Thursday, October 27, 2005

Avvenu Review

Avvenu is a free service which enables you to access your desktop computer's files from anywhere in the world - you just need a broadband connection (you don't need, but it is recommended as ou need an active internet connection) and your computer with installed Avvenu running. Then you can access every file on your computer from every internet-enabled device in the world. You can download files, view pictures, and upload files.

Getting started

First, you need to download an application that enables your computer to Avvenu. You must browse to http://www.avvenu.com and click on "Sign up". Then you can download it. After the installation assistant has completed, you can sign up. It needs you real name, your mail address, a username and a password:


That's it, you just need to choose a name for that computer (you can use more than one computer with your account, and you must know which computer you mean, so choose a clear name ;-)) and you need to enter your proxy setting (if availible).

Accessing your desktop

Now, Avvenu is active on that computer. So, if your computer is turned on and connected to the internet you can access your files, from anywhere in the world, by browsing to http://share.avvenu.com. There you've to enter your login data, then you see your files:

You can browse your file system, download and upload files. A good feature is downloading a whole folder. Avvenu compresses it to a ZIP file. Images can be directly viewed, without downloading.

You can share files, if you want to, with others. They just need a mail address and a browser. :


There is a mobile version of Avvenu availible for Palm OS and mobile phones. It's small and doesn't take much traffic. I made several screenshots on NetFront, PicselBrowser, Web Browser and Web Pro:


NetFront: folders, login, files, file, download


PicselBrowser: start page, folders


WebPro login, folders; Web Browser login, folders

Picsel Browser seems to be the only browser that displays the "full" page, all others show the "light" page. The light page is, on the one hand, small, but on the other hand it lacks some features: you can't download a whole folder as a ZIP file, and it doesn't support uploading files. On a mobile device perhaps you don't need whole folders every day, but uploading files can be useful. And, as you can see on the pictures, the light version shows only 6 objects a page, so you have to load the next page a lot.

My results: I won't need it as I don't want my computer to run 24 hours a day, but people who have an own server will be glad to download important files that aren't on their handheld or mobile phone. I don't think that the service is bad, although there aren't many features. I miss: file info with size, type, ..., perhaps a reader for MS Word, ... files as there aren't so many mobile phones that can open MS Word files. And I'm missing file operations: no copy, no delete, ... This isn't SO important, but it isn't difficult to make such a feature availible, so, why not? And Avvenu shows that it has good ideas, just look at the feature to download a whole folder. This about the full version (although they could add a reader and file infos to the light version, too). The light version: another good idea because the full version uses a lot of pictures. This costs money on mobile phones or smartphones. The lite version has few pictures and almost only plain text. But, why shows it only six files every page? Perhaps some mobile phones aren't able to load bigger pages (I don't think so), but then the user should be able to define how many files should be shown. So, Avvenu, good work, but I'm still missing some features.

What would you like to see in Avvenu?

18 Comments:

Anonymous Lion_Snake said...

i agree with you

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MyDisk.co.uk provides a similar service to Avvenu but is more simplistic. Its a cross platform Java solution requiring no installation and very easy to use with a lot of built in features.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Marnen said...

I just use VNC. There are Palm clients for that too, and it's free and universal.

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11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avvenu is NOT free anymore - it was bought by Nokia ( Dec 2007) and the subscription service will be focussed on cellphone transfers.

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