Like most Web Workers I have moved quite a bit of my work data online into the cloud, but my laptop and USB memory keys still contain quite a lot that is critical to me and my business. With the proliferation of online file storage and backup services, the need for software like GoodSync might seem to be disappearing, but in reality the need for data portability, synchronization and backups is as important as ever.
So when the folks at Siber Systems offered us a copy of their GoodSync file synchronization and backup product to review, I jumped at the chance to put it through its paces. I’m already a happy user of their fine RoboForm password management product so my expectations were high.
Goodsync is file synchronization and file backup software that works to keep files in sync between multiple PCs, desktops, laptops, Servers, webDAV and FTP locations, along with Mobile Phones and PDAs.
I really like how easy it is to get started and create a sync or backup job. Just select the folders you want to sync or backup on either side of the pane, analyze shows you what changes will be made, and then press sync to make it final.
It looks simple, and it is, but there is a lot of power available beyond the basic setup. Advanced options include auto start, scheduling, file conflict resolution, and filtering to include only specific file types. The advanced options can potentially be overwhelming but I think that is because of the nature of what is available. I did have to go to the manual a couple of times to confirm options and set up steps but was able to find what I needed.
I really appreciate the analyze functionality which shows what changes will be made before it does anything. During the job setup process, it goes a long way to make me feel comfortable before I commit to actually doing a transfer.
I find the interface to be intuitive and generally easy to use, although because of the complexity of what is being presented, it can be crowded at times. Icons try to provide visual clues as to the actions that will be carried out but with so many, it took a couple of visits to the manual to help identify them. There may be a bit of a learning curve to get comfortable with it, but once it “clicks” it works well.
Good synchronization software might not be a necessary item for everyone, but if you need this functionality, GoodSync is well worth a look. I found myself identifying multiple uses for it as the weeks went on and am currently using it to sync multiple USB memory sticks as well as an extra backup of my business data from my laptop. I tested the FTP and webDAV functionality and it all worked as advertised.
One feature I wasn’t able to test is the ability to do chained synchronizations – keeping 2 computers which aren’t connected synchronized by using an intermediary device like a USB disk or external HDD. It sounds useful for those who maintain distinct work environments, or for making sure there is a spare PC available in an emergency.
GoodSync is for Windows only and a free trial is available. The trial is fully functional but after 30 days it limits the number of files and jobs. A Pro license is $29.95 with additional licenses for other PCs for $9.95
Is there a place in your arsenal for good old fashioned sync software? How are you using it creatively?