iPhone App Review: Tonido

iPhone App Review: Tonido

March 14th, 2011 by

If you’re a die-hard productivity addict, a road warrior with a need to access your files from anywhere and want to try leaving the bulky laptop at home, or just someone who doesn’t trust the big cloud sync players and wants to keep tighter control over their files (without having to learn to set up your own home server), then Tonido’s new universal app for iPhone and iPad devices may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

Install Tonido on any machine you want access to, then log in remotely from your iOS device and browse the files as if you were sitting right at your computer. Download files to your device, upload photos to the remote computer, even stream music and videos over any connection.

How It Works

The first step is really to install the client software onto your host machine, which can be downloaded from tonido.com. This step isn’t mentioned within the app or in the App Store description, but it’s necessary since otherwise the service has no access to your files.

(There are also other options available, such as a $99 device called the Tonido Plug, or a soon-too-launch purely cloud service. For this review I’ll stick to the basic client software/iOS app arrangement.)

Once the software is installed and you’ve created an account, you can then sign in from your device and begin browsing your files. While this may sound familiar to users of Dropbox or similar services, it’s a passing similarity only. Rather than placing files in a specific sync-only location on your machine and then letting those files sync to the cloud servers, with Tonido you have actual real-time access to your computer’s files. Nothing is synced to Tonido’s servers, and in fact their terms of service specifically state that not only are your files yours, but they do not track or otherwise monitor your transfers in any way. They also do not store your password, so make sure you don’t lose it.

You can also stream compatible movies and music to your device, and the developers have thoughtfully included a fully customizable bitrate for music streaming that should help you go easy on your data plan for those of us with metered service.

Pros And Cons

The service and app work seamlessly, even over a plain 3G data connection. I was able to fully browse my computer and all of its files without any limitations whatsoever.

The service has a couple of drawbacks, such as currently having a one account per computer limitation. If you wish to access multiple computers, you must create a separate account for each machine.

The service also has a robust set of features and settings including additional applications that expand the functionality of the service, including a personal blogging service hosted on your personal “Cloud”, WebShare (specifically for sharing large files via email, serving them up from your host machine), Torrent (for remotely managing your torrents), Workspace (for setting up a collaborative workspace or even a personal information manager), and many more apps.


The Tonido service and iOS app is a fantastic way to create your own personal “Cloud” solution that removes the file-size limits, file-syncing requirements, and privacy concerns of other truly cloud-based information sharing services. It is all currently 100% free and is worth a look for anyone wanting to have remote access to their information anytime, anywhere, from any device.

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