A FREE Backup Software Solution For Computers At Home

January 29, 2015

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

April 16, 2012

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

April 6, 2012

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

February 25, 2011

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

December 23, 2010

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

December 19, 2010

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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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#61)

May 26, 2010

If you are someone who is scratching your head when it comes to information technology and computers, then you need to bookmark the sites listed below. These sites are members of the What’s On My PC blogroll community and are excellent computer learning resources. These bloggers work very hard to bring up-to-date and accurate content to the tech community.


Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
Firefox Add-on NoScript

Plato Press
Class-Action Lawsuit Against Google

Laptop Reviews Central
HP Compaq Airlife 100 Smartbook
reviewed at last after long overdue release

TTC Shelbyville
Reclaim Your Privacy on FaceBook

404 Tech Support
Make Your Firefox Search Engine use Google’s
SSL (https) Search for Security Reasons

I Love Free Software
Download Microsoft Fix it Center – Fix PC Problems

Netbook Freeware
Quick Config: Easily Change Netbook Settings Instantly

Worthy Tips
Gmail under phishing attack – Alert: Finalization

Paul’s Home Computing Blog
Recovering from Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Who will win the Freeview HD PVR race?

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Who are you going to call? Mythbusters!

Canadian Tech Blogger
Google Reveals Google TV

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites May 25

Legal experts: LimeWire likely doomed
| Media Maverick – CNET News

Tech-for Everyone
Software License Giveaway: NOD32 Antivirus 4

Sugarloaf Tech
Does your Mac have an excessively loud fan noise?

How to categorize RSS feeds for best experience

Fix the Web’s Biggest Annoyances with Google Chrome

Crazy World of G
Go Away

thePC Security
iPhone 4G Scam on Twitter

How to Remove Win Antispyware Center

Evilfantasy’s Blog
ReclaimPrivacy.org – Facebook Privacy Scanner

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
License Giveaway –
SYNCING.NET Business Edition, 12 Free Licenses

Right On Technology
Google Facial Recognition Technology Too Nosy?

What’s On My PC
An Easy Way To Remote Into Another PC


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Use Your Google Account to Sync Your Chrome Bookmarks

May 20, 2010

If you currently have a Google account and you use the Google Chrome browser, did you know you can activate an option in Chrome that will, in essence, store (and backup) your bookmarks online? As a matter of fact, those stored bookmarks will show up in Google Docs, making your bookmarks available anywhere that you have internet access. I typically get to Google Docs though my Gmail account. When I open Gmail you will see “Documents” at the top left corner of the screen, just above the GMail logo. The “cool factor” to this feature in Google Chrome is that once you activate the bookmark sync option on each computer that you have Chrome installed, your bookmarks are automatically kept up to date on each computer. Of course you have to activate (turn on) the sync option in Chrome on each computer that you have Chrome installed.

For example, I use Google Chrome on (3)-three different computers (that I own). I have the bookmark sync feature turned “on”, in Google Chrome, at each of those computers. As a result, my bookmarks are automatically (and instantly) kept up to date (the same) on each computer (when any bookmarks are added, deleted or changed). In cases where I am using another computer (like my work computer) and I need to get to my bookmarks, I log into my GMail account and go to Google Docs to get to my bookmarks.

So how do you activate this feature in Google Chrome:

To enable bookmark sync, follow these steps on each computer that you’ll be using to access your bookmarks:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Tools menu tools menu.
  3. Select Synchronize my bookmarks.
  4. Sign in to your Google Account in the dialog that appears. (Don’t have an account? Learn how to create one)
  5. If you’ve already enabled the sync feature on another computer, you’ll see a prompt asking you to confirm that your different sets of bookmarks should be merged together. Click Merge and sync to finish the syncing process.
  6. Click OK.

You can enable sync on as many computers as you’d like.

Video on How To Activate Bookmark Sync in Google Chrome



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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#55)

April 14, 2010

How do they do it?  Each week I select links to articles from the sites (blogs) that are composed by the authors who are associated with the What’s On My PC blogroll. The quality and content is amazing and serves as an excellent learning source for those who have the computer and information technology bug. Please, I encourage you to visit these sites.


