- dotTech - http://dottech.org -

Beyond Sync Pro

Posted By Ashraf On November 4, 2008 @ 1:25 AM In Giveaway of the Day Reviews | 2 Comments

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for November 4, 2008 is Beyond Sync Pro [1].
[rssless]————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Multiple sync methods.
  • Supports sync between desktop-network folders or desktop-external media.
  • You can schedule a sync to occur at a specific time.
  • Backs up/copies entire folder if desired.
  • Has a ‘byte to byte’ file validity verification feature.
  • You can choose certain file types to exclude from sync.
  • You can log your activity.
  • You can setup multiple sync activities.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • After the initial designation, it is not properly labeled which one is target folder and which one is source folder.
  • Cannot initially name the tasks.
  • “Add More Folders” at New Task screen is misleading.
  • Cannot find how to “Backup files to standard ZIP file”.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”9″}Me, nor Fubar, could find out how to “Backup files to standard ZIP file”. Everything else works fine.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”7″}Easy to use, but not very easy.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”7″}Everyday user probably does not have a need to backup/sync folders/files.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

Beyond Sync Pro is a program that will do exactly what the name makes you think – sync…folders that is =D. By sync they mean that files will be copied/updated between two designated folders. All file types are supported. You can not only sync folders that are on your local computer, but you can also sync network folders and folders on external media. So far my testing has proved that it does it pretty well – I have not encountered a significant bug yet (if you have encountered a bug, please post below).

When you first run BSP, you are given a choice of running the trial version or “upgrading to pro”. Choose the upgrading to pro option – you will then see an “activate” link to the right of it. Click active and enter this information (technically, you have to visit the website to get this, but I will give it to you here):

[Removed as per request of GOTD administrator. See Readme.txt that came in the .zip file for registration information.]

After you have registered the program, you will run the actual program for the first time. The first thing that happens is that you are prompted to setup your first “sync”. You have two fields on the screen at this time: a “source folder” field and a “target folder” field. The source folder is the folder where that you want to be the “source”, or better put the folder from which the files will be copied. The “target folder” is the folder to which the files will be copied. At this screen at the bottom you will see a button that says “Add More Folders”. This does not mean you will sync together more then two folders. It just means you are putting multiple folder-pair-syncs together, i.e. run them all with just one click of a button. Kind of misleading, I know. Anyway, the source and target folders can be either from your own computer, a network folder, or from a folder on an external media like a hard drive. One thing I wish you could is name the folder pairs/task from the start – instead BSP automatically asigns them a name and you have to manually change it after you create the pair/task.

After you have setup your first task, you will be brought to the ‘main’ screen. You will see the two folder’s and their contents placed next to each other. This is the biggest problem I have with this program: it does not label which one is the source folder and which one is the target folder! Anyway, the folder on the left is the “source folder” and the folder on the right is the “target folder”.

You can Add/Delete a task from the buttons up top. You can also view the log, or go to the automation screen (more on that later).

When you double click on the “New Task 1″ that is on the left of your screen (if you created a task – you should have), a window will pop up. From this window you can change the task name, add a filter (you can exclude or include specific files, or file extensions; e.g. if you exclude .exe, .exe files will not be synced between folders. If you exclude read.txt, read.txt will not be synced between folders), choose log type/log path, choose what to do if there is a file conflict (copy to target folder, copy to source folder, skip, overwrite according to time modified), and enable/disable file verification (verification does a ‘byte by byte’ verification of the files that were synced to ensure file validity).

When you click the “Preview” button up top, BSP will scan your folders and display the contents of them.

In order to “Start Sync” you have to change the sync type – by default it is set to none. To change the sync type, just click “change” – it is right under the Preview/Start Sync buttons. Once you click change, you have the five options for sync type:

  1. Update target folder only – if a file is changed in the source folder, it will make the same change in the target folder.
  2. Update target folder and delete obsolete files from target folder – same thing as #1 but it also deletes files in the target folder that are not in the source folder.
  3. Make target folder exact same as source folder – it will delete/overwrite the necessary files to make the target folder exactly like the source folder.
  4. Smart Bi-directional Synchronization – if you update a file in the source folder, it will update the file in the target folder and vice versa. It will also delete any files that are in target/source folder but are not in the other folder.
  5. Expanded bi-directional synchronization – if you update a file in the source folder, it will update the file in the target folder and vice versa. If there is a file present in the source folder but not in the target folder, it will copy it over and vice versa.

Once you have set your sync type, just hit “Start Sync” and it will do all the magic for you.

The “Change Task Settings” will take you to the same window as when you double clicked “New Task 1″. “View Task Settings” will just show you the settings in a list – you have the ability to copy it to clipboard if you want.

If you are working with a large sync and you would like to set your computer to shutdown after the sync or you would like to setup the sync to start at a certain time, click the “automation” button up top. A window will popup where it lists all your tasks. Highlight the one you want. Go the the bottom of the window and choose the type of automated sync you want: Daily, By the Minute, Weekly, Monthly, One time, or Real Time Sync. Once you choose the one you want check the “Enable” box for that designated tab. Then set the settings to your desire. If you want to auto shutdown the computer after your scheduled sync, check the box at the bottom where it says “Shutdown computer when…”. Note: You can schedule multiple different automated syncs for the same task. For example, you can schedule a sync to happen daily at 1:15 PM and weekly at 2 PM on Sundays (do not know why you would want to though). You can also schedule automated syncs for multiple tasks.

