Backup and Portability Made Easy with ChronoSync

Featured | HouseKeeping | Mac | Software
December 22, 2009

I have had an idea/problem that I have been percolating on for a while now.  The basic idea was that I wanted to have copies of several specific folders on specific, different external storage solutions so that I could have them with me when I needed them.  Complicating this problem is the fact that I am lazy.

Of course, I could copy my documents folder the the thumb drive every couple of days, my video clips to my external HDD every time I added a new clip, and my seminary files to the small thumb drive each night before I went to bed, but that would take both time and discipline. The only thing I have less of right now than time is backup discipline.

That is how I ran across what is hands down the best Mac sync utility I have found: ChronoSync.  It does the standard things like let you schedule a sync or backup with a drive every X number of hours/days/weeks/etc.  But it has one incredible function that sealed the deal for me.  I can schedule a sync to happen whenever the target drive is mounted.  Now, whenever I plug in one of the aforementioned devices, the specific files on my computer I want synced with that device automatically get updated and update the external storage.  This, of course, reinforces my confidence in the idea that if I wait long enough, I will find a way to allow my computer to make up for my laziness.

But that is far from all the features of ChronoSync.  It will make bootable backups, lets you specify a range of methods for the sync process including ignoring deletions so that an accidental deletion in one location does not eliminate the file across all your storage.  It will create archives (think time machine) and connect to almost anything you can think of from webdav servers to all the computers you can “see” in the finder.  For those of you who really want to geek out, it has incredibly detailed filtering that will let you specify exactly what you want to backup.

The only con I could find is that the interface is not as intuitive as it could be.  For instance, several of the options at the top of the screen (trial sync, schedule, etc.) are grayed out until you save the sync you are creating. Similarly, several of the terms they use to describe the options are unclear (mirror, sync, blind) but explained well in the documentation.  All that being said, the program’s power and overall ease more than make up for the UI, and ChronoSync is well worth the $40.  There is a demo downloadable here.



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