Software that synchronizes the contents of two or more folders is a great idea that usually comes up short somewhere, such as an inability to access a network or enter passwords or one-way synching that tracks updates in one folder but not the other. Allway Sync (64-bit) is a free tool that analyzes the contents of two folders simultaneously and updates both based on the latest content in either. But instead of simply copying the latest content based on time signatures, Allway Sync's bidirectional algorithm analyzes the content for actual changes, so even if system clocks are out of synch, your folders won't be. It can synchronize folders manually or automatically.
Allway Sync's unique interface does a fine job of clearly delineating each source folder it will synchronize, with separate, identical fields for selecting the source type from a drop-down list as well as entering target folders by browsing or typing them in directly. The drop-down list offers explanations of the extensive sources Allway Sync can access: Windows folders, a folder on a removable drive, a network share, an archived or encrypted archive, and both FTP and SFTP servers online, including entering passwords. While Allway Sync unifies the contents of two folders at a time, you can set up as many synchronization jobs as you like by creating Jobs, either from the Job file menu or the tabbed interface. Jobs can be saved, edited, renamed, and cloned once you've created them. To quickly test Allway Sync, we copied a folder of images to our desktop and deleted a few from one, set up each as targets, and press Analyze. Almost instantaneously, the program returned results under expandable headings labeled New Files, Unchanged Files, and All Files, as well as a log file. The job finished quickly, and a quick check revealed identical content in each folder. Next we accessed shared folders in our homegroup, since keeping folders synchronized between two different PCs is a different matter altogether, yet once again Allway Sync did the job.
Allway Sync has a bunch of different interface languages, too, and even skins and other options. Its ability to synchronize the content of two folders, in each direction, and in a wide range of locations makes it the most competent folder synchronization utility we've tried.