For those who would like a secure program that not only synchronizes your data on multiple machines but can also create secure back-ups, GoodSync is definitely worth trying. This fast, visually appealing and easy to use program provides instant access to your files from virtually any location – and it manages to do this without a heavy burden to your system memory. Though GoodSync might appear slightly intimidating for the novice user, the highly informative step-by-step popup windows will quickly bring you up to speed with the programs functionality and interface. You can choose to sync files directly from machine to machine, to an external drive/server, mobile device or to a remote location using WebDAV, ftp and more. The program supports bidirectional and unidirectional syncing, file filtering and job scheduling but the most impressive part of its design is GoodSync’s analyzer which allows you to view and compare file changes before they are made.
Siber Systems has managed to create a practical, smart synchronization tool that looks as good as it functions. GoodSync can transfer/synchronize almost any file locally (by directly syncing between desktops, laptops, servers, and external drives) or it can create back-ups to remote servers and devices using FTP, SFTP or WebDAV – to name a few.
However, its greatest strength may lie in its analyzer. The Siber Systems’ algorithm is capable of analyzing two files to determine if they are compatible before syncing begins. For example, if you have modified the same file on two different machines and the drafts were vastly different, GoodSync would inform you of an incompatibility issue and not overwrite either file – very handy indeed.
Setting up GoodSync is quick, simple and to the point – creating synchronization jobs are much the same. Once installed, you will be asked to create a new job by selecting the two folders you would like to synch; you can then analyze the folders to avoid incompatibilities. Folders can be set to either create back-ups (one-way) or synchronization which means that changes made in either folder will be synced to both.
Along with the usual features such as file filtering, one-way and two-way syncing, back-ups and job scheduling, you’ll also find a few more features that will impress. For example, GoodSync also includes safety measures that ensure files aren’t accidentally overwritten or duplicated and if a file has been changed on two different computers, GoodSync will not change or sync the file in question – instead it will log the discrepancy in events and you will have to manually combine the files. The job “analyze” mode also allows you to view how files will sync before making any changes.
Back-ups and syncs can be scheduled at specific intervals, to help minimise workflow disruptions, or you can have it do a complete back-up every day. GoodSync can also be set to run whenever a device comes online. Plus the program computes the amount of free space available on the destination device to ensure there is enough room for the files that you are trying to transfer.
GoodSync’s current re-designed interface is visually appealing for the experienced user and perhaps slightly daunting for the novice but there are lots of built-in walkthroughs and the GoodSync website has plenty of step-by-step pictorials to help you along the way. Even without these, the system has a very logical flow that anyone with minimal computer experience can easily follow.
A simple click on the analyze button will allow you to see all of the files that you’ve recently modified or created that need to be synced. Though many synchronization programs tend to place a heavy burden on your RAM, GoodSync is pleasantly light – even on systems running a minimal 500Mb of memory.
Siber Systems have provided pictorial walkthroughs on their website to help guide you through most common tasks. The FAQs also offer plenty of information covering everything from installation through to synching, though the tutorials section could do with a little more substance.
If you run into technical issues while using GoodSync, the program has a built-in function to contact technical support and it sends diagnostic information to help technicians resolve the problem more efficiently. Siber Systems only offer web based support at this time which is disappointing and the lack of email and telephone support might put some people off.