Recently, I have had to make changes to my “computing infrastructure.” This is one of them.
For the longest time I synchronized files between my laptop and desktop with the help of a flash drive.
Then, I discovered Groove but it didn’t really fit the bill and I don’t remember why.
It was on to FolderShare at about the same time that it became a free product. And, it worked wonderfully.
What was really neat about it was that it synced folders peer-to-peer. The files were not on a server and if both computers were on the same LAN, they didn’t even touch the ‘Net!
Microsoft acquired it and it still worked. It became Live Sync and I dreaded each new version but luckily it continued to work. Though, I noticed there were serious lags in file sync. From what I could tell — and I could be wrong — the server played a critical role in deciding which files needed syncing and that introduced a bottleneck. Live Sync became Windows Live Mesh and at some point it included a cloud-based sync capability, which I never used.
This peer-to-peer sync model fit in very well when I got married and my wife delegated all “computer support” to me. So, I extended Live Sync to her computers, duplicated her files on my computer and and included her files in my backups.
Earlier this year, in Feb. 2013, Microsoft discontinued Live Sync, which by now was named Live Mesh. In researching alternatives, I narrowed the field to GoodSync and Cubby, the only two that supported peer-to-peer sync. GoodSync was priced per computer: $30/Windows and $40/Mac; Cubby works on a subscription: $84/year. Given the proliferation of devices, Cubby made more sense.
The interesting thing about Cubby is that it has a free version that includes 5GB of cloud storage but no peer-to-peer capability. Upgrade to Pro (that’s the $84/year subscription), and it includes 100GB of cloud storage. Of course, with the peer-to-peer DirectSync, I don’t care about the expanded cloud storage. Cubby has other features that I haven’t explored yet including customer specified encryption keys.