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I work in a company of about 20 people, I need to share some files with all of them in a folder(s) (files are constantly changed by me).., so they need to get the latest changed file automatically (pushed to their computer) What's the best program/system for this task?

I need to be able to administrate their read/write access to the folder on a user level.

Windows Live Mesh seemed to be perfect for me, but unfortunatly there's a limit of only 9 people in that system.

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Are the users on the same network? –  RSMoser Oct 13 '10 at 19:07
I think Syncplicity might do it for you. It's not great, but it might just be able to do what you want, barely. I hate it with a passion though for being apparently the only tool around that can do this. Can't wait till the better sync tools catch up. –  romkyns Nov 19 '10 at 10:56
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4 Answers

BitTorrent Sync

+ No signup required
+ Don't have to pay for unneeded online storage as the sync is direct
+ No sync is too large or too expensive; whatever your upload link can handle
+ Writable and read-only folders supported
+ No arbitrary limits on folder count, location, naming etc
+ Easy to set up me-only folders, family folders, friends folders - flexible
+ Very clever when more than 2 devices present, as it's based on BitTorrent

- No signup means you manage your own settings. New device? Set up by hand.
- No online storage means both devices must be online at the same time
- Uses bittorrent protocol, so may be blocked or throttled
- Only has a concept of a folder, which is flexible but difficult to manage: no
  centralized folder permission management to speak of; entirely manual.


+ Very simple to use
+ DeltaSync
+ Great for sending someone a link to a file you have
+ Great for managing "best photos and videos" for your phone
+ Great for quick desktop access to snaps taken on the phone
+ Great for phone photo backup

- This is not really a "sync" product. It has other uses, but sucks for sync. If you
  try to use it for sync, prepare for a world of hurt.
- Too simplified: can't even sync my D:\Photo folder; insists on it
  being called D:\DropBox or D:\Photo\DropBox. And I have 5 others
  I want synced.


+ Share with other registered users or just yourself
+ Access rights for other users: read-only or read-write

- No delta-sync. Contrary to what Syncplicity is trying to convince me of,
  yes I DO need it. Every time I change an MP3 tag or an IPTC tag on a
  few hundred files.
- Sometimes says things are synced when they aren't.


+ A bit more options in the UI
+ Delta sync

- Can't sync with other users; only with self, i.e. every PC has full
  access to all shared folders.


+ Direct sync, without online storage
+ Sync over LAN while disconnected from the Internet

- Still in development, no public release available


? Try it for yourself, not much experience with this one.

+ Sync over LAN
+ Zero-knowledge privacy policy

- No conflict resolution; just overwrites old files.
- There were a few things I thought were too dumb in the UI.


- No support for folders; a single DropBox-style folder
- No sync with friends; they must use a browser
- No direct sync; everything must be stored on SkyDrive


+ Great for backups

- Sync feature is very primitive, not being the main feature. Only syncs
  local HDD folders with the online disk.

None of these have:

  • Any way to properly set up the initial sync on a mostly-synced PC. All of them will just mush the two together. There is no way to say "hey, this one is the proper copy and this one needs to be made the same".
  • A powerful conflict resolution mechanism. I have to clean out duplicate crap files all the time.
  • Full progress indication on the computer receiving files.

P.S. Please point out any mistakes and I'll correct them; I haven't used some of these as much as others.

Dead products

Windows Live Mesh (going offline 13 Feb 2013)

+ Sync directly without paying for the intermediate data storage (finally!)
+ Delta sync
+ Sync with friends (no read-only though)
+ Simple UI
+ Good indication of what it's doing and which files are stuck (though still
  not always, but the competition seems to think this is altogether irrelevant
  to the user)

- Absolutely no way to sync hidden files or files with certain names
  (thus cannot sync a Mercurial repository without breaking it)
- Arbitrary limitations on the number of folders (10), number of files per sync
- Online storage is fixed at 5GB, and can't be expanded even if you want to pay
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you could of course try coupling this with, say, git... –  Tobias Kienzler Dec 10 '10 at 15:27
@Tobias Do you mean use SCM for some files and a sync tool for others? Otherwise I'm not sure how you'd couple the two. –  romkyns Dec 10 '10 at 17:20
no, I mean re your critique of lacking conflict resolution, use a local SCM and synchronize the repository instead of the files. That would of course additionally include the history, but you could rather easily use e.g. git's mergetool –  Tobias Kienzler Dec 13 '10 at 11:13
Ah, but then I could have conflicts if I submit into two repositories on two PCs - both repositories will change, and the sync tool will be even more unable to resolve this. If I were to use SCM I'd just host it on a server, but IMO an SCM is not very well suited for syncing random stuff. –  romkyns Dec 13 '10 at 13:48
Another major minus for SpiderOak is that it doesn't seem to have any conflict resolution; it just overwrites files without telling you. –  Sam Dec 6 '12 at 8:59
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Jet make it network share, and set up NTFS/sharing permissions on the server.

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A really nice option is Dropbox. It works across network boundaries and runs nicely one the large 3 OSs.

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Dropbox currently does not the settings of permissions. All members of the shared folder have full read and write permissions. –  RSMoser Oct 13 '10 at 19:10
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I've used every option mentioned in romkyns answer and agree completely with his assessments.

An option that does everything you're looking for is PowerFolder It has by far the best syncing infrastructure and allows for P2P between users across the internet if desired. That, coupled with awesome conflict resolution can't really be beat.

It's only downfall is "Ease of setup". It's not necessarily difficult to get up and running, but to set up more advanced features like private P2P can be tough. They have a great help wiki and more often then not you can live chat with support if you have an issue.

Powerfolder is a massively under appreciated application in this space.

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