Sync me

Synchronizing files and folders is a breeze with this free-and-easy tool.

Synchronizing files and folders between your work and home PCs, desktop and laptop, and portable and permanent storage can be a hassle. A lot of users procrastinate and end up doing a lousy job of it. If they had a free synchronization tool like SyncBreeze, they could not only make an easy job of synchronizing folders and files between directories, disks, and even networked computers, but also help you keep your stuff in sync.

SyncBreeze has a simple but elegant layout, with clearly labeled icons grouped by function. The online Help site includes a PDF-based user's manual we were able to download. SyncBreeze offers several synchronization modes, including one-way, two-way, and combined synchronization; accumulated and compressed modes; performance settings; the ability to add and configure rules and exclusions; and Simple, Extended, and Expert configuration modes. Clicking the Synch button on the toolbar called up the tabbed Synchronize Directories dialog. We chose source and destination folders, Simple mode, and Sync With Preview, which takes longer but lets users see the files before starting the synchronization process. SyncBreeze kept us informed with data about the number of files, their size, source, and destination. Pressing Sync initiated the synchronization process, which was brief, displaying a green progress bar and a log file in a small pop-up window that included Pause, Stop, and Speed buttons as well. The program offered to save the synch command via yet another small, wizard-like interface; we entered a name and clicked OK, and the program displayed our command as well as recent log data in the main view. Next we tried the Extended mode, which let us select multiple directories and other advanced options. The program's primary options included settings for shortcuts, proxies, e-mail notifications, and an error log. Clicking the Layouts icon instantly resized the main view to progressively smaller windows.

A few of the program's commands, such as Background Synch, are disabled in the freeware version of SyncBreeze but active in SyncBreeze Pro. The free tool does a lot and does it well, too. If you have a lot of computers on your network, you might look at the shareware version. For most users, though, the freeware SyncBreeze is more than enough.

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