Transporter Sync Review: High Cost, Non-Working Features, Non-Responsive Support

For quite some time, I have been hearing about the Transporter line of products. Many of the podcasters rave on and on about them. Some of them are sponsored by Connected Data, which makes the Transporter products. This means there’s been a discount available on them.

I had been looking into consolidating my online cloud storage into one location. The prices have been continually falling, making it the right place for backups. However, each one has it’s own features and it was hard to come up with the one solution that would cover all my platforms: Windows, OS X and iOS, with an option for Android just for good measure.

Recently, after listening to Ken Ray’s podcast, Mac OS Ken, I decided to use his coupon code and take the plunge on a Transporter. I purchased the Transporter Sync since I had a few portable hard drives laying around that I could use, without spending big bucks on a full Transporter. This also would allow me to see how it would fit into my workflow and if purchasing another Transporter for a backup off-site would work for my needs.

The installation and setup was very straightforward. Within a few minutes the unit was up and running. The hard drive enclosure that I am using currently has a caching issue that can cause corrupted data if there is a power loss while writing data. Since my unit is on a UPS, I wasn’t too concerned about it.

The desktop software installation was straightforward and worked without any issues. However, when it got to the iOS software, that’s where things fell apart. Since my reason for getting this was for data backup, a backup of the photos on our phones is essential. In fact, this is the primary purpose since that is the only data that currently is not getting backed up. So, this process HAS to work. Unfortunately, it doesn’t!!

After enabling the Camera Roll backup within the Transporter software, it started to back up the photos. All appeared well for a few photos until it abruptly stopped. After clicking on Upload Now, it restarted where it left off and stopped after a few photos again. This continued each time the upload was restarted. Sometimes it would only last for a couple photos and sometimes it would get through 20-25 photos before stopping.

Although this was annoying, it was getting the photos backed up. Where it all falls apart is when it attempted to backup a video. If the video was small enough, usually less than 30 seconds, it would eventually get backed up. Unfortunately, larger videos, even as small as one minute, never seem to make it through the upload before failing. As such, this prevents any photos after this video from getting backed up.

My only recourse was to open up a support ticket. I described the problem, letting them know it was an issue with iOS and the Transporter Sync. The first response back from support was quite disappointing. It was like they never even read my problem description. They responded back with a long list of questions, many of which were not even relevant to my situation (PC specifications and desktop version information) and links that were malformed, requiring editing to get to the actual data that was being referenced.

Working in the software industry, I knew I was dealing with a level 1 support rep and that he wasn’t going to be of any help. I was right. It didn’t take long to be transferred to another rep who asked a few more questions. At least his questions were related to the issue and the platform I was using. Unfortunately, after responding to those questions, there’s been silence. There’s been no response from them on how to proceed, even after updating the ticket with the results from other devices.

At this point, the unit does not work for the purpose that I had bought it for. These units are not cheap, which I don’t understand since they are just a Linux system in a custom case with a USB port! Even with my Mac OS Ken discount, the unit still cost me $80, and that doesn’t include a hard drive. The support ticket has been open for over 10 days and there’s been no response from them in the past 7 days, other than to say that someone would work on it.

Right now, I am getting close to requesting a full refund. This unit doesn’t work as advertised for the purpose that I wanted to use it. I would be better off to use some web services to back up all my data onto a cloud data service.

If you’re looking for a solution to backup your photos from your iOS device, you’ll want to look elsewhere. At this time, the Transporter solution doesn’t work. Save your money and by some cloud storage. You can get over four years of 200GB of cloud storage for the price of a Transporter Sync.

2 Comments

  • Don says:

    My iPhone/ipad camera roll backup solution finally ended up just being PhotoSync. The desktop software listens for connections and puts the backups in a particular folder. The app is set up to automatically kick off a sync of all new photos & video when I come home, as detected by the gps/geofence.

    It’s not perfect, and sometimes I have to open the app so it can finish the backup because it has exceeded it’s background running time. But I have never had to nurse it along like you describe with the transporter.

    After stuff is synced to the desktop it just gets handled by that devices’s backup solutions.

    • Glenn says:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into it and see how it works for me.

      I like to keep things as automatic as possible. That way, I know that everything will be backed up on a regular basis.

      The idea for the Transporter app is nice because it automatically backs up when it connects to your home WiFi. If you’re away from home, it can be run manually, but most of the time it will be automatically run every time I come home. Of course, if I had an Android phone, Tasker could handle this quite well!!