Recommending software for syncing from desktop to laptop
Thread poster: Sarah Downing

Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
Dec 16, 2010

Dear Prozians,

I'm considering purchasing a syncing software for doing automatic LAN syncs from my desktop to my laptop and also for syncing from my desktop to an external hard drive. I am aware that these programs can be quite complex, so I'm looking for something that is pretty failsafe with an intuitive user interface (although I am an experienced computer user, but good user interfaces are important either way).

I originally considered using Jungle Disk to back up my files to an encrypted online vault, but soon abandoned that when I realised that it wasn't everything I had thought it was cracked up to be. I then switched back to Carbonite (an online backup software); as I have been using this successfully for two years or more and am very happy with its functionality. This is what I use for my online backups, but I still need to sync my files.

Based on my poor experience with Jungle Disk I decided that local syncing (i.e. via LAN rather than having to first upload it) would be more efficient anyway, so I'm looking into which software to buy. My research shows good things about Good Sync as well as Syncables and I was wondering whether anyone else has any experience in this domain and would be able to give me any tips.

Thank you very much in advance!

Best wishes,

Sarah


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:30
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Jungle/Carbonite Dec 16, 2010

Sorry I haven't got any advice about syncing computers, but I'd be really interested to know why Carbonite is so much better than Jungle Disk for you. (I use DropBox)

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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Jungle Disk versus Carbonite Dec 16, 2010

Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Sorry I haven't got any advice about syncing computers, but I'd be really interested to know why Carbonite is so much better than Jungle Disk for you. (I use DropBox)


Hello Emma,

It's funny you should mention DropBox. I did a lot of research on online backups before picking Jungle Disk as I did want an all-in-one backup and synchronisation solution. Unfortunately, based on my research, it seemed that DropBox is unable to do automatic backups and syncs and you have to drag and drop your data to it. That is what I like about Carbonite - you can automatically select your folders and away you go. That put me off DropBox a bit and that's also why I opted for Jungle Disk.

Why I don't like Jungle Disk: it was so buggy right from the start. First off, I hate the user interface because - unlike Carbonite - it is very unintuitive and rather unclear to tell what has been backed up and what hasn't. Carbonite uses coloured dots so that you can tell which folders have been backed up (green dot), which folders are pending backup (yellow dot) and which folders have been backed up, but contain some folders that have not been selected for backup (green "donut hole" dot). This makes me feel much more secure. The Jungle Disk interface is needlessly complicated and - as I mentioned - I'm not a rookie when it comes to computers.

Also, whenever I opened Jungle Disk it seemed to take forever to start up and it was incredibly loud when doing its backups. It drove me mad.

In addition, after over a week it still hadn't completed the initial sync of my files and 20 GB should have been (almost) finished by then based on my experience with Carbonite!

What I really think is retarded - and I didn't realise this when I purchased the subscription (which I have now cancelled) - is that even if you want to backup and sync the same folders, you have to upload them twice! Once to a backup folder and once to a sync folder. Not only is this a waste of bandwidth, but it also costs twice as much for storage.

Furthermore, they have two different kinds of backups - the legacy backup is the only one you can use if you want to be able to login and access your files online (a very useful feature that I wanted), but sadly the legacy backup apparently doesn't even do incremental backups, which means it reuploads the file every time even if only minor changes have been made to it - instead of just "incrementally" uploading the changes.

Ultimately, though, what made me ditch Jungle Disk is that I got error after error after error and my Synced files never seemed to complete. Perhaps I could have resolved the issue, but by that stage I had lost so much trust in the software and it has also wasted a lot of my valuable time, so I decided to go back to Carbonite because I know this works and just use syncing software to backup my files because it seems as if there are more potential glitches with online backups combined with sync.

I've also heard about SugarSync, but understandably after wasiting a whole week on Jungle Disk (which got rave reviews - I thoroughly research everything before I try it), I wasn't really up for it. Carbonite has been incredibly reliable for years now, the customer support is excellent (phone, email, 24-hour live chat) and it's simple to use.

How does DropBox work for you?

