Data Centers

Review: SyncToy 2.1 file synchronization

If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, reliable backup tool, then SyncToy might be the best solution for you.

When was the last time you backed up your system? I hope it was recently, because you know it is inevitable that someday your system is going to come crashing down. Without a backup of your data you are lost in the woods.

Naturally there are tons of options available. Some of them are very costly and some of them are free. Some of the free options are fairly good while some of them make you wonder why anyone would bother paying for a full-priced application. SyncToy is one such tool. And because SyncToy is designed built by Microsoft, you know it shouldn't have any issues working with Windows.

Requirements

Who's it for?

Because SyncToy does not have a built-in scheduler component, I have a hard time recommending this tool for larger businesses. Although you can, with the help of the Microsoft Task Scheduler, set up a scheduled backup with SyncToy, for Enterprise users who require a dependable, regular backup scheme I would look for another option. For those that do not mind using an external application to handle the scheduling of SyncToy this application is outstanding. Not only is it easy to use, it is reliable.

What problem does it solve?

SyncToy solves the issue of having reliable backups (to either a local folder, connected drive, or network location). And, with the help of a very user-friendly interface anyone can have backups running smoothly.

Standout features

  • Dynamic drive letter assignment
  • True Folder Sync
  • File exclusion based on exact or fuzzy name
  • File/folder filtering based on attributes
  • Command line usage
  • 64-bit support
  • Easy to use interface
  • Small footprint, fast

What's wrong?

As previously stated, SyncToy does not include a built-in scheduler. Because of this, some users will be hesitant to take advantage of this well done, free tool. If Microsoft would build in a scheduler for SyncToy, larger businesses or even Enterprise users might take advantage of this application.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for a backup tool, and the idea of using a third-party scheduling solution doesn't bother you, then SyncToy might be the best solution for you. And don't let the price tag fool you, this "toy" will get the job done and do it well. It's not as feature-rich as some of its costlier brethren, but SyncToy performs and will keep your data backed up.

User rating

Have you encountered or used SyncToy? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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