I have a laptop and a desktop I want to keep files up-to-date on both of them. I was thinking of creating a hard drive on 'server' and then changing "my documents" to that server path. It should work all right when there are two computers but what if a laptop uses wireless access at my house and more importantly, when it's connected wirelessly on a different IP range when I'm at college?

For the second case, I guess, creating a VPN/remote server connection to the desktop will work, but if I want to make it automatic (my documents mapping), is there way to do that?

  • What size of content are you anticipating? – nerdwaller Oct 25 '12 at 19:51
  • Just files. PDF, .docx. 200MB-300MB would be the max. The purpose is convenience - I just want to click on My Documents and it should all show up. – user1078719 Oct 25 '12 at 19:57

Gab asked a similar question in a more explicit manner. He already investigated some solutions:

  • Unison
  • OwnCloud
  • Sparkleshare

Keep in mind, that Unison is not under active development any more and UTF8 filename encodings require Cygwin.

  • i use UTF8 filenames a lot and unison didn't have a problem handling them (Windows 8). the only issue comes during synchronization, the sync status msg for the UTF8 filenames are garbled. Have not troubleshooted if it is resolvable. – RJ- Feb 18 '13 at 13:25
  • I used Unison 3 years ago and in order to sync German letters in file names, I had to use Cygwin and set a flag. Thought it's still the same, because their homepage says it's not under active development any more. – Stefan K. Feb 18 '13 at 13:33

If your file sizes are that small, it makes sense to just use a service like Dropbox.

If you haven't heard of it before, it syncs the files in that folder across all systems you install it on and provides online access to the files as well. (Let's suppose you're in the library and realize you wish you had paper1ThatIsImportant.docx).

I would recommend if you are worried at all about security, that you enable two step authentication (which requires an authenticator app from a smartphone/ipod touch/etc. or recovery passwords)

Other programs exist, but that gives you 2.5gb free to start with chances to gain more. And Dropbox is simple to get up and going.

  • Thanks. Actually, I want to have my hands dirty with building my network server, messing with firewall, and configuring it all myself. – user1078719 Oct 25 '12 at 20:06
  • My bad, then yeah - I would probably set-up a VPN and has a hook that runs on login. The tough part there is that home IP's rotate sometimes (not often), so you may be finding yourself watching for that. What OS's are you running on the two? – nerdwaller Oct 25 '12 at 20:10
  • WIn7x64. I had plans for buying a cheap used computer and making it a data server and also having remote connection ability. – user1078719 Oct 25 '12 at 20:17
  • Alright, I will allow the pros to it then. I am a linux junkie. I know you'll need to open a port in your router at home (as you probably know) and such. A few VPN options: openVPN and Hamachi. Good luck! – nerdwaller Oct 25 '12 at 20:21

install OwnCloud on a server, open your firewall and install

Client(s) for Windows/Mac/Linux. It will work as DropBox, but yours

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.