File synchronization software lets you update computer files in two or more locations at the same time.
A common scenario would be to sync files on your work computer with your home computer. Synchronization of files can occur over a local area network (LAN), and in some cases over the internet depending on the software.
Good synchronization software should encrypt your files when synchronizing across the internet. It should also be easy to use, and be able to perform all the synchronization methods you need (such as mirroring, two-way synchronization, etc.).
Here is a list of what, in my opinion, are the best file synchronization programs out there. I looked at each program for how easy it is, how many features it has, and how fast is can synchronize files between locations.
#1 – GoodSync
GoodSync is a powerful synchronization program that works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can sync files to any number of locations, including other computers, online storage, and mobile devices. Yes, GoodSync can even sync files to your Android or iPhone.
The way you use GoodSync is to choose a left and right folder. These are basically the locations you want to sync. You can choose locations such as a Windows Share, FTP server, Amazon S3 account, Google Drive account, and others. After you’ve chosen the locations you want to sync, GoodSync lets you compare and analyze changes to files before you synchronize them.
To sync over the internet, you’ll need to sign up for a GoodSync Connect account. This will let you easily connect 2 computers as long as they’re connected to the internet. Files are transferred as fast as your connection allows, since there’s no cloud service in the middle. This also means there’s no limit to the size or number of files you can transfer.
As far as features, GoodSync uses a block-level sync, so only parts of changed files are transferred. Automatic job execution lets you sync whenever a file changes, or after a certain number of minutes after a file changes. GoodSync also lets you use a secure mode, which encrypts your files over SSL.
Finally, GoodSync “knows” if two devices are on the same network, and will sync files locally if they are. It’s a fairly smart synchronization program.
Try or buy GoodSync at www.goodsync.com
#2 – SyncBackSE
Price: $34.95 (Free and Pro versions also available)
SyncBackSE is a fast, easy to use file synchronization program that is also packed with features. 2BrightSparks, the company that made it, has been developing the SyncBack software for over 10 years now. SyncBackSE is the middle version, but there’s also a Pro version with more features and a Free version with less features. SyncBackSE can do just about any synchronization task, from the simplest to the most complicated, without breaking your bank.
When you first start the program you’ll be guided through the process of creating your first synchronization job. You can make decisions about what to do if a file has changed on both the source and the destination, what to do if a file has only changed on the destination, etc. You have control of 13 of these types of decisions. SyncBackSE uses SmartSync technology, which keeps track of what changed since the last time the profile was run. This helps the software know what to do when files change, and gives you more control over your sync jobs.
SyncBackSE supports syncing to local destinations, network drives, and FTP servers. Syncing computers across the internet is supported, but only via FTP.
The software is not just for synchronization, as it has many options for backing up files as well. It supports file encryption, compression, logging, and reporting. It also has a “Fast Backup” mode to speed up your backups.
Try or buy SyncBackSE at www.2brightsparks.com
#3 – SmartSync Pro
SmartSync Pro is a powerful file synchronization and backup utility. It can sync to local destinations on your network, or a remote computer via FTP. When first started, it will start the New Profile Wizard and help you setup your sync job. You can choose to mirror your files (sync in one direction) or a bidirectional sync which would copy in both directions. Deleting unmatched files is also supported.
SmartSync Pro has the ability to do incremental backups, and can run profiles even when the computer is logged off. It will give you detailed synchronization progress for your running profiles, as well as color highlighting for any differences.
Try or buy SmartSync Pro at www.smartsync.com
#4 – @MAX SyncUp
Max SyncUp can synchronize your files to local destinations, other computers, FTP servers, WebDAV, and Google Drive. To sync over the internet it uses a “Max SyncUp server” which runs on one of the computers. This allows you to synchronize your files anywhere in the world. Max SyncUp can encrypt your data so no one else can view it, as well as compress it. Also, it uses a Rsync-like algorithm to transfer your files, so only changed parts of files are sync’ed which can save bandwidth.
When syncing over the internet, it can use either your IP or a global SyncUp account to make the connection. The global account would be useful if the IP frequently changes on one computer.
Overall, Max SyncUp is a powerful, easy to use file synchronization program.
Try or buy @MAX SyncUp at www.maxsyncup.com
#5 – Bvckup 2
Bvckup 2 is a fast, lightweight file synchronization program. The installation file is under 2 MB, actually. It provides extremely fast mirroring of files to local drives and network locations. It uses “delta copying,” which only copies changed parts of files. This makes for extremely efficient file transfers.
Multiple backup tasks can be created, so you can sync any number of folders. Two-way synchronization is not supported, however. It can only mirror files (copy them from the source to the destination).
As far as extra features, Bvckup supports scheduling, archiving deleted files, and file exclusions. Email alerts can be sent, for backup completions or only for errors. Commands can be run before and after tasks. The software can be run every time Windows starts, and it can start minimized in the background.
Bvckup has a “device fingerprint” feature that can link the software to your removable drives. So if you unplug your drive, the sync won’t run until it’s reconnected. And if Windows re-assigns your drive letter for whatever reason, Bvckup will know that.
It doesn’t have file compression or encryption, but it’s also very small and inexpensive, and I feel these features might bloat the software.
Try or buy Bvckup 2 at www.bvckup2.com