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Microsoft Windows Live Mesh 2011 review

Kat Orphanides
31 Jul 2011
Windows Live Mesh 2011
Our Rating 

This synchronisation service is basic and its 5GB online storage can't be upgraded, but it integrates seamlessly with Windows and costs nothing

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Windows Live Mesh is one of the simplest synchronisation services around, but it's also entirely free and integrates seamlessly with Windows operating systems. It's installed as part of Windows Essentials and connects to your usual Microsoft online account, whether it's Hotmail, Passport or Live.

The main window is refreshingly unintimidating. Syncing a folder simply involves clicking a button, browsing to the folder and selecting it. You'll be given the choice of synchronising it with other computers that you've installed Live Mesh on, with your 5GB of Microsoft SkyDrive storage, or both. You can also sync Internet Explorer bookmarks and Microsoft Office settings such as custom dictionaries.

Windows Live Mesh 2011

There's a shortcut to the web interface for Windows Live Devices, where you can change the names and icons of associated PCs and dissociate them from your Live Mesh account. Live Mesh also makes it easy to connect remotely to any PC that you've left switched on and running the software.

The SkyDrive is also accessible from the web interface, with folders browsed much like as in Windows Explorer. Not even image files can be viewed online, but any file can be downloaded, and folders shared with up to nine other people, who will also be able to download their contents. You can also edit which of your computers each folder is synchronised with.

Live Mesh shouldn't be used in place of a backup plan, though – with no recovery of modified or deleted files, errors in one location are immediately replicated elsewhere. 5GB of space may be enough for all your essential documents, but if you have extensive photo or music collections that you want to keep safe, you'll have to subscribe to another service, as there's no way of increasing your storage space.

However, if you want the simplest way of sharing files between your PCs and others, Live Mesh is perfect. It's free, integrates neatly with Windows and is remarkably simple to use. Its features are limited but all the important ones are there.

Details

Price£0
Detailshttp://explore.live.com/windows-live-mesh
Rating****

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