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FreeFileSync: Sync & Backup Your Data

by Behrad
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Files, files and even more files! We live in a world where almost everything is done digitally. All the files & folders you have, including pictures, are most likely spread through different devices. But how can you combine all of your data into 1 single place and make sure that they stay updated?

Well, here is FreeFileSync which comes in. This is a great open source tool for Windows, Linux and macOS. This application takes away the “pain” of manually copying each file & folder you have to a different location. Basically FreeFileSync scans your folders and determines the differences between the source and the target folder and transfers only the minimum amount of data needed. So it will only look for the changes on the files & folders which is really great!

As mentioned you can use FreeFileSync to sync your data but also to back the up from your laptop to, let’s say, your NAS. FreeFileSync can look a bit overwhelming to start with but believe me it’s not! It’s a capable piece of software which is really handy to use. They also offer some handy tutorials which gives you insight on some handy topics.

How to install and set-up?

  1. The installation is really easy, simple download the application, run the installer and open the application.
  2. You’ll be presented with a blank screen where you can start configuring your data.
    1. The left column gives you an overview of all of your saved configs.
    2. In the middle column you can choose the source of the data which you want to backup / synchronize in the current config set.
    3. In the right column you can choose the target of the data which you want to backup / synchronize in the current config set.
  3. Save your paths in a Config set.
    NOTE: You could create 1 config set which then can maintain one or more paths.

Once you’re done you can choose the option which needs to be done for this set; Two-way Sync, Mirror, Update and Custom. This is something which you need to think about and configure based on your use case.

For example; I have some config sets which are set to update: So only moving files & folders from source to target without touching anything on the target side.

However on some others set I would like to sync using Two-Way option. When using this, all of the changes from source are replicated to the target and vise versa.

As soon as you run your config sets, you’ll see the results at the bottom of the application. This shows you how many files & folders have been added, removed etc.

In case that you don’t to run the application manually you can use the Task Scheduler within Windows and run the necessary jobs on a specific timing.

Conclusion:

As you can see FreeFileSync is a complete solution and can meet almost each user case. This makes the application very easy to use and highly customizable. This makes synchronizing / backing up your data to a different location very easy. How do you handle the synchronization of your files? Let me know in the comments.

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