Best folder/file syncing solution for my needs?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by GanChan, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. GanChan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    I'm pretty ignorant on syncing and sharing issues, so please bear with me....

    I'm currently running a Mini as my home desktop and a Macbook Air as my mobile unit. I'd like to keep the same set of master folders (Business, Personal, Pictures, etc.) in both computer's Home folders, and have the contents of these master folders stay in sync with other. I could create versions of the master folders in iCloud, but each master folder also has countless smaller folder within it -- and iCloud doesn't let me copy folders over; only files. Also, I'd rather have up-to-date sets of master folders on each hard drive, not just in the cloud.

    Currently my old-school solution is to simply use the Mini as the "hero" unit, copy updated master folders to a USB key once a week, and then work from the USB key on the Air. But there's got to be a better way.... Any recommendations to suit what I'm trying to do?
  2. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    Sounds like maybe BitTorrent Sync might be what you want. You're not looking for a cloud-based solution (get to files from anywhere), you're more looking for keeping a particular set of files on both machines.

    Obviously something like Dropbox could be used, but with that your "hero" copy of the files become the ones in the cloud, which may not be what you want.
  3. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    Yeah, that's a concern -- but should it be, I wonder? I'm biased toward the old "hard drive" approach, but maybe that's just my age talking..... If I did keep the hero folders in the cloud, I might feel compelled to download weekly copies onto each computer and/or USB key. Or would that be silly?

    Looks the only way to "set it and forget" would be to go with Dropbox/etc., something that preserves folder structures, and go with a fully "virtual hard drive" model....
  4. b0fh666 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2012
    i use good old rsync to external drive then back... works wonders.
  5. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 3, 2004
    So you just ignored my post, then.
  6. GanChan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2005
    Actually, I was agreeing with your suggestion of DropBox and possibly keeping the hero folders in the cloud, assuming I can get over the idea of keeping the hero folders in the cloud (which was another aspect of the situation you so kindly pointed out).

    Sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way. I thought I was musing on the suggestion you posted. But as I noted, I'm pretty ignorant about all this stuff.

    Hope your day improves! :)
  7. flur macrumors 68020


    Nov 12, 2012
    Sugarsync. It works similar to Dropbox only you can sync the folders where they are rather then moving them all into the dropbox folder. It also keeps everything you delete (in a separate section of your storage) until you tell it to remove those files from your account, and does versioning.

    As far as downloading for a weekly backup - there's no need to ever do this unless you've disconnected a folder from your backup/sync set and forced it to live only in the cloud. Otherwise, everything that's in the cloud should be on your machines (depending on how you've set up the sync of course).
  8. bingeciren macrumors 6502a


    Sep 6, 2011
    I have a similar setup. I have two Mac Minis in far apart locations and an Air on the go in between. I use BitTorrent Sync to have identical copies of my Documents, Downloads and my iPhone's picture in all my Macs.

    My Documents and Downloads folders are well organized with many sub folders. BitTorrent Sync preserves all the folder structures and sync only the files changed.

    BitTorrent Sync has two major advantages: 1) You have your own private cloud, so none of your files reside in someone's 3rd party cloud server. 2) When the machines share the same network, syncing is done locally (faster) and syncing over the internet is used only when the machines don't share the same network.

    For up to 5 folders (each folder can have unlimited sub folders) BitTorrent Sync is free. For unlimited folders or group sharing, it is $40 per year.

    For my needs, the free version is more than adequate.
  9. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014
    Dropbox syncs in near real-time (within the limits of the data connections to the syncing devices anyway). As soon as you change a file on one device Dropbox syncs to all others when they become available. "Hero files" is a bit of an outdated concept then.

    Failing that, BitTorrent Sync. Or Copy, Or Box etc etc, only iCloud has a files-not-folders silly limitation (if it does, I've not tried it)...

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