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How to Keep Your Files in Sync Between Multiple Computers using Windows Live Mesh (Video)

July 25, 2011

photo credited to merchantcircle.comWhen you have multiple computers and files scattered all over the place, keeping track of where things are can be hard. You have some pictures of your dogs on one computer and financial documents on another, but why not have all your documents on all your computers? This is the task that seems difficult to accomplish but there are many tools to help you get synced. 

 

Programs like DropBox and SugarSync have been around for a long time. These programs let you sync data from one computer to its server in the cloud, then to your other computers. DropBox does this by setting up a folder called ‘DropBox’ that contains folders for documents, movies, pictures, etc. These folders are predetermined and you have to put everything where they tell you. Files in your ‘DropBox’ will then sync to the cloud and then to other computers that you have setup with DropBox. 

SugarSync works similarly to DropBox giving you a special folder called ‘Magic Briefcase’ to store files in, but it also allows you to sync any folder anywhere on your computer. If you want to sync your Downloads folder to the cloud and to other computers, that is no problem with SugarSync.

The problems with these two services are that they require you to sync everything to the cloud first and there are size limits. DropBox only has a 2 GB free account and SugarSync gives users 5 GB. What this means is if you have 10 GB of photos that you want to have synced between your computers, you have to cough up some money to buy extra storage. 

The best way I have found to get around using online storage services to sync your computers is with Windows Live Mesh. This FREE service is part of the Windows Live Essentials software suite from Microsoft. The best features of this software are the cost, compatibility with Mac and Windows, and that you can sync almost an unlimited amount of data between your computers. 

With Live Mesh, you can work on a Word document on your Windows desktop, save it, grab your Mac Laptop and continue working from the couch. 

In the video below, I will show you how to sync your pictures on your Mac and PC and how it works really well with the photo application Picasa from Google. 

One last thing about the other services… Although DropBox and SugarSync charge for accounts above their limited free accounts, they do offer another benefit over Windows Live Mesh. DropBox and SugarSync services will actually act as a backup service as well. They will keep changed versions of your documents if you change or delete them. If you accidentally delete a document and need to get it back, you can go to the webpage of the services and get it back. With Live Mesh, if you delete or change a file, that change will sync to the other computer. However, if you do not have a backup, you may loose your work. 

Another note about Live Mesh. For your computers to sync to each other they must both be on and have Live Mesh running. If you lose connection during a sync, the sync will continue the next time the computers can see each other. The Live Mesh works well over a home network or over the internet. For larger folders I recommend syncing them first when they are on the same network then the smaller changes can be synced over the internet.  

If you are looking for a simple-to-use file sync program that works across Macs and PCs, then Windows Live Mesh may work for you. 

There are other features of each of these programs not discussed here. For more information visit:

essentials.live.com

dropbox.com

sugarsync.com

 

Download Links

Live Mesh Mac

Live Mesh Windows

 

 

 

 

 

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From → Tutorial, Video

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