A FREE Synchronization Program That I Am Messing Around With

I have found that using synchronization software is a very easy way for the home based computer user to backup data vs. the full blown backup type software (which can hard to understand for the home computer user). I am currently messing around with the FREE synchronization program called SyncFolders; that, so far in my testing, could end up being my default (go to) backup software for my computers here at home. If you are interested in giving SyncFolders a try, the source link is reflected below. SyncFolders is also available as a portable app.


SyncFolders main window...

Features of SyncFolders

  • Supports two-way synchronization of files and folders.
  • Can easily be used as backup tool.
  • Shows a preview before the actual synchronization takes place. You can override actions if desired.
  • Detects conflicts or file collisions when a file has changed in both locations since the last sync operation. Therefore, SyncFolders tracks file modifications and deletions in a local database.
  • Propagates deletions and detects file renames.
  • File comparison by date and size or by content.
  • Default actions can be defined in case of synchronization conflicts.
  • Integrates with Windows’ Task Scheduler to support scheduled synchronizations.
  • Supports file and folder filters.
  • Can handle long file names and files of any size.
  • Synchronization from or to UNC paths is supported.
  • Supports multiple synchronization rules in a single rules file.
  • Deleted or overwritten files can be moved to the recycle bin or to a time-stamped history folder.
  • History files can be deleted after a user-defined period.
  • Unlimited number of files.
  • Synchronization from command line.
  • Can ignore one-hour timestamp differences caused by DST switch for synchronization to FAT file systems.
  • Easy-to-use.
  • Unrestricted freeware.
  • No spyware, adware or malware.
  • Portable, although .NET Framework is required.

A FREE Backup Software Solution For Computers At Home

What I have found (over the years) is that most folks, who own computers at home, do not back up their files. The reason, in most instances, is that folks feel it is beyond their level of comprehension and is a difficult task.

Today, I want to share with you a FREE backup software solution that may be helpful, called Allway Snyc that is easy to learn, yet is powerful in what it can be configured to perform. I especially like that there is not only a Windows install version; but, also a portable app version (called Allway Sync ‘n’ Go). As a matter of fact, the portable version is what I use to backup my personal files to an external drive. Simply put, you enter the source path, determine what direction to perform the sync, and then enter the destination path. There are numerous configuration options (such as real-time automatic backups or syncs when file changes occur) to customize each backup job. The FREE version of Allway Sync should be enough to serve the moderate use of the typical home based user in the backing up of personal files. If not, definitely consider buying the Pro version.

Allway Sync

In a nutshell, this is what Allway Sync is about:

Allway Sync uses innovative synchronization algorithms to synchronize your data between desktop PCs, laptops, USB drives, remote FTP/SFTP servers, different online data storages, and more. Encrypted archives are supported. Allway Sync combines bulletproof reliability with extremely easy-to-use interface. Also Allway Sync can process Apple MAC data via Sync Gateway OS X software.


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Sync Box, Google Docs, Evernote and More With SocialFolders

If you use Box (online file storage service) and Google Docs, then you are well aware that there is no easy way to sync your online files (and folders) with your computer; UNTIL NOW!


I came across an online service called SocialFolders where you can sync your files at Box, Google Docs and more (such as Evernote) from one location. You can also transfer files from one service to another and the cool part is that it acts just like any other folder you are accustomed to in Windows explorer. SocialFolders performs the sync tasks in the background while you are working on your computer giving you an automated way of backing up your files (online and offline). – (see video below)

SocialFolders enables you to sync (nerdy word for synchronize) the Windows Explorer with your online accounts: social networks, photo sharing applications, online storage services, etc.

Syncing means that the content of your websites will be updated when you update it in your local folders, and vice-versa.

To get started using Social Folders:

  • Download and Run the install package and follow the instructions.
  • Once SocialFolders is installed, a dialog box will appear inviting you to sign up. Fill in the required information and the application will launch automatically.
  • Right click on the SocialFolders icon in the systray to get started with SocialFolders.


  • At this point you can select the services you desire to sync with.

SocialFolders currently supports Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs, Instagram, Photobucket, SmugMug, Box, YouTube, Picasa and Twitter. Appears SkyDrive support may be in the works… From what I can tell, it appears that SocialFolders allows you to sync up to three services with the free version.

Note that YouTube allows only uploads, whereas Instagram allows only download. All the other services work both ways.



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Backup Your Files With FreeFileSync

Failing to backup your personal files is a disaster waiting to happen. To prevent this disaster from occurring get yourself a good external hard drive and use FreeFileSync to perform the backups.


FreeFileSync is not intended to perform backups of your entire drive; instead it is designed to backup your personal files. For example, I use FreeFileSync to backup (and sync) my documents, pictures, music and video files to an external drive. There are two things I especially like about FreeFileSync:  1.)  It is easy to use and learn and 2.) You can run it as a portable app (i.e. from your flash drive).

FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool providing highly optimized performance and usability without needless user interface complexity.


  • Detect moved and renamed files and folders
  • Copy locked files (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
  • Detect conflicts and propagate deletions
  • Binary comparison
  • Full support for Symbolic Links
  • Run as a batch job
  • Multiple folder pairs
  • Support very long path names > 260 characters
  • Transactional file copy
  • Cross-platform: Windows/Linux
  • Expand environment variables like %USERPROFILE%
  • Access variable drive letters by volume name (USB sticks)
  • Native 32 and 64-bit builds
  • Versioning of deleted files
  • Optimal sync sequence prevents disc space bottlenecks
  • Full unicode support
  • Highly optimized performance
  • Include/exclude files via filter
  • Local or portable installation
  • Handle daylight saving time changes on FAT/FAT32
  • Use macros %time%, %date%, et al. for recurring backups
  • Case sensitive synchronization
  • Built-in locking serializes multiple jobs running against the same network share



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Geek Squeak #101: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office

Google is worthy of Geek Squeak #101 for the NEW Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office…  If you are a Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint user (2003, 2007, 2010) and a Google Docs user, this plugin from Google will sync your Microsoft Documents, as indicated, with your online Google Docs account. The real power with this plugin is that you can share, backup, and simultaneously edit Microsoft Word, PowerPoint®, and Excel® documents with coworkers.

