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GoodSync Desktop 9 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £20
inc VAT

A comprehensive file synchronisation and backup tool

Working across multiple computers and keeping track of multiple versions of your files can be a troublesome task. GoodSync can synchronise files between a computer and various cloud-based services, as well as between two computers, to help eliminate this problem as well as making sure your files are always backed up.

The software’s simple Windows Explorer-like interface allows you to navigate your existing sync routines quickly and to create new ones. To establish a new sync routine you simple specify the two locations that you want to keep in sync and specify how and when the sync should take place. Any conflicts are highlighted in the main window for each routine, allowing you to choose in which direction a file should be synchronised if at all.

GoodSyncthe intereface makes it easy to keep track of all your file syncing

New sync jobs can either be two-way, where data is exchanged in both directions so that changes to the files at either location are mirrored at the other, or one way, which essentially functions as a backup routine, only copying the changes from the first location to the second. The program is mainly designed for one of these locations to be a folder or selection of files on your local hard disk, and the second a remote location. It’s also possible to sync to a USB hard disk, then from that disk to a second computer. GoodSync allows you to connect through FTP, SFTP and WebDAV to remote servers as well as to Amazon S3 and Windows Azure cloud services, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Windows SkyDrive. You can also connect to Windows shares on a network and, using GoodSync Connect, to remote computers.

GoodSync Connect lets you sync files between remote computers as and when they come online. Both computers must have the application installed, which means that you need to shell out for two licenses (this is true for all syncs between computers). GoodSync Connect works as a peer-to-peer connection so, unlike many cloud-based sync and backup services, storage space is only limited by the size of the hard disk at one location. You will need to keep an eye on your bandwidth usage if you have a limited connection, though. To keep bandwidth usage to a minimum, in all sync routines GoodSync only transmits the parts of files that have been changed rather than the entire file.

File synchronisation utilities must be handled with care, with potential to keep the wrong version of a file. GoodSync provides clear visual cues when conflicts arise, letting you define which way a file should be synchronised. In addition, versioning control – turned off by default – lets you keep a historic record of file changes, so you can always churn though previous versions to find the right one.

In an age of monthly fees for online backup, the freedom that GoodSync provides by allowing you to choose your own online location is welcome, particularly when the price of storage on the Amazon S3 service, for example, is pennies rather than pounds per month per GB. While free services like DropBox also allow you to sync files between computers and share those files with others, the versatility of GoodSync is worth the one-off cost.


Price £20
Rating *****

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