I’m not exaggerating when I say that file syncing is one of the best tools I’ve ever discovered as a freelance writer. With file syncing, I can switch between my desktop and laptop effortlessly and always have the most up to date files at both computers. The days of transferring files to and from USB flash drives are long gone.
Here’s how it works:
You download and install file syncing software on every computer that you own. Your file syncing software provider will also give you storage space in the cloud. Now, every time you save a file in your specially marked “sync” folder at one computer, that file is automatically transferred or updated at every other computer. So you can switch back and forth as much as you want and you will always have the latest version of files at both computers.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff. The following file sync tools are the best ones that I’ve found so far. Each of these tools has its own strengths, but they all do a nice job at keeping files updated across multiple computers. Even better – they all give you a little free space that you can use for as long as you want.
Dropbox is the first file syncing tool that I ever used and it still has a special place in my heart. The software is free to download and easy to setup. Once you have Dropbox installed on your computer, you get 2 GB of free storage space.
Dropbox integrates with your desktop so that you can create a shared folder that acts just like any other folder on your computer. Every file that you save inside this folder is updated and shared with every other computer that you have linked to your Dropbox account. You can even work on files while offline, and then Dropbox will update those files as soon as you get connected to the internet again.
SugarSync is similar to Dropbox except SugarSync gives you 5 GB of free space instead of 2 GB. SugarSync also comes with a couple of extra features that Dropbox doesn’t offer. For one, SugarSync allows you to specify any folder on your computer for backup. Dropbox limits you to just a single “Dropbox” folder.
SugarSync also supports uploading and syncing via e-mail. For example, if someone sends a large file to you via e-mail, you can forward that e-mail to a special e-mail address and SugarSync will automatically upload and sync that file without you having to do anything else.
Despite its funny name, SpiderOak is a serious competitor in the sync/backup industry. Out of all the free file sync tools on this page, SpiderOak has the most flexible syncing capabilities of them all. SpiderOak can sync multiple folders across any number of computers. For example you can sync one folder between your desktop and laptop and another folder between your work computer and 5 of your employees’ computers.
SpiderOak can also sync folders between different operating systems. You can sync folders between Windows, Mac and Linux systems with ease. SpiderOak comes with 2 GB of storage space and paid plans start out with 100 GB of space for $10 a month.