Syncing Files Between PC’s and Mac’s

I don’t know how I missed this, but Microsoft has a really great product/service that allows you to synchronize files between multiple computers (PC’s and Mac’s) across the Internet (thanks Mike for pointing this out). In addition the product also allows you to share files with your friends. This communication happens in a private peer-2-peer fashion and is encrypted. The product is called FolderShare, and Microsoft purchased late last year and is offering the service for free.

Quoting from their site you can:

  • Synchronize all your devices – Retrieve work files at home or access photos at work. With your devices in sync, you no longer have to be frustrated that your information is on another computer.
  • Share files, photos, and home videos with your peers – Select the content you want to share, invite members, and they will be able to access the shared files directly from their device.
  • Access your computer or device remotely – FolderShare mobile access allows you to access your computer from any web browser.

The service works as advertised and is something that I plan to share with my Dad and Father-in-Law as a way for them to backup their information between their machines (they both have desktops and laptops) as well as provide them a way to backup to my house as well (if they want).

Initially I had thought that it would be perfect, easy to use solution to my off-site storage problem related to backup. While it works great, it does a have a few limitations that make it unsuitable for use in my particular situation.

The three big limiting factors are that it only supports files up to 2 GB in size (not that big of deal if you take that into account and split your big files), but the real killer for me is a limitation of 10,000 files per “library”. Some of my directories have over 25,000 files (think all the pictures my wife takes). I started thinking about workarounds, but eventually nixed those ideas as just too complex. The third issue is that it runs as a user level application. So that means that you have to be logged in and have the application running in order to it to sync.

This is a great tool for your personal and/or small business use. It is really easy to use, its free (at least for now), and it fills a niche in most people’s backup strategy by providing off-site backups, as well as access to your files (particularly if you are a laptop user), and finally it is cross platform Mac OSX and Windows.

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1 Comment

  1. Hello,
    There is a nice open-source alternative called PowerFolder (http://www.powerfolder.com) to this.
    It is also cross plattfrom compatible, so PC to Mac and back is no problem 😉

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