For home based users of Microsoft Office and Google Docs, this is a great way to sync (backup) your docs to your Google Docs account.

[Click Here] to watch video about Google Cloud Connect

Video - Google Cloud Connect

How does it work?

Syncing and sharing documents: Google Cloud Connect tracks, manages, and syncs all changes on your Microsoft Office documents into one updated version for each document. Each document that you sync through Google Cloud Connect gets a unique URL or web address that you can share with collaborators through IM or email. Depending on the privacy setting you’ve selected for the document, other people will be able to click this link and view the document in the browser.

Collaborating simultaneously on documents: Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office lets you easily share documents with other people. When you add other people as editors to a document, they receive an email letting them know that you’ve shared a document with them. From there, they can open a link to view the document in the browser, or if they want to make edits, they can download the document and open it in Microsoft Office. When an editor makes changes to a document in Microsoft Office, all changes get synced and appear on your screen.

Revision history: Using Google Cloud Connect, you can edit a document online and offline. Every time you sync a document, the revisions of a document are stored so you can easily roll back to a previous version. You can go back to any prior revision of a document at any time.

To start using Google Cloud Connect in Microsoft Office, you’ll need to install it first. Here’s how:

  1. Download Google Cloud Connect.
  2. Open Microsoft Office.
  3. Click Login. A window opens, requesting permission to access your Google Account.
  4. Enter your email and password, then click Sign in.
  5. Click Grant access.


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Software To Sync a Folder On Your PC with Google Docs

I have been using and testing Google Docs to determine if it is a practical resource and solution for the everyday home computer user.

Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage service offered by Google. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. – Wikipedia

During my testing I have been creating documents, primarily using the word processor and spreadsheet components of Google Docs. I am finding that for what the home based computer user would need, Google Docs is a practical FREE solution. So before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office, give Google Docs a try.  As a matter fact, Google Docs and Microsoft Office (i.e. Word and Excel), at the basic level of document formatting, work together nicely.

As a result of my testing, one feature that I believe is needed is the ability to automatically sync (or backup) your Google Docs to your PC. Google has yet to address this concern; however, if I know their strategy, this is something that we will eventually see happen. Keep in mind Google Docs is in constant development and when advancements are made, they are very noticeable. You can give Google Docs a try with Google’s online demo [HERE]

In the meantime, the best solution I could find (for FREE) that allows  you to sync your online Google Docs to your PC is an application called Syncplicity.


Syncplicity instantly syncs files across your Macs, PCs and Google Docs, so that your files are always available across all the computers you use and the Web. Instant sync with automatic back-up to our cloud ensures you have access to your data wherever you are, and that your days of worrying about manual back-ups and data loss are over. Our instant restore means you can recover deleted or lost files immediately.

Once you install and setup your online Syncplicity account, you will see in the file browser of Syncplicity a tab titled, “Google Docs”.  This is where you begin the process to setup the sync between Google Docs and your PC.

Once you have everything setup, it may take awhile for any Google Docs that you have stored online to show up on your PC. Now that I have Syncplicity up and working, any Google Doc files I work on, from any location in the world, will now sync with the folder I have setup on my PC.  Same goes, with any Google Docs I work with from the PC level will automatically be synced with my online account.


To learn more about Syncplicity and what it can do, click [HERE] . For my situation Syncplicity has worked seamlessly and gets the job done. Who knows, this may be the next cloud app on Google’s payroll.


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A FREE Desktop Reminder Utility for Google Calendar

As I continue to experiment with the various cloud based applications that are available through Google, I recently began using Google Calendar to schedule the events in my life. I have used (and tested) numerous personal information managers and must say if you are looking for a way to manage your life events, on the cheap, then consider Google Calendar as an option.

There are many ways to sync your Google Calendar with apps that are available, say for mobile phones, but there really is not much I could find that allows me to sync my Google Calendar straight away from my computer’s desktop. In other words I was looking for something, hopefully a portable app, that I could use offline to add or delete events; however, when I went back online, my events would automatically become synced with my Google Calendar. I also like the idea of having an offline app that would serve as a backup to my calendar in the event the Google service or my account suddenly went south.

One app that I found, that works very nicely and meets the criteria l had set forth of being FREE, PORTABLE, with SYNCHRONIZATION features is a small application called GMinder.


GMinder is a reminder program that waits in your system tray and alerts you when you have an upcoming Google Calendar event. GMinder supports multiple calendars and allows you to configure how you want to be alerted. Since it downloads your events, it works offline and enables you to preview your agenda of events. New events can be added to your Google Calendars using a Quick Add feature.

I am still testing GMinder and found that it is really a nice utility that really serves a good purpose; however, my only concern at this point is whether the development cycle of GMinder is continuing or not. The last release was July 2009.  Irregardless, at the moment, it is working for me and serves a real purpose.

If you are aware of any FREE apps out there that will sync with Google Calendar, let us know by leaving a comment below.  As always, to my readers, thank you and comment often.  I love hearing from you!


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