FreeFileSync

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

Spectacular

Average User Rating stars

out of 49 user reviews

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Top-Notch Application; Freeware At Its Absolute Finest"

    April 12, 2011  |   By LouieChuckyMerry

    Pros

    I Honestly Can't Imagine A More Intuitive Interface; Yet, It Handles Everything From Single Files To Large External Hard Drives With Ease And Has Unicode Support. And It's Portable, Too.

    Cons

    None That I've Experienced.

    Summary

    After using the free edition of SyncBack for a couple of years to keep several sets of entire external hard drives--as well as some folder combinations--syncronized, I recently bumped into FreeFileSync. Within a day SyncBack was uninstalled and FreeFileSync was put into the folder where I keep all my stand alone applications and a desktop shortcut was created to fill the void left by SyncBack's recently departed icon. When I first went looking for a freeware sync program, I settled on SyncBack after hours of searching and reading reviews (including at cnet). At first I found SyncBack quite intimidating: so many buttons, so many options, even more advanced options. Eventually I became comfortable with its use but also discovered that the free edition doesn't have Unicode support (a problem for files with odd or foreign names). The first time I used FreeFileSync I was amazed at its combination of ease of use and functionality. The program is remarkably intuitive, as the interface is very clean and hovering the cursor over any button or area of importance opens a tool tip. Drag-and-drop your source folder or drive on the left, drag-and-drop your destination folder or drive on the right, filter as desired (the "Filter" button is easily seen, bottom-center of the interface), then click on "Compare" (the settings of which are next to the button). Very quickly the results of this preview appear with an easy to understand list (with clear visual aids, too) of what's to be copied or deleted (depending on your settings). If you're happy with the results, then click on "Syncronize" (the settings of which are also next to the button and are absurdly simple to understand). That's it. When I recently synced 674 G of data (pictures, videos, mp3s, documents, programs, etc) from a WD portable 1 TB external hard drive to a second, freshly reformatted WD portable 1 TB hard drive, the process took 13 hours, 11 minutes and the resulting data was perfectly defragmented and alphabetical-by-directory from the inside of the synced-to disk to the outside. I found this speed comparable to what I would achieve using SyncBack. With FreeFileSync you can also save configurations with custom names (and they're always there to be loaded in the bottom, left of the GUI). Heck, the program even automatically excludes RECYCLE.BIN, System Volume Information, etc. from the sync. FreeFileSync is, without a doubt, one of the best freeware applications that I've found, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

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