TTC Shelbyville
So You Thought You Knew the Internet and Networking

Plato Press
Facebook Photos: the New Porn

404 Tech Support
Making a High Quality Slideshow with Animoto

Netbook Freeware
Two Best Free Antivirus Programs for your Windows Netbook

Worthy Tips
Sync files between two computers or laptop securely with Fast

I Love Free Software
Windows SteadyState – Manage Your Shared Computers Easily

Canadian Tech Blogger
Battle Of The Search Engines

WP Xpert
How To Report a Spam related Blog On WordPress.com

Access upto 5 Email Accounts with a Single Click!

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Using the LifeCam Cinema with Windows Live

TuneUp Blog about Windows
Performance Check:
How 200 New Programs Slow Down Your PC (Part 3)

Free PC Security
Malicious Sites April 13

Adobe Issues Workaround for Security Issue

Tech-for Everyone
“Free”, “Cash Back”, “Rebate”, and Alarm Bells

Kaspersky GetSystemInfo utility and site

Google Docs Updates with a Drawing Editor, Real-Time Collaboration, and Speed

How to Remove Digital Protection

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
Download Digital Defender – Pound Malware Before it Pounds You!

Right On Technology
Twitter acquires Tweetie, now official Twitter app

What’s On My PC
Trusting the IT Guy…


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A FREE and PORTABLE File Synchronization Tool

February 12, 2010

If you have been hedging on backing up your personal files because you do not understand the in’s and out’s of backup software, then take a look at FreeFileSync.

FreeFileSync is an open source application, that is FREE, that is available as a portable app, looks good, is fast, and just plain gets the job done.  This application is a good starting point for those who want to backup their computer files (such as documents, pictures, music, movies, etc…) without the heavy learning curve.  I currently use this software at my part-time job (with the IT Manager’s blessing) to backup the office data files (to a portable drive for off site storage) and also use it at home to backup my personal files to external drives.  The only way to learn how backup software works is to jump right in and play around with it.


Key Features of FreeFileSync are:

  1. Compare files (bytewise or by date) and synchronize them.
  2. No limitations: An arbitrary number of files can be synchronized.
  3. Unicode support.
  4. Network support.
  5. Built-in support for very long filenames (more than MAX_PATH = 260 characters)
  6. Synchronization database for propagation of deleted files and conflict detection
  7. Support for multiple folder pairs with distinct configuration
  8. Full support for Windows/Linux Symbolic Links and Windows Junction Points.
  9. Lean & easily accessible UI: Highly optimized for speed and huge sets of data.
  10. Algorithms coded in C++ completely.
  11. All progress indicators optimized for maximum performance!
  12. Create Batch Jobs for automated synchronization with or without GUI.
  13. Focus on usability:
    1. Only necessary functionality on UI: no overloaded menus or icon jungle.
    2. Select all folders via drag & drop.
    3. Last used configuration and screen settings are saved automatically.
    4. Maintain and load different configurations by drag & drop, load-button or commandline.
    5. Double-click to start external application (e.g. show file in Windows Explorer)
    6. Copy & paste all grid data as text
    7. Delete superfluous/temporary files directly on main grid.
    8. Right-click context menu.
    9. Status information and error reporting
    10. Sort file-lists by name, size or date.
  1. Support for filesizes larger than 4 GB.
  2. Option to move files to Recycle Bin instead of deleting/overwriting them.
  3. Ignore directories “\RECYCLER” and “\System Volume Information” with default filter. (Windows only)
  4. Localized versions are available for many languages.
  5. Delete before copy: Avoid disc space shortages for large sync-jobs.
  6. Filter functionality to include/exclude files from synchronization (without requiring a re-compare!).
  7. Include/exclude specific files from synchronization temporarily.
  8. Create sync jobs via GUI to synchronize automatically (can be scheduled or executed via double-click).
  9. Handle daylight saving time changes on FAT/FAT32 volumes correctly.
  10. Portable version (.zip) available.
  11. Native 64-Bit version.
  12. Check for updates from within FreeFileSync automatically.
  13. Copy locked files using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service. (Windows only)
  14. Create regular backups with macros %time%, %date% within directory names
  15. Copy file and folder create/access/modification times when synchronizing


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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#35)

November 4, 2009

image Each week What’s On My PC features links to articles (posted within the past 7 days) from the tech blogs that are on the What’s On My PC blogroll (at the sidebar of the blog).  If you are new or old to information technology and computers, these blogs are awesome resources for keeping in tune.

