer.
Please note that we do not store your password on any server or in your computer. The password is stored in the two halves of the iTwin device only and is not recoverable if forgotten. To change the password or reset it, you will have to pair the two halves again and reinitialize the device.
If you are sharing files for remote access and lose one half, unplug the other half from your Trusted Computer and undo the file and resource sharing. Your files can no longer be remotely accessed through the compromised half of the device. You can buy a new iTwin half and pair it with the one you have. Initializing this new pair dissolves the keys in the old pair and allows you to safely use the device again.
If you encounter any problems using iTwin, please do the following:
- Check your Internet connection.
- Unplug iTwin and re-plug into your computer.
- For more support, email [email protected]
- You can also visit our support page at http://help.itwin.com.
AES(Advanced Encryption Standard) is an identification for the encryption of electronic data established by the U.S National Institute Of Standards And Technology(NIST) in 2001.
AES has been adopted by the U.S government and it replaces the Data Encryption Standard(DES), which was published in 1977. The algorithm reported by AES is a symmetric-key algorithm, meaning the same key is used for encrypting and decrypting the data.
Advantages of iTwin
- In the case of network interruption itwin files transfers pause.
- When the Internet connection is resumed itwin software continues the file transfer from where it is left off.
- iTwin progress bar indicates the amount left to be transferred.
- If the iTwin is lost you can easily disable it.
- If the password is forgotten we can change it easily by attaching both half and set a new one.
- iTwin Connect is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS.
- VPN protects you on hotel and public Wi-Fi networks.
- There are no limitations in terms of file size or type.
Disadvantages of iTwin
- iTwin Connect is 3.5 inches long in total which means when the parts are divided they are very easy to lose./li>
- When the itwin connect USB dongle is plugged in it can low down network performance.
- You must set up files to share in advance in order to access them.
iTwin Vs. USB
iTwin vs. Cloud
- Requires a minimum of 512 MB RAM, but 1GB RAM is recommended.
- Requires 15 MB hard disk space.
- USB 2.0 port.
- Compatible with Windows/OS X.
- Requires broadband internet access.