This Java-based freeware program synchronizes files and folders, even across network drives. Light but lacking any personalization features, Directory Synchronizer is an early beta, but looks promising.
Befitting a program possessing such a small footprint--the EXE doesn't require an installer, since it's only 22 KB--there's not much to this application. Directory Synchronizer can be set to sync based on either date or content. Users can preview two folders that they're thinking about syncing with the Compare tool, and simply check off a box to exclude a subdirectory from the process.
Users can also save sync tasks, and use them again with the "Open sync task" tool. Provided that the folder names and locations on their respective drives haven't changed, this should work without a hitch. I found synchronization to be reasonably fast, as syncing more than one gigabyte of files from a network drive to my local hard disk took about five minutes.
Certainly, there are larger and more powerful sync freeware tools, my favorite being SyncBack. But if you're looking for tiny, free, and effective, and don't care about the interface, you should give Directory Synchronizer a try.
Do you have a favorite freeware backup tool? Let us know about it in the comments.