|Initial release||August 2008|
|Type||VPN / File synchronization / Remote control software|
Gbridge is an extension to Google's Gtalk network service. It automatically forms a VPN between user's multiple computers if logged in under same Gtalk user account. The VPN can also be extended to Gtalk friends based on invitation. Gbridge also has several built-in features which integrate popular functions such as folder synchronization, remote desktop share (VNC), automatic backup, live browsing, chat, etc. Gbridge 2.0 also supports Google Apps accounts, making it easy to create VPN within organizations that utilize Google Apps.
Gbridge has built in several features on top of VPN:
- SecureShare: Share a file or folder on one of your computer, so you can access them from other computer. Or you can grant your friends' access to those files.
- AutoSync: Automatically synchronize folders between computers.
- LiveBrowse The remote shared folder can be browsed without having been synced. Gbridge automatically generates thumbnails and slideshow for picture files. Some types of media files, e.g. mp3, wma, flv, wmv, rm, midi, swf, can be played online.
- EasyBackup: Easily setup backup of files between your own computers.
- DesktopShare: Remotely access your own computer desktop or invite your friend to your computer desktop.
- Chat: You can chat with your friends who are running Gbridge, Gtalk or Gmail.
- 3rd party applications: Microsoft remote desktop, Microsoft share folder, ssh, ftp can run on top the Gbridge VPN.
Since Gbridge implements these features on top of its custom made VPN, it allows the user to have fine control over what resources other people can see. For example, user can have fine control over which friend can access for each SecureShare.
Gbridge claims to establish direct link between computers even if behind NAT by some forms of UDP hole punching. But when the direct link is impossible, it would relay the encrypted data through gbridge server. That would have an impact on its network performance. It is also noticed that the AutoSync traffic are never relayed.
The LiveBrowse feature works reasonably well for picture heavy folders and for mp3 online play over standard DSL. The flv online play is a little choppy sometimes because the bitrate of most flv files are very close to the uplink speed limit of a standard DSL (300kbit/s).
Gbridge requires you to provide your Google ID and password for authentication into Google network which could be a security concern for some people. Gbridge claims the Google ID/password will never be sent to Gbridge server, but only sent to Google Gtalk server in encrypted form. Gbridge suggests you to create a new Google ID/password that can be used exclusively for Gbridge if you have concern about it, but that new account would not have your existing Gtalk friends readily available.
Gbridge claims all the data on the wire are AES encrypted.
Gbridge claims that there is no limitation of the number of shared folders, no limitation of the number of files within one shared folder. There is no maximum file size limitation either. Gbridge  100% free VPN connection with no limitation.
Currently Gbridge is only work for Windows platform. It is uncertain whether Linux support is planned for a future release.
A compatibility issue was previously reported by some[by whom?] who attempted installing the VPN driver on Windows 7 x64 OS. However, for Windows 7 Enterprise x64 OS, the VPN, file sharing, sync, remote desktop, and VNC all work fine.
The autosync feature needs improvement on user interface: It typically involves two computers: one as the source which provides the "SecureShare", the other is the destination which actually does the automatic synchronization copying data from "SecureShare" to local folder. The feature needs to be invoked by first navigating to the "friends" tab and expand the computers where you can find the SecureShares created on those source computers, then one can click on these SecureShares to start the autosync task.