Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Why I prefer ifreebusy.com to AirSet

Over the past two weeks, I've praised ifreebusy.com on several occasions, but I haven't mentioned another free calendar synchronization service, AirSet. I know I've criticized AirSet in the past, so why didn't I level the same criticism at ifreebusy.com?

The simple answer is, ifreebusy.com only stores free/busy information. AirSet stores all of my calendar information. If I have to use a Web service to synchronize calendars, I'd like to store as little personal information as possible. Ideally, I wouldn't have to use a service at all. (I call this "peer to peer" calendar synchronization.)

And yes, I do use other free Web services such as Gmail, despite my privacy concerns. No other email user has to use the same email provider as I do. and if enough people objected, I might move off Gmail as well. By keeping my calendar off the Web, I'm reducing the "attack surface" for bad things to happen to my family's personal data.

Also, check out Neil Jensen's next set of plans for ifreebusy.com, triggered in part by our conversation.

4 comments:

ravi said...

Have you looked at ScheduleWorld? They have a Java client and a read/write web interface, and additionally support publish/subscribe,WebDAV, and SyncML. Closest to Calendar Nirvana (though not quite there yet) that I have seen thus far.

Anonymous said...

ScheduleWorld has great potential, but unfortunately doesn't offer secure sync (https, for example). Personally, I believe having a central FREE service to provide global sync'ing services would be great. But encrypted data, transmission, and reliable privacy protections are a must. Although SW offers contact and calendar sync (tasks coming soon!?) and backup services, AirSet offers secure sessions and a very usable and configurable interface - but no contacts! I guess the question is: Does there yet exist a secure, free service that offers global sync services (pda, desktop, web) to include contacts, tasks, and calendar functions? I think I may be asking a lot from these young technologies - but I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Much easier to use and configure, and richer fnctionality than ifreebudy can be found at www.timebridge.com

Sathish said...

For a Calendaring service, I would vouch for Airset. It's main advantage is creating groups and sharing your schedule, sharing only those that you want to share hiding those that you don't want to.
I use Plaxo for synchronizing though and Airset is mainly for sharing calendar and files, using a secure (https) gateway.