When we use several devices with the same files, such as conventional hard drives, external hard drives, SD cards or USB devices, it is not always easy to maintain proper synchronization between them. Obviously, it is not logical to have a copy of everything everywhere, but it is necessary to have both the latest versions of each file, in order to use the space efficiently, such as having a centralized register or control, so that we know where There is every file.
It is important to point out, before getting involved, that we are not talking about making backup copies. And this copy process is different from synchronization. In a backup process, we will only take a copy of those files and save it to a unit, in anticipation of a possible failure of the main unit. But when it comes to synchronization, what we are talking about is having that content with its latest versions, properly organized and up to date. So, having made this necessary clarification, we will see the options we have available to execute this file synchronization correctly.
My Briefcase, a surviving classic
My briefcase is a Windows tool that already has several versions between us and that has a very interesting utility to keep files synchronized. It is very useful for those users who need to work on several computers at the same time and does not want to complicate life much, thus keeping the files updated both on the external hard drive or the memory unit that we move. as well as in the main hard disk in which we work.
The best thing about this option that includes Windows is that it is so easy to use that we will hardly need a few minutes to start it up. To do this, simply create a briefcase in the corresponding remote unit, using the context menu that appears on it when you press with the right button. Once created, we can change the name of the case if necessary. Next, we will keep the files inside the briefcase, it being preferable to do it from complete folders, in order to obtain better results.
Once all the content is loaded, we can disconnect the device from the PC. At this time, we will have a copy of those files on the external hard drive that we can synchronize with the files stored on the PC or laptop by simply choosing the corresponding option. The best thing is that this process can be executed in both ways so that we can create the drive on the external hard drive to synchronize the contents of the PC or on the PC to synchronize that of the external disk.
Moving on to the commercial solutions sector, Allway Sync is one of the most interesting options of the moment. This program allows you to maintain proper synchronization between external and internal hard drives and other storage units. A model that uses a synchronization system that we can manage in the way that suits us so that synchronization follows the principles or instructions we have given you.
This process is very complete, so it not only synchronizes data but also deletes, for example, those files that have been deleted from the original source. And to keep everything under control, this tool offers you both a complete synchronization history and a differential report, so it is easy to see what changes in each synchronization process and keep this procedure controlled.
Synkron is another good option to execute this synchronization process, without too many complications. A process that you can control in each element, either from the folders you want to be synchronized as when determining when each of those files should be modified. All this without forgetting the option to exclude files or recover deleted items if necessary.
As if all this were not enough, this application is also multiplatform, so it can be used comfortably in both Windows and a computer with a Mac system. A complete application with a simple interface, which is finished off with all the necessary information so that you are aware of what the application is doing, thus facilitating the corresponding control of the process and knowing what moves in each file.
As a last option, we present another free program that makes the synchronization process between devices simple. We talk about FreeFileSync. An application with which we can establish the characteristics that this copy process should have so that we minimize the copies as far as unnecessary files are concerned. In addition, it is a free software program, so we will not have problems to use it in any version of Windows.
One of the advantages of this product is that it uses a drag technology, so it is enough to move files between units to proceed to their synchronization. A synchronization that can be done through changes in date and time, changes in size or in other parameters that we have established.
This process can be managed through the use of scripts so that we further automate the process in case of handling large volumes of data. And as if that weren’t enough, since we can work with different projects, we will also see those that have not been open for a long time, to avoid forgetting that could translate into risks for our data.
The alternative, in the cloud
Although we have talked about ways to synchronize data on external hard drives and other physical drives, an interesting alternative may be to turn to the cloud. Currently, we have services such as Dropbox or even Google Drive, which allow us to upload content to the cloud and, through specific programs, keep it properly synchronized and secure.
An alternative that, however, may have a cost in case we need a large amount of data. Although everything is a matter of seeing if the convenience and additional security that this solution offers us suits us.