Gone are the days of carrying important files on optical discs and thumb drives. Everyday to probably run your hands across various different keyboards, touch pads and plastic buttons. But working with so many different devices poses some challenges. The hard part is getting the various product to talk to each other. You may store your business files on your work computer and your personal files on your home computer or laptop. Your cell phone may be the hub of your social life, but that means nothing when you surf the web on a Mac. You’d like to watch movies on this system while you work, but they’re stored on windows-based computer else where in your apartment. Sure you can use the removable media like USB to transfer the data but losing a thumb drive or dropping a portable hard disk is high. The solution to this problem of data creep is synchronization. Lots of free applications and utilities can ease your multi-device lifestyle by keeping your critical files up-to-date and accessible to all of your deskbound or mobile systems.
Here are some easy ways to synchronize your files across multiple platforms.
Synchronization of PCs to PCs
There are two primary ways to synchronize files across PCs, be they desktops, laptops or combinations of the two: through direct, system-to-system synchronization or by uploading files to and downloading then from the third party cloud service.
Direct synchronization benefits from faster transfer speeds and unlimited capacity for changed data. Its primary disadvantage is that your have to run the both computers at the same time.
Cloud based synchronization services act as a third party host for your files. Anything you upload will exist in its own protected space on the internet, accessible from any device. The major downside of the cloud is limited capacity. No service provider gives you access to more then a few gigabytes.
Windows Live Mesh offers the best of both worlds. To get started with Live Mesh, head over to mesh.com and click the sign in link.
Synchronization of PCs to Macs
To sync directly between a Windows PC and a Mac, your must first ensure that full network sharing is in effect between the two platforms.
Head online to the 2Brightsparks website and grab the syncback freeware program. While the app installs itself on your windows machine, use windows explorer to surf to a shared network folder on your Apple system. Right click the folder, map it as a network drive and assign it a unique drive letter for your windows PC. Once the syncback installation is complete, launch the application and create a profile, which represents a single link between a folder on your windows machine and a folder on your apple machine.
Synchronization of PCs to Phones and Mobile Devices
If you are hefting apple’s iPhone, you’ll find that the synchronization options built into Apple’s iTunes software are more than required to sync your device with Windows Mail, Outlook, Internet Explorer and Safari as well as with your Photo, video and music folders.