Synchronizing Documents Across Multiple Computers

Synchronizing Documents Across Multiple Computers

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I spend a lot of time worrying about my files, both at home and at work. I have a variety of machines in both locations, and it's a real challenge to make sure that I've got the latest version of all my files available to me wherever I travel. Over the years I've experimented with a number of solutions, from the Windows Briefcase to Visual SourceSafe to manual batch routines to Intellimirror, but none of them have really solved my requirement for bi-directional, multi-master replication.

SyncToy, released publicly in beta form in the last week, takes me a step closer than my current solution. It provides a bi-directional solution that incorporates file conflict resolution; it also handles many other more subtle challenges such as file renames. And it just happens to be another example of a .NET Framework-based smart client application!

You can get hold of SyncToy here; there's also a white paper available with screenshots, a description of how to use it and demonstration of how a scenario such as digital photography can benefit from such a tool. It's worth a try if you face the same synchronization challenge as I.

  • It kept crashing on me. I use SourceGear Vault for source control, so I just use it to sync other stuff as well when needed, which also gives me built-in version control.
  • Groove also does a great job of this. Groove is generally marketed as a collaboration platform, but also enables you to create 'file share workspaces' to sync a folder across multiple machines. I use it to sync My Documents between my desktop and laptop and it does a great job whether syncing across intranet or internet.
  • I use ViceVersa and would like to recommend it. You can try it freely at http://www.tgrmn.com ; it is not free but this is is the ultimate file sync and backup software for windows. Mine was money well spent. It can even copy open files and databases using the Volume Shadow Copy service. And you can also compress and encrypt data so when you copy to a removable drive to carry around your data is safe... it can also compare files and source code (diff)
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