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Keeping folders synced between several machines

I am wondering if there is such a thing as software that:

  1. Synchronizes user-specified folders between my four (Windows) computers
  2. Syncs over LAN if possible and internet if not
  3. Does not use cloud storage or a third-party server to sync

Cloud storage is costly and limits the volume of data I can sync. It also slows down the synchronization to uploading data to an unnecessary fifth computer, especially when I'm just syncing over LAN and that computer would be remote. (As far as offsite backup goes, I'm already running a cross backup with a friend, so I don't even want additional cloud space.) I would like it to be fast if possible since I have a gigabit LAN in mind.

I've looked and looked at various software. Everything seems to be geared towards more conventional cloud backup or is restricted to LAN or has some other usage constraints. It's getting so that I'm feeling like writing my own sync software - am I the first to have these ideas? - but I have time restraints due to real life.

I'm asking if any solution for this even exists right now. Does anyone have any experience in setting up this kind of thing that could help point me in the right direction?

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marked as duplicate by random Jul 30 '11 at 17:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Just curious - why the downvote? Did I do something wrong? –  jnm2 Jul 30 '11 at 17:02

1 Answer 1

I've had some success using SyncBack (there are both free and paid versions) to synchronize files over my LAN, specifically between my desktop and laptop. What I did was setup an FTP server on my desktop (there are lots of them available for free), and then configured SyncBack to look at the same folder hierarchy on my desktop and laptop.

You can configure the program to synchronize files based on timestamp, filesize differences, etc. The beauty of this is, if you wanted, you could forward some ports to allow access to the FTP server over the internet, and synchronize your files from anywhere. Even if you didn't go with SyncBack, you could still access your files via FTP over the internet (allow you can configure SyncBack to do this as well).

Just FYI, I used Quick 'n Easy FTP Server Lite to setup the FTP server on my desktop. Again, there are many choices, including Filezilla Server.

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