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I'm looking for an app that will let me automatically sync a USB drive with a folder on my home system over the internet. I would like to roam from computer to computer and run this syncing app from the USB drive. Im looking for the same functionally as Dropbox but without the 2gb restriction and without the need to fully install. The files do not need to say online after they are synchronized.

  • Two-way sync between a USB drive and PC over the net
  • Utilizes the full size of the USB drive, not limited by an online storage size. (I don't need online backup or versioning.)
  • Allows the removal of the USB drive. Plugging it in to another computer will resume its sync.
  • While the drive is connected, the app should run silently keeping changed files in sync. (I don't want to run a manual process other than simply starting the app.)
  • Must be able to run as a portable app from the USB drive but can fully install on home pc.
  • Windows 7 support is preferable.

Please let me know if such an awesome app exists.

Before flagging as duplicate please note that other similar posts do not have the same criteria below. But please post links to similar posts in the comments, so their answers are accessible. Thanks!

share|improve this question
To be fair, there is a portable version of DropBox, so you don't need to install it on all the computers you use it with. – Emory Bell May 16 '10 at 2:05
@Emory Bell True but the 2gb limit is stopping me from using it currently. – Tim Santeford May 16 '10 at 2:22
Just as additional FYI about dropbox: The 2GB limit is only initial. Your free account can be upped to 10GB via various means (referral links via invitations and some other functional options). I currently have 4.5GB of space via this route in my free account. I think DropBox Portable is probably your best bet for filling your requirements at this point. – Insomnic May 18 '10 at 16:09
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For some cloud solutions that you can use, see this article:

Windows Live Sync vs. Live Mesh vs. SkyDrive: Which is Right for You?

Live Skydrive is for online storage, Live Sync is primarily for folder synchronization across computers (no storage) while Live Mesh offers a good mix of both though with limited storage space(5GB).

Windows Live Sync might be the solution you're looking for, as it will also use port 80 (http) to sync.

There's also Dropbox. From Do I need to configure my firewall to work with Dropbox?:

Usually no additional firewall configuration is needed because Dropbox uses the same ports a web browser uses. If you can access the Internet using your web browser, the Dropbox desktop application should be able to use the same internet connection to sync your files.

share|improve this answer
Live Sync looks good but it will not let you choose a portable drive as a sync location, Live Mesh has a 5gb total limit, and Skydrive has a 50mb per file limit. – Tim Santeford May 17 '10 at 16:39
@Tim Santeford: It is claimed that if you set up a TrueCrypt volume on the portable drive, it will be treated as an internal drive by Windows. – harrymc May 17 '10 at 20:27
@harrymc - TrueCrypt does work nicely with Windows Live Sync. Although, this method does require installing Live Sync on the computer and launching and configuring TrueCrypt each time, it does get me close so I'm going to accept this as the answer. Thanks!! – Tim Santeford May 21 '10 at 15:50
@Tim Santeford: Thanks for accepting the answer. Note: Configuring TrueCrypt can be automated via a batch file. – harrymc May 21 '10 at 18:51

rsync is the obvious solution, it does require that your home machine is connected and a port is forwarded, you can run an rsync server on the home machine and a simple rsync client on the usb drive.

For extra security you can do rsync over ssh

share|improve this answer
+1 This does look like a good solution but the computer is behind a firewall I have no control over. I'm not able to open an incoming port to the internet. The windows version of rsync does look like it would work for me if I could open a port. – Tim Santeford May 16 '10 at 2:20
Take look at dropbox - the newest version can also sync to a USB drive. BUT it does require you copy the files you want to sync into a dropbox folder. – Martin Beckett May 19 '10 at 23:33

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