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Sync software

Not sure which files are on your home computer, laptop or smartphone? Sync software can save you the inconvenience of having to manually save, overwrite and replace files on different computers and devices.

Sync software comparison chart for 2017

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Dmailer Sync
Mark/Space
Syncovery
Allway Sync
SmartSync
Excellent
Five stars means excellent
Very good
Four stars means very good
Good
Three stars means good
Average
Two stars means average /
Poor
One star means poor
GoodSync has been awarded best buy Product image of goodsync Product image of sugarsync Product image of pcsync Product image of viceversa Product image of dmailer sync Product image of mark/space Product image of syncovery Product image of allway sync Product image of smartsync
 
 
 
Ratings
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Overall
goodsync has a rating of five  overall sugarsync has a rating of five  overall pcsync has a rating of four  overall viceversa has a rating of four  overall dmailer sync has a rating of four  overall mark/space has a rating of four  overall syncovery has a rating of four  overall allway sync has a rating of three  overall smartsync has a rating of four  overall
Setup
goodsync has a rating of five for setup sugarsync has a rating of four for setup pcsync has a rating of four for setup viceversa has a rating of four for setup dmailer sync has a rating of four for setup mark/space has a rating of four for setup syncovery has a rating of four for setup allway sync has a rating of three for setup smartsync has a rating of three for setup
Synchronization
goodsync has a rating of four for synchronization sugarsync has a rating of five for synchronization pcsync has a rating of four for synchronization viceversa has a rating of four for synchronization dmailer sync has a rating of three for synchronization mark/space has a rating of four for synchronization syncovery has a rating of three for synchronization allway sync has a rating of four for synchronization smartsync has a rating of three for synchronization
Features
goodsync has a rating of five for features sugarsync has a rating of five for features pcsync has a rating of four for features viceversa has a rating of three for features dmailer sync has a rating of four for features mark/space has a rating of three for features syncovery has a rating of four for features allway sync has a rating of four for features smartsync has a rating of three for features
Ease of use
goodsync has a rating of five for ease of use sugarsync has a rating of four for ease of use pcsync has a rating of four for ease of use viceversa has a rating of four for ease of use dmailer sync has a rating of three for ease of use mark/space has a rating of four for ease of use syncovery has a rating of four for ease of use allway sync has a rating of three for ease of use smartsync has a rating of four for ease of use
Help & support
goodsync has a rating of five for help & support sugarsync has a rating of four for help & support pcsync has a rating of four for help & support viceversa has a rating of four for help & support dmailer sync has a rating of four for help & support mark/space has a rating of four for help & support syncovery has a rating of three for help & support allway sync has a rating of three for help & support smartsync has a rating of four for help & support

Sync software explained

Today’s average computer user no longer owns just a single PC. Most of us have notebooks and desktop machines as well as smartphones and other portable computing devices. Though being constantly "jacked-in" is convenient, modern computing culture has given rise to new problems such as being able to retrieve important files and data securely when you are not sitting in front of the machine it’s stored on. This is where file synchronization (sync) software and services come in to play.

What does sync software software do?

The advantages of using sync software are many – it allows you to keep your data secure, automatically updates files across all of your computing devices and also allows you to share your data over a network for easy collaboration. This is a far cry from the old method of manually replicating or sending your files from one machine to another via email or USB drive. Today, sync software has become an essential tool for anyone who needs instant access to their files from virtually any location.

How does sync software work?

At its simplest, sync programs synchronize specific files or folders between multiple devices. For example, if you have a pc at home and a netbook for travelling, software such as Syncables will maintain current versions of your files and folders on both devices and automatically update any changes from one device to the other. This can be done by directly connecting the devices, transferring the files over a network connection or by way of a cloud-based server – the latter being ideal for netbooks and smartphones with limited storage capacities.

With so many of us living our digital lives on the go, sync software has rapidly become a must have tool that allows us to do things such as telecommute, update social media sites, keep favourite songs and films always at our fingertips as well as collaborate with others on projects. But these programs can also do much more – from automatic back-ups to creating virtual media hubs.

What to look for in sync software

Sync method

You should first examine how you intend to sync your files by asking yourself:

  • Do you need to sync your files over a network or server?
  • Will all of your devices be online at the same time?
  • Do you need the ability to compress or encrypt files during sync

All sync software should be able to support one-way, bi-directional and multi-directional syncs as standard. The software you chose should also be able to sync folders across all your devices and accommodate different operating systems such as syncing PC to Mac for example.

