Best way to sync USB with a home computer?
July 2, 2012 1:35 AM   Subscribe

Is there an easy way to keep all of the files on my flash drive synced with my home computer, using something like Dropbox? I've previously been using Microsoft My Briefcase, but my computer has just been upgraded to Windows 7, so My Briefcase doesn't work well anymore. I've got some pretty easy requirements inside.

I've been keeping all my years worth of work files and data (only about 4 gig) in the Windows "My Briefcase" on a USB drive, and I work from that USB drive at work. When I get home, I plug in the USB and sync it up to my home computer using the Briefcase sync, and that updates the files that have been altered. So if the USB drive dies, I've got a backup of all of my work on my home computer.

If I'm going to use Dropbox, it seems like overkill to put all of my work into the Dropbox and have it constantly checking for sync.

Also, I don't seem to be able to set the Dropbox to be on my USB (it seemed like I had to set my Dropbox to be on a harddrive).

Is there a way where I can:

1. Keep working from my USB drive (instead of syncing from my work computer--some times my work computer is shared, so I'd rather keep all my files private on my USB).

2. At the end of the day, run some sort of easy sync that backs up the files that I've altered to somewhere online. So I'd rather it's not checking for syncing every five minutes, but just when I'm finished for the day.

3. When I get home, there's some way I can sync the online backup with my home computer.

Must be a pretty easy thing to do, but I've just gotten out of touch with how these things are done nowadays. Thanks in advance for your help.
posted by surenoproblem to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you looked at SyncToy? It's one of Microsoft's patented "free products that actually work well to do their task, and thus are kept totally obscure" (see also the Virtual CD on XP).

Run it on a computer, point it to the folders you want to sync, and hit go.

Not that there's anything wrong with online backup per se, but this is a nice utility I use to do essentially the opposite of your thing: sync a copy of the work hard drives to a portable hard drive, work on my home computer, then sync it again. The one caveat is that it doesn't sync files that it thinks are still open.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:45 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Honestly a web-based solution like DropBox would probably be good for you, but Unison is more similar to what you're doing now.
posted by 23 at 1:52 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you just need a one-time, one-way, USB->Backup synchronization, rsync should be sufficient. Grsync looks like it might have a helpful GUI and Duplicati seems to support popular cloud storage options (I can't vouch for either).

Unison looks great. I've been using lsyncd, but I'm not too happy with it
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:30 AM on July 2, 2012

It sounds like you are dismissing DropBox before actually giving it a go: "it seems like overkill to... have it constantly checking for sync." It isn't constant and checking for sync is fast. Actually syncing is the slow part.

At least give it a try so you can fairly evaluate it.
posted by chairface at 7:36 AM on July 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use Allway Sync. Works fine for me.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 1:18 PM on July 2, 2012

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