Data backups are becoming increasingly important for every computer user. But what about synchronization software - and what’s the difference between the two? As it turns out, there is a subtle but very important difference and usage scenario for backups versus synchronization. With backup-only solutions, you typically specify one-way synchronization so that whatever is on your PC gets backed up to your storage solution.
Synchronization solutions are two-way solutions where folders and files are synchronized to keep two or more locations in step with each other. While backups work for archival storage and disaster recovery, synchronization is useful for people that move between different physical PCs but want to keep their data synchronized across locations.
There are a number of different usage scenarios for synchronization. For example, synchronization makes a lot of sense with USB flash thumb drives in particular. Let’s say you’ve got a file on your work PC that you want to bring home, so you could keep a thumb drive and your main PC hard drive continuously synchronized. Take the USB drive home (or anywhere else), work on your file, then bring the USB key back to work and synchronize folders. Then again, you could just use software that will let you synchronize two PCs over a network, too.
In this review, we look at a number of different tools designed to help facilitate easy synchronization for different scenarios. We look at GoodSync, SyncBackSE, Allway Sync, FolderMatch/FolderClone, SyncToy, BeInSync and FolderShare to see how they compare.