You Synchronize

by John Nouveaux

You Synchronize is a file backup utility of the synchronization ilk. That is, You Synchronize compares files and folders in a source folder to files and folders in a destination folder (You Synchronize calls these "local" and "remote" folders respectively). Files which change on one side are copied to the other side, the direction of synchronization being entirely up to you.

The central management tool of You Synchronize is the project. You create multiple projects, each of which synchronizes a different pair of folders. Each project is independent of the others in that one project can synchronize from local to remote while another project can synchronize from remote to local while a third project can perform two way synchronization.

Creating projects is fairly straightforward. You name the project, select the source and destination folders (which can reside on local disks, Mac or Windows servers), select desired options and optionally schedule the project to run automatically whenever you want.

You can choose to preview synchronizations before they occur, changing the synchronization action on an item-by-item basis and review a history of previous synchronizations after they have run.

To prevent accidental loss of data, You Synchronize gives you the ability to save a copy of any removed files on one end of the synchronization in a special archive folder. The archive feature even allows for multiple archive copies of the same file, or a complete file change history over time - a really nice feature if you ever need to get back a version of a file from two weeks ago.

The main expense with archiving is the extra disk space required to keep the changed or deleted files. But hey, disk is cheap right? The archive feature will let you sleep much better at night knowing any file you may accidentally delete still resides in the archive! This is a much better solution than taking the more complicated and iffy data recovery software train. I'm a big fan of good backups rather than data recovery. An ounce of prevention...

Another nice feature of You Synchronize is its ability to base synchronization decisions on a file's contents (via a checksum-based time and state mechanism) and not just the last date and time it was modified (as with most other synchronization utilities).

If you change a local file such that it is the same size after the change, and the system clocks on the local and remote system are out of whack such that the remote copy looks like it has been changed more recently, most synchronization utilities will not be able to figure out these files need to be synchronized. A cautionary word: if you are comparing files for synchronization using this checksum method and you have a lot of files or large files, you'll receive a lesson in patience.

If I could ask for a single change to You Synchronize, it would be better project management. It would be nice to group projects for easier scheduling, perhaps by being able to specify multiple local/ remote pairs per project.

All in all, if you are religious about backups (as I am) and want a synchronization program in your backup toolbox, You Synchronize is an excellent choice.

Product Price: $49.95
Product Requirements: Mac OS X (10.2.6 orhigher);
10MB disk space;
an active Internet connection for product registration
Company Name: You Software
URL: http://www.yousoftware.com/synchronize/