We live in the era of "the cloud"; almost anything digital can be stored "in the cloud" and access anywhere there is an internet connection. But what about your sensitive files? Do you worry that your online files could be stolen, compromised, spied on by the host company, or perhaps acquired by a government and used against you in court? Whether you have sensitive files, worry about your privacy, or have "politically incorrect" data, cloud security is a major concern.

Most cloud servers encrypt your data, but the same company that encrypts your files also stores (and creates) the keys to decrypt your data. Besides the obvious problem of the server having complete access to your data, this creates the potential of a hacker acquiring the key and having access to your data. While this is unlikely, it is not impossible.

AeroFS is a new file synchronization service that solves many of these potential problems. The basic service does not include any online storage; instead, your computer becomes the your personal "cloud". No files are stored by the AeroFS servers unless you specifically request server-side storage. Instead, files are synced through the internet using a peer-to-peer system. One computer with AeroFS installed shares a folder with another computer (that also must have AeroFS installed) and all files in the folder are synced automatically directly from one computer to the other. You can share different files with different people, sync an unlimited amount of data, and even sync across a LAN connection.

Files are encrypted on the host computer using public key encryption (2048 bit RSA key encryption to be precise) so that not even AeroFS can decrypt your files; only the computer you are syncing with will be able to properly decrypt them. Your files are safe from almost any attempt to access them while they are being transferred across the internet, and, since they are not stored online, during transfer is the only time that they can be attacked by someone without access to your computer.

Perhaps best of all, AeroFS is a free service and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Unfortunately, it is also currently in beta, so you have to join a waiting list to receive an account, or you can get someone else to invite you. For more information, go to www.aerofs.com.