Friday, June 21, 2013

Last word on Syncing...for now (Yeah...sure...)

I may eventually get around to completing my re-reviews in "Syncing devices: June 2013 edition", but it may take awhile, a loooong while. I'm pleased if others find my experiences useful. However, I tend to focus on my specific needs rather than on things for their own sake, so information may not be as detailed as some would like.

I think (I've said this before!) I'm where I need to be at the moment and my next project (tackling Windows 8!) awaits. So, here's where I'm stopping for a spell.

It's hard to be critical of Dropbox. Dropbox is the granddaddy of all of the synchronization/backup services and it does it all well. But, after a colleague's activities resulted in my computer being audited, I decided I needed a second service to use for business so that I could restrict my use of Dropbox to my personal needs. And so the journey began.

Most services create a special folder on one's computer (Dropbox creates Dropbox, Syncbox creates SyncFolder, and so on). File and folders to be synchronized or backed up are moved to that special folder. The more I investigated and used these services, the more it bothered me. I hate moving things around. If I could specify individual folders to be synced, I'd need only one service. I could separate work and personal files by backing up different folders on different computers. Many services are promising this feature, but there aren't many that have it, yet. I know of two worth mentioning.

After a rough start up that had me demanding (and receiving!) a refund for their Pro service, LogMeIn's Cubby has become a viable option.

Pluses worth mentioning

  • Backup on LMI's servers, up to the amount of space one purchases (5 GB free, %50/100GB).
  • Unlimited Direct Sync that does not get backed up. Just the thing for large music libraries. However, if there is no backup, then erasing a file from one computer erases it from all others, as well.

Minus worth mentioning: I'm not sure how much of a minus this is, but Cubby almost always seems to be doing something in the background that involves 3 to 6% on my CPU's processing power. I'm not sure what impact this is having.

Then there's BitTorrent's BTSync. It's free. It's much like Cubby's Direct Sync. The only downside I can see at the moment is that it doesn't provide for cloud storage.


  • I continue to use Dropbox for personal files, largely out of habit, but also because I like the feature that automatically uploads photos from my Smartphone to my Dropbox.
  • I continue to use Cubby for two work-related folders, but am having second thoughts.
  • I'm using BTSync to sync my music library between my desktop and laptops. I'm thinking of replacing Cubby with BTSync as I become more comfortable with BTSync.
  • Since BTSyc does not provide for cloud storage, I purchased a large external drive and configured my desktop computer to back itself up regularly. That way, if something bad happens, the worst it can be is that I lose files that have not yet been backed up.

I need to say something about backups. I will in another post.


  1. Since most of us at the office use Skydrive for file-sharing, my Dropbox is mostly used for syncing my own files. That being said, installing a Dropbox sync in your office PC probably wasn’t a good idea, especially since you have folders that sync with people that are not in your work circle.


  2. Keeping both seems to be a good idea; Dropbox for personal and Cubby for work. As for the point of moving files around, I think it’s ok to have redundant copies of files, especially work files. Though I might consider just moving my entire photo folder to the Dropbox sync folder so it’s all in one place.

    Ruby Badcoe

    1. Yes, except now it's Dropbox and BTSync, Had I not started with Dropbox, it might have been just BTSync which allows one to synchronize any particular folder across any set of computers.