Best,

Sarah


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:30
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Dropbox Dec 16, 2010

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your detailed reply. Dropbox does automatically update files but that is the snag for me. I get conflicts with Trados Studio when trying to save sometimes (error message: this file is in use by another application), because Dropbox is busy updating the file. Same problem with my TMs. So I put my TMs somewhere else so that Dropbox can't see them, and then of course I forget to back them up individually!

That's why I was interested to read your comments about Carbonite/Jungle Desk. I've seen recommendations for Jungle Desk in threads here, and was thinking of changing to it, but in the light of your comments, I think I'll go for Carbonite.
Thanks again,
Regards,
Emma


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Backup or Sync Dec 16, 2010

Hey Emma,

Sorry you've been having issues with DropBox. One solution might be to pause backups while you are using Studio, although I could imagine that to be annoying. I'm surprised you don't have the option to exclude these files, although that is not ideal either as I'm sure you want them backed up too. Alternatively, perhaps you could limit your backups to a certain schedule, such as late in the evening.

I'm not sure what you're using DropBox for - whether you just use it for the online backups or whether you like to sync too. If you want something that will also sync your files, Carbonite won't do that, but it is very good for online backups and I would definitely recommend it. Another program similar to DropBox is SugarSync, but I don't really have any experience with that. Carbonite's main competitor, Mozy, offers a few more features - such as backing up to external hard drives and backing up to a local drive (which I thought was quite nifty, although some might say that the settings for that were a bit sparse - depends what you need), but having used both - I have a free version of Mozy on my laptop for when I occasionally travel - I have to say that I still prefer Carbonite's user interface. It really is online backup for dummys!:-). As a result, I am reluctant to switch from this, but will see how the market develops in the next few years. I like the fact that Carbonite has also been around for so long and I chose it over Mozy because of its unlimited backups - I think it's about $5 a month - forget what it is is in EUROS, but there are several websites for different countries, so that you can purchase it in your local currency. Ultimately, it depends what you want your backup for - if it is just online backups, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Carbonite, but that's just my personal experience and other people's may differ. I guess it's the same with Jungle Disk really - it didn't work for me, but it may work for others. However, I am seriously put off by their user interface - it's just overcomplicated in my opinion.

If you have any more questions, let me know. This is a topic I've been researching for quite some time now.

Cheers,

Sarah


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Option whether or not to back up files in use Dec 16, 2010

[quote]Emma Goldsmith wrote:

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for your detailed reply. Dropbox does automatically update files but that is the snag for me. I get conflicts with Trados Studio when trying to save sometimes (error message: this file is in use by another application), because Dropbox is busy updating the file. Same problem with my TMs.

It just occurred to me: some backup programs have an option so that you can select whether or not they should backup files in use - I believe this can only be checked if you have an NTFS rather than a FAT32 system. Not sure whether or not DropBox has this though - sounds like it is a bit rudimentary.


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:30
German to English
+ ...
SpiderOak Dec 16, 2010

Just thought I'd add in SpiderOak though not sure it can detect files in use.

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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
SpiderOak Dec 16, 2010

Thanks, Robert. This is also one I've read a bit about. I'd be interested to see how established it is. For now though I have decided to do my syncing separate from my online backup as I feel it to be more efficient and faster as it can be done locally.

Cheers,

Sarah


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:30
Member (2004)
German to English
Belt and braces Dec 17, 2010

When my external hard drive with all my backups went down recently, I chose to backup to Dropbox and Carbonite.
Surely they couldn't both go down at the same time, could they?
I do get the annoying messages using Studio, but simply pressing save again usually does the trick.
Gillian


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I know what you mean by belt and braces Dec 17, 2010

Hi Gillian,

I had wondered whether these two programs or similar programs would work together or whether there'd be conflicts. In addition to using Carbonite, which I feel totally comfortable with as it just works silently in the background, I think I've decided to go the local route (i.e. do LAN backups/syncs via my modem) as this would be faster and more direct and also wouldn't be totally dependent on the Internet to work.

How do you find Carbonite yourself and how long have you been using it for? What made you decide to pick Carbonite over the whole host of other services out there. These days there really are tons of online backup/syncing services, so it can be quite overwhelming which one to choose. I originally ended up with Carbonite as I got a free subscription with a Packard Bell computer I bought two years ago. I sometimes wonder whether I should switch to a program that does it all - i.e. file sharing (with