I need some help syncing my files.
September 24, 2012 7:05 AM   Subscribe

I need an alternative to Google Drive that's going to work well with all my little snowflake snowflakes. And there are a bunch.

I have 125GB of content in 163,323 files, 10,680 folders. My working environment involves three computers - 1 desktop, 2 laptops - all running Windows 7 x64.

In years gone by, I used FolderShare to keep all this content in lock-step across devices.

Then this turned into Windows LiveMesh or whatever, and I used this too - except now it seems like Microsoft is about to drop the hammer on this and integrate it with SkyDrive somehow.

So, when I got my newest laptop I figured it was time to find another solution. As I'm already tied heavily into Google, I figured Google Drive might work well.

I purchased additional storage for Google Drive and downloaded the PC client and went to work. It took three or four days, but my desktop finally managed to shove all my content up into Drive.


Then I unboxed my new laptop, installed the Drive client, and let it start sucking the data back down, and that's when I hit a brick wall.

Google Drive started crashing. A lot. The first day, I managed to get about 10GB of data, and it crashed 17 times. I kept count. No error message... just, "Google Drive needs to quit."

Because I pay for support, I contacted Google, and I swear to God, they said, and I quote, "Sometimes this many files can cause a drain on local memory, depending on how much is available on your machine and the amount allocated by the application. We’re looking to better understand the root cause of this, but if you want to keep syncing, the error will eventually go away as the number of files left to sync decreases."

Oh. Well, thanks! That's super helpful.

I thought maybe it was the laptop, so I installed the Google Drive client on some other machines and had them try to suck the data down. Crash, crash, crash, crash.

I've been wrangling with Drive now for a week and I've encountered a myriad of other issues and I'm sick of it and we're now parting ways. I could write another 6 paragraphs about the things I've tried and the ways they have NOT WORKED. What a ridiculous experience. I can't even copy the data from my desktop straight to my laptop and "cut out the middle man" - because Drive would see that as new, different content and DUPLICATE my entire fileset. Or would try, and then crash.

So Google Drive is dead to me.

What are my other good options? Box? Dropbox? Skydrive? I looked into these a little bit, but they all seemed more expensive than Google Drive, and in the fine print you would read things like, "Maximum single file size is 100MB!" which made me laugh and cry. I'm looking for FIRST HAND experience with using one or more of these programs with 100GB+ and/or 150,000+ files. Works well? Does not crash every 30 seconds?

I need to be able to keep my content in sync, and I'd also really like to be able to manage permissions to share some of it via ze cloud with various collaborators.

I also don't want to setup my own solution. I'm sure I could do something with a VPN and rsync or something, but I don't want to. I want something I don't have to think about. I need help.
posted by kbanas to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Jungle Disk.

It's been awhile since I used it, but you use to be able to mount it as a network hard drive. It might not have cloud sharing capabilities, though.
posted by royalsong at 7:14 AM on September 24, 2012

Dropbox is great, and worth the small extra cost. Google can obviously price things a bit lower since they're drowning in cash, and have so much storage it's practically free to them. But Dropbox works really well with my pretty large data set (not as large as yours) and there's no max file size. Price for 200GB would be $20/month or $200/year.
posted by iamscott at 7:27 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Besides Google Drive, Microsoft Skydrive, Box and Dropbox, some other well known services are Ubunto One, Amazon Cloud Drive, iDrive, SugarSync, and Carbonite.
posted by Dansaman at 8:01 AM on September 24, 2012

Also, rsync.net. You'll certainly never get that kind of response from their tech support.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:18 AM on September 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am another long, long time Live Mesh user who is concerned about whether it will continue to be supported. I sync hundreds of gigs of files between my own computers and because of the size it just makes no economic sense to involve the cloud. I also have different work groups and we use Live Sync to synchronize the files between several different users (and between PCs and Macs). I have also been looking around for possible PC-to-PC file syncing replacements. Here are the possible candidates, but I have not yet tried these. (I also think Microsoft is unknowable on this. I think there is an excellent chance they will continue Live Mesh, but they can just as easily unplug it tomorrow.)

First Cubby, by the LogMeIn company, seems like the perfect replacement. But it is currently in an invite-only beta. You can put in your email to get an invitation. Looks promising.

GoodSync also looks promising.

SpiderOak might work.

With SparkleShare you set up your own cloud for synchronizing. This might work, but probably required more effort.
posted by Tallguy at 8:18 AM on September 24, 2012

From rsync.net's FAQ:

Will you provide me with installation and integration support ?

Yes. We will help you, interactively, with a real person, through every step of integration. Although most integrations do not require much, if any, software installation, we will support that installation and that software.

Will you support my use of X ?

Yes. If you are using X with an rsync.net filesystem, we will support and troubleshoot your use of it, regardless of how complex or esoteric that usage or application is. All such support will be handled by a real live Unix engineer, and will never be dealt with by a ticket system, autoresponder, or first level / junior "technician".

I've used them on and off over the years and have always been happy.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:20 AM on September 24, 2012

I was a long-time DropBox user that went across to GoogleDrive (like you, I do everything else with Google and though, why not?). And like you I discovered a lot of problems.

DropBox works well. It synchronizes reliably. Remove a file on any instance and it removes it at all.
posted by outlier at 8:50 AM on September 24, 2012

One of the extra nifty secret features of DropBox: It does local sync.

So when you uploaded that 100G to the cloud... in theory dropbox wouldn't need to sync it back from the cloud for your other machines on the same LAN. It would just pull it over the LAN, saving you a ton of time and hassle. This also means changes are quickly reflected on LAN connected machines.

I don't know if other services have LAN sync but it's by far my favorite feature of DropBox.
posted by chairface at 10:42 AM on September 24, 2012

I just got an advert for bitcasa.com which claims to make "infinitely large" folders. Might be worth checking out
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:27 PM on September 24, 2012

I've been using Cubby and it's been working great for me. There is a cloud option, but it let's you sync files when the machines between whom you've created a sync pair are on.
posted by bbyboi at 5:17 PM on October 1, 2012

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