View Full Version : ChronoSync or Mac Server?

Murray M
Jul 6, 2010, 05:33 PM
I'd Like to keep two folders synced between 3 Macs. I'd like the syncing to happen smartly and in the background. It looks like ChronoSync does this well. Does Mac Server do this as well?

Does Mac Server just serve files or does it manage a smart folder sync?

Jul 6, 2010, 08:32 PM
You can set up portable home folders on Mac Server, which will sync the entire home folder (or folders you choose) with all your clients. However, implementing server has a steep learning curve, and seems like overkill for what you want to do.

ChronoSync is nice, but you'll probably need to leave one of your Macs on all the time as a sort of master, to ensure that everything syncs correctly.

Why not consider DropBox? It would do what you want through the cloud, and it works very well (even cross-platform, if you have any Windows boxes, for example).

Murray M
Jul 6, 2010, 09:32 PM

Simpler=better for me.
I've heard a lot of people rave about Dropbox, but I've heard it takes a lot of processing power in the background. Is this your experience? How much does it slow your system?

Jul 7, 2010, 12:35 AM
I have Chronosync and I love it. Right now, I only use it to copy my documents to my iDisk documents so I won't ever forget anything when school starts back up again. I plan on getting the 2010 MP and have tested Chronosync out when keeping two folders in sync over the network. I tried it with my MBP to my Mac Mini over wifi and it worked fine. With Chronosync, you can set a schedule to it, as you probably know. If a scheduled sync tries to happen and you are not on the network, it will play a sound meaning there was an error. I don't get popups, which is nice cause those can be annoying. And if I remember correctly, Chronosync will automatically sign in as a specific user if you have the password saved in your keychain, which is also nice. So overall, yes, I would recommend Chronosync.

Jul 7, 2010, 04:38 AM

Simpler=better for me.
I've heard a lot of people rave about Dropbox, but I've heard it takes a lot of processing power in the background. Is this your experience? How much does it slow your system?I haven't seen the slowdown you talk about.

I have Chronosync and I love it. <snip> So overall, yes, I would recommend Chronosync.I love ChronoSync too. However, my concern with ChronoSync is setting up an effective sync strategy involving three computers, as the OP stated. The only way I could come up with to do this would be to designate one as the always-on, master copy that would always contain the latest changes; the other two machines would then be set up to do a bidirectional sync with the master. This could be accomplished with one copy of ChronoSync running on the master and a copy of ChronoAgent running on each of the two "slaves."

In the Dropbox scheme, effectively "the cloud" functions as the master copy, each of your three machines is a slave.

Murray M
Jul 7, 2010, 07:25 AM
Thanks all.

Good stuff.

I'm moving away from Mac Server (Apple store confirmed it has limited folder sync ability) and will test out Chronosync and DropBox. Any others I should consider?

Jul 7, 2010, 09:57 AM
I'm a lucky (?) user of Chronosync, DropBox, AND Snow Leopard Server.

I use Chronosync to synchronize my MacBook with my iMac. I teach (part time) and this keeps my class files synchronized between systems. I don't do any three-way syncs with it.

I use DropBox mainly for 1Password access on those two systems, my work PC (read only), and a third Mac I use on occasion. This works great as long as you can keep within the size limitations. No performance problems I've ever experienced.

Snow Leopard Server acts as a file server, and centralized TimeMachine drive. It synchronizes address books and calendars among 5 Macs and 2 iPod Touches. I don't use it for folder syncing as Chronosync does what I need and is easier to set up.

Jul 7, 2010, 06:26 PM
Well if you have MobileMe, you can have your iDisk on all 3 desktops and the internet. But if you don't have it, it may not be worth the $100.

Murray M
Jul 7, 2010, 08:46 PM
Alright. Got ChronoSync. WOW.

Where has this thing been. EXCELLENT product. Great interface. Kinda odd to get used to, but I'm really warming to it. Is this thing gonna screw me somehow? Seems too good to be true.

Actually: this is becoming a new post. I'll re-post in a more appropriate place. Thanks all.