Backing-up the critical information is usually a major concern for many PC users. There are many online services for this purpose, but of course they require a permanent Internet connection to work. So, keeping local copies of your important files is always a good alternative. Luckily, you can count on FreeFileSync, a tool that compares and synchronizes the contents of two folders very quickly.
Although it is not very hard to use, it may take a while to novice users to figure out how the program works. Basically, it allows you to browse the contents of two folders and then compare and/or synchronize them. Also, you can configure both operations. For the first one, you can select to compare the files by time and size, which is very fast, or by file content, which is much more precise, but may take much longer. As for the synchronization, you can select among the four available methods - two way, mirror, update, and custom. You basically tell the program what to do with files that are nonexistent or different in one folder or another. You can also select to display all the files, or just those that are different in any way between the folders.
Besides the mentioned features, FreeFileSync is full of other interesting options. For example, it supports filter settings, that allow you to create include and exclude lists for the file synchronization. This means you can set some files to avoid being updated or deleted. The program also allows you to synchronize local folders with remote ones and vice versa, via SFTP protocol. Version 7.3 introduces even more extra features. For example, now you can drag two folders from Windows Explorer to be compared rather than opening them manually and individually. Finally, the program also supports versioning for the updated files, and allows you to save synchronization sessions.
In conclusion, I consider FreeFileSync as one of the best synchronization tools I have ever tested. The program is open source, which means you can use it for free, but you are welcome to donate if you feel the program is useful for you. Also, you can contribute to its development if you are an experienced programmer.
- Supports two comparison methods.
- Supports four synchronization methods.
- Allows you to synchronize local and remote folders via SFTP.
- Allows you to create include and exclude lists.
- Supports direct folder dragging from Windows Explorer
- May be a bit hard to understand at first, especially for novice users