Security & reliability

In order to find the right program, you should examine questions such as:

  • How fast are file transfers?
  • What will the software do if it encounters a conflict error?
  • What back-up options does the software offer?
  • In the event that you accidentally delete a file, is there an undelete button?

Devices

Since syncing software is supposed to make life easier by keeping current versions of your important files on all computers synchronized, you must make sure that the title you choose is compatible with your current devices.

  • Does the sync software support Windows, Mac, Linux or all of the above?
  • Does it sync to mobile phones and what type of mobile devices does it support?
  • Is there a limit to the number of devices you can install the sync software on?
  • Will it support syncing to USB Flash Drive, CD/DVD or an External Hard Drive?

Ease of use

The main reason to invest in sync software is to simplify the task of keeping your files current over multiple machines. However, ease of use can vary greatly from program to program. You might consider:

  • How easy it is to see which folders and files have been synced?
  • Did the interface seem logical; could you easily find everything you need?
  • Were there set-up wizards to help guide you through tasks?

Help & support

In the event that your program is not functioning correctly or you come across an issue that isn�t addressed in the help file, how can you find help? Things to consider in this area would include:

  • Does the software vendor offer telephone support, and if so, do you have to pay for it?
  • Do they offer online chat and/or email support?
  • Are the standard FAQs, user manuals and knowledge base clear, easy to find and easy to understand?

Q. What does sync mean?

A. File synchronization (or 'syncing') is a process whereby selected files, that are stored in two or more locations, are updated in all locations simultaneously. For example, if you are using a program such as SugarSync, you could make changes to a file on your desktop computer and it would automatically be updated on your netbook. This can occur instantly if both machines are powered on and have a network connection or it can happen the next time a machine logs on to the network.

Q. What is the difference between a one-way sync, bidirectional and multidirectional sync?

A. In a one-way sync or back-up, files are copied from one computer to another computer or device for later use. The stored files can be used to recover your computer in the event of a system crash or to recover a file that has become corrupted. Bi-directional syncing is where a file is synchronized between two computers and changes, such as deleting, modifying or moving on computer 1, will automatically be copied (or mirrored) on computer 2. With multi-directional sync, the only difference is that you can now sync three or more computers. Otherwise, it is the same principle as bi-directional synchronization. Changes made on computer 1 are now replicated on computers 2, 3, 4 and so on.

Q. What is the difference between file synchronization and online back-up?

A. In a traditional back-up, files or folders are copied from your computer to another location such as a USB drive, DVD or server. The files are kept as a failsafe to protect against file corruption or total system crash. With file synchronization, files are kept on several computers and are updated across all devices whenever a selected file or folder is modified. So, you can go to each different machine and see the exact same version of your synced files and folders at any given time.

Q. What does a 'sync conflict' mean?

A. If a file or folder has been modified in two different locations before synchronization, it will result in a conflict. This is resolved by manually selecting which file version is correct for syncing to all other computers.

Q. What is a USB flash drive?

A. USB flash drive is a highly portable, memory storage device that uses a USB interface to connect to your computer.

Jargon explained

Synchronization

Synchronization or syncing is a process whereby data is constantly updated and kept identical across several devices such as your computer and a notebook or smartphone. The easiest way to sync your devices is by using specialized sync software.

Back-up

Creating file copies that can either be placed in long term storage or be used for data recovery in the event of a system failure.

Cloud computing

This term is used to describe an external location (somewhere in the ether) where computing resources reside, in contrast to traditional infrastructures where resources are normally kept in-house. The benefit of cloud computing is that you can connect to resources as and when they are needed from virtually any location.

Conflicts

Sync conflicts often occur when a file has been altered on two separate machines since it was last synced, making it impossible for the program to determine which file is the master and which is the copy - thereby stopping the synchronization from completing.

Netbook

A highly portable, mini notebook computer with extended battery life. Though netbooks were originally marketed for browsing and email only, they can perform most of the same functions as a regular PC barring intensive graphics editing.

Related categories



Rank
GoodSync
SugarSync
PCsync
ViceVersa
Dmailer Sync
Mark/Space
Syncovery
Allway Sync
SmartSync