Canadian Tech News Blog
Top 5 Free Software

Firefox 3.6 Beta 1 now available for Download

Carputer’s News and Computer Tips
Free Software for Business Use

Tux in the Midwest
Another website launched with Drupal

Worthy Tips
How to preset safe mode boot
before rebooting in Windows OS?

Download Free Windows 7 Product Guide From Microsoft

I Love Free Software
ADrive: Free 50GB Online Storage and Backup Space

TTC Shelbyville
Control the Ping Command With Performance Pinging

The Abbey Rose

How to disinfect your computer keyboard

WordPress XML and XHTML Sitemap

Freeware Elite
So, do you know what is a Browser?

Technogran’s Tittle Tattle
Facebook, my pet peeves.

Tuneup Blog
Tuneup Blog Diary: Extend Your Laptop’s Battery Life (Part Two)

Computer Too Slow
Setting up Dual Monitors

Crazy World of G
Open Sesame

Google Chrome Beta Adds Bookmark Sync, Speed Boost [Updates]

HP ProBook 4510s – nice small business notebook

Sugarloaf Tech
How to display your birthday, not your age, in Facebook

Tech-for Everyone
Windows 7 64-bit Adventures

What Did He Mean By That? SMS and E-mail Etiquette

Free PC Security
WOT Community Trust Certificate

AKS-Feel The Change
Free Windows File Manager Alternative

Carol’s Vault
Beautiful and free vector graphics

How to Remove BlockWatcher

See What a Mac User Has To Say About Windows 7

Plato On-Line
Facebook Spamming Practices Revealed

Is You GEEKed Up
Windows 7: What’s Wrong with It?

Evilfantasy’s Blog
Fix MSE Utility – Repair Microsoft Security Essentials

Confessions of a Freeware Junkie
Sending large files to a friend without a web service?
Create a torrent!

Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts
A Seriously Advanced Photo Tool – Free Image Analyzer 1.31

Right On Technology
Little Buddy GPS

Scoroncocolo Tech Pages
Backing Up and Synchronizing Files with SyncToy

What’s On My PC
Using your numeric keypad as a launcher…


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Live Mesh…

November 22, 2008

As an addendum to the recent blog post on Windows Live, there is another “Windows Live” service, that is in “beta” like many of the others; BUT is not widely known.  It is called “Live Mesh”

Live Mesh

Best description of what “Live Mesh” is, I quoted from the web site:

“With Live Mesh, you can synchronize files with all of your devices, so you always have the latest versions handy. Access your files from any device or from the web, easily share them with others, and get notified whenever someone changes a file.”

To take advantage of Live Mesh, you must have a Windows Live account (which is FREE).  If you already have a Hotmail or Messenger account, you are good to go.  Go to the Live Mesh site [Click Here] and initially setup your Live Mesh desktop and the devices you want to sync with (i.e. your home computer, your notebook computer, your mobile devices, your online Mesh desktop, etc.).  During this process you will be prompted to download the Mesh (synchronization) software. Following the installation of the software, you can right click on any folder in Windows explorer and make the folder you selected a Live Mesh folder.  Once the folder is selected, you can change the synchronization options.  Basically what happens at this point is that any file you place in the Live Mesh folder will sync with the online folder OR any changes you make to the online folder will sync with the local folder (depending on the sync options you selected).  I actually took this one step folder and created a shortcut to my Live Mesh folder and placed the shortcut in my “Send To” folder so that all I would have to do is right click on a file I may be working on, send it to my Live Mesh folder, and it automatically would be uploaded to my online folder (as a quick backup option).  I later found that Live Mesh created a menu option to allow you to save a file to the folder.  Learning as I go with this; but, is looking pretty impressive.  Live Mesh currently provides users with 5 GB’s of space.  I do question or wonder why the Live Mesh’s storage space does not tie into SkyDrive, another Window’s Live (online) file storage option???

Live Mesh also provides the ability to share folders with other Windows Live users and the ability to perform remote sessions into your PC.  As I earlier indicated, Live Mesh is in beta and as with any beta software, changes come and changes go.  I will continue to monitor this and the other Windows Live components.


GET IT HERE - Live Mesh