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Here is the case: I have one laptop, one desktop and one external hard drive. I already synchronise my documents and images by means of Microsoft's Skydrive but my Music and Video's folders are too large to do this.

What I need is something that can sync folders on my laptop with files on my external device. Afterwards, when I connect the external device to my desktop, the desktop should synchronise with the external hard drive so that my music and video's are up-to-date on all devices. It would be nice to have an option to select which files to keep when two new sub-folders or files are the same.

Does anyone know a program, utility or Windows functionality (Mac not needed) that can do this? Both laptop and desktop run Windows 7 (laptop 32 bit, desktop 64 bit).

Thank you.

EDIT: Since both the laptop and the desktop are connected to the same LAN, it's also possible to let them sync via the local network. That would be even more perfect. I don't want it to sync over the Internet (would cost too much time and download/upload) but over LAN should not be a problem.

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8 Answers 8

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+50

I'll throw Microsoft's powertoy SyncToy into the mix. It can provide some nice functionality without getting too over the top with some features you may not need. Also you can use windows 7 and task scheduling to customize when to sync (maybe detect when external drive is connected?). Using this method, you would have to separately set up the desktop and your laptop, but that could also give you some added flexibility.

Here is an article going through steps to automate synctoy (link)

Good luck on your search.

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I'm trying this one. It's great actually, and easy to use. I don't need cloud access for my music or video's, so lan syncing (like this PowerToy does) is great! I'll award you when I'm sure it's good. –  Bram Vanroy Jul 17 '12 at 16:20
    
Edit: I am using it now, but it doesn't go as fast as expected. Maybe it does use the Internet connection rather than the LAN connection? –  Bram Vanroy Jul 17 '12 at 17:06
    
Hope it works. I find that sometimes when I have a very specific use case, simpler tools end up working out better than 'feature rich' options. –  TehBeardMan Jul 17 '12 at 17:06
    
I don't think that it can use a Internet connection if I've read things correctly. How do you have the drive set up in windows? It could also be that the initial sync would take longer than subsequent syncs. –  TehBeardMan Jul 17 '12 at 17:09
    
That's what I thought. Don't think it can use Internet connection and since I link to a local computer (i.e. a path to a device in a local network) it will simply use that path rather than a off-lan IP. It's going faster now. So, I'll mark yours as correct when syncing is finished. Thanks again! –  Bram Vanroy Jul 17 '12 at 17:20

Have you tried Sugarsync? Sugarsync is similar to Dropbox and Skydrive, but with far more functionality and customization. It sounds like it would do the trick for you. The only drawback to Sugarsync is that there is no supported linux client.

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You can Use SparkleShare, which is an Open Source alternative to Dropbox.

It lets you set your own host and use the provided client(which is multi-platform) to connect and sync them.

I haven't been in the loop with the project for a while, but it seems it works with Git repositories, therefore anyplace where you can run Git would work. Look on the site, there is documentation on how to set a server.

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You can give Cubby a try. It is like Dropbox but has unlimited P2P syncing, what means that you can choose an unlimited set of files to sync only between your computers (no clowd) (read the faq).

It is still in beta, but as far as I tested it works very good.

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From: Syncany - Open-source file synchronization and filesharing application

Syncany is an open-source cloud storage and filesharing application. It allows users to backup and share certain folders of their workstations using any kind of storage, e.g. FTP, Amazon S3 or Google Storage.

Even though Syncany is still under heavy development, it already supports a wide variety of different storage types:

  • Local Folder: uses any local folder as storage. This could be any mounted device, network file systems (NFS), or any virtual file system based on FUSE.
  • FTP: uses an FTP folder as remote repository.
  • IMAP: uses an IMAP folder as remote storage. Stores file chunks as e-mail attachments.
  • Google Storage: uses a bucket in the Google Storage service as repository.
  • Amazon S3: uses a bucket in the Amazon Simple Storage Service as remote storage.
  • Rackspace Cloud Files: uses a Cloud Files container as remote storage.
  • WebDAV: uses one folder in a WebDAV as remote storage.
  • Picasa Web Albums: encodes the file chunks in images, and uses a Picasa album as repository.
  • Windows Share (NetBIOS/CIFS): uses a Windows share as data repository.
  • Box.net: uses a Box.net folder as data storage.
  • SFTP/SSH: uses an SFTP folder as data storage.
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1  
Again, please don't copy and paste — quote properly. Thank you! –  slhck Jul 18 '12 at 2:09

In fact I'm looking for a similar application as well. Since all the software out there doesn't really meet my requirement, I'm planning to write my own app. However, for the time being I'm using SyncBack by 2BrightSparks for automatic sync and backup over LAN.

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I used SyncBack program for this. I was synching 2 computers and an external drive. I could specify what to synch and what to do with duplicates. It also allows creation of schedules. I've used only Free edition and it did what I needed pretty well. They also have pro edition which you can buy, but I can't relly say anything about it.

That's the link to their web site:

http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

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I use a thing called Dopus. I do a lot of my personal stuff at work on a USB. When I get home, Dopus syncs the USB with selected folders on my PC.

Dopus is like an addition to Windows Explorer with many useful functions.

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