Thank you to Connected Data, creator of the Transporter, for sponsoring iPhone J.D. again this month. I described the basic function of the Transporter last month, and because Connected Data sent me a free review unit soon after the product was first released, I've now had lots of time to use the product for real-world tasks. The Transporter works very well, and is a perfect answer to the problem that so many attorneys face: you want the convenience of cloud storage so that you have access to your files everywhere, but you are concerned about the security implications of trusting your confidential documents to a third party. With a Transporter, you own the hard drive that is connected to the Internet, and you control who (if anyone) besides yourself gets access to the documents. And because you can use standard 2.5" SATA hard drives in the Transporter and there are no monthly service fees, using a Transporter is a lot cheaper than cloud storage companies.
I noted last month that the one missing piece was an iPhone/iPad app. That is now solved. Just over a week ago, Apple approved the Transporter app so you can now get it (for free) from the App Store. In fact, if you have ever used the Dropbox app. you'll feel right at home using the Transporter app.
You need an Internet connect to use the app. When you start the app, it displays a list of your folders. Note that this includes both the folders that you created on your own Transporter, plus any folders that you were given access to by another Transporter user. Just tap on a folder name to view its contents. Files that you have not yet downloaded are in grey. Files that have been downloaded to the app are in black.
Once a file has been downloaded, you can view it. The app uses the normal iOS app viewers, so you can view Word files, PDF files, etc. Or better yet, you can use the icon at the top right to send the file to another app, such as your favorite app for viewing and annotating PDF files, your favorite app for viewing and/or modifying Word documents, etc.
This is a universal app so it works on the iPad as well. In the iPad version, you see a list of files on the left and the file itself is shown on the right. If you tap the arrow at the top of the file itself, the list on the left collapses so you can use the full width of the iPad to view the document. On both the iPhone and iPad, you can turn your device to use the app and view documents in either portrait or landscape mode.
Not only can you use this app to send a file from your Transporter to another app on your iPhone or iPad, you can also send files from other apps to the Transporter app. When you do so, the Transporter app lets you change the file name (if you want to) and choose a folder, and then upload the file to your Transporter. You then have a secure copy of the file waiting for you on your computer.
Having an iOS app makes the Transporter incredibly useful. I can now easily access my confidential files even when I am out of the office.
Beyond using the iOS app, I've also found the Transporter to work well with multiple computers. In the past when I was working on a motion or a brief, I would often keep the active version of the document on the desktop of my Windows computer at work, and then when I wanted to work on the document at night using the Mac at my house, I'd have to connect to my work computer and email the file to myself, which can sometimes lead to confusion over which version of the document is current. With the Transporter, I just create a folder for my matter, store my active document in that folder, and work from that document at work. When I get home, everything in that folder is already synced to my home computer so I can just open the document and start working again. When I return to the office the next day, the latest version of the document is there waiting for me. And all the while, the document has lived only on my computers and the Transporter that is located in my own house — not some third party service over which I have no control — so I have no concerns about keeping the document confidential.I'm pleased to have Connected Data and the Transporter as a sponsor of iPhone J.D. again this month, and I encourage you to check it out if you like the idea of keeping your documents secure while also having access to them wherever you are.
Click here to get Transporter from Connected Data ($199 - $399).
Click here to get Transporter from Amazon ($299 for 1TB or $399 for 2TB).
Click here for the Connected Data Transporter app (free):