If you choose real time sync, your folders will be constantly synced/updated in real time…duh. This could lag down your computer so use with caution. There is a “Real Time Sync Activity” tab in this automation window where you can monitor the real time sync activities.

Besides the annoying problems of not being able to initially name your tasks, and not properly labeling which folder is the source and which is the target, there is just one more problem I see with this program:

On their website, it is claimed that Beyond Sync Pro can “Backup files to standard ZIP file”. Fubar pointed out that there is no option to create a .zip file of your files as a backup and I concur. There does not seem to be any way to do this.

Possible Problems:

http://www.beyondsync.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19 [2] (thx Conrad)

Free Alternatives:

Synctoy2 [3] (thx Fubar)

SyncToy helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers quickly and easily. Installing SyncToy2 was kind of annoying because of all the “I agrees” (or deriviates of) you had to agree to. When you first run SyncToy2, you have to create a “folder pair”. The “folder pair” is the same as the source/target folders, except Microsoft called them left and right folders. Once you choose what folders you want synced, you are give nthe option to choose what type of sync:
  • Synchronize – If a file is renamed, updated or deleted in one folder, the same change will be done in the other folder. Also if you had a new file to one folder, the same change will be reflected in the other folder.
  • Echo –  If a file is renamed, updated or deleted in the “left” folder, the same change will be done in the “right” folder. If you had a new file to the “left” folder, that same file will be added to the “right” folder.
  • Contribute – Same thing as Echo but no files will be deleted on the “right” even if they were deleted on the “left”.

After you choose the type of sync, you are promoted to name your folder pair. Once done naming, you can start your syncing. There is a “preview” button at the bottom to enable you to preview the files in the folders. The “Run” button actually starts the syncing.

Like BSP, if you go into “Change Options” you can set an inclusion/exclusion filter. You also have the option to send deleted/overwritten files the recycle bin, and an option to set it to check file contents in case two files are looking similar. There is a box called “Active for run all”. What this box does, if checked, is places this folder pair in a “Run All” list. From this “Run All” list you can active multiple sync at once by hitting “Run All”. This is only possible if you have multiple folder pairs and you can access the “Run All” list the same way you access a folder pair – from the left hand menu.

While SyncToy2 is a nice simple tool, it is missing two key things BSP has: the ability to schedule syncing and real time sync. Fubar mentioned that you have to use Task Scheduler to schedule syncing, but Task Scheduler is not part of SyncToy2, its an external Windows component.

Foldershare [4] (thx Brad)

With Foldershare you can:

  • Keep files in sync across your computers.
  • Share folders with friends.
  • Access your files from any computer.

You need to install Foldershare on all the computers you want to participate in the file sharing and you must sign up for a Foldershare account (Email, Username, Password). You manage your shared files and folders from the website. Via the software that you install on your computer, you can monitor the activity that goes on between syncings.

Synkron [5] (thx Gnat)

This program does basically what BSP does except with one key difference: You can sync together more then just two folders. What this means if one file is change/added in Folder1, Folder2, Folder3 and Folder4 (assuming Folder1/2/3/4 are all in your sync) will also reflect the same change. This is all down through the Snychronise tab – just add more folders as desired.

I cannot figure out what is the difference between adding multiple folders in the Snychronise tab and using MultiSync.

This program is very very buggy. I do not suggest using it until it is out of Beta.

SyncBack [6] (thx TheWatosh)

When installing this program, just note one thing: at the very last window, be sure to un-check “Subscribe to mailing list” – it is checked by default!

With this program you can create “profiles”. The source and target folders are called source and desintation folders. The program basically does the samething as BSP with one exception: It can also sync folders with FTP.

The only problem with this program is that the GUI is not very friendly and the learning curve is very high when compared to BSP.

Allway Sync [7] (thx Martin)

Out of all the alternative software, this one is the best. The GUI is very friendly, it does everything BSP does + has the option to sync folders located in an FTP account, Amazon G3 files, files on OffsiteBox.com or files on a remote Web Server.

The only problem is that the freeware is limited: 20,000 files per 30-day period.

PMnet Verdict:

  • If you want to be automatically sync your folders across multiple computers (that do not have to be on your network), want to be able to access your computer files from different computers, or would like to share your files with other people, try Foldershare.
  • If you just want to do simple syncing between folders and do not mind not being able to schedule syncing, try SyncToy2.
  • If you have a need to make backups of your files easily, and regularly, or need to make copies of the same files and place them in two different locations and would like to easily set up syncs at scheduled times, or need real time sync, get Beyond Sync Pro while it is free.
  • If you need to sync files from your computer to FTP, or other places, try Allway Sync – just remember Allway Sync is limited in uses.
  • If you need to sync files from your computer to FTP and other locations, but will go over the Allway Sync freeware limit and are willing to spend the time to learn how to work the software, try SyncBack.

[/rssless]


Article printed from dotTech: http://dottech.org

URL to article: http://dottech.org/451/beyond-sync-pro/

URLs in this post:

[1] Beyond Sync Pro: http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/beyond-sync-pro/

[2] http://www.beyondsync.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19: http://www.beyondsync.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=19

[3] Synctoy2: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c5-98d0592d8c52&DisplayLang=en

[4] Foldershare: https://www.foldershare.com/

[5] Synkron: http://synkron.sourceforge.net/

[6] SyncBack: http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware

[7] Allway Sync: http://allwaysync.com/

© 2008-2012 dotTech.org | All content is the property of its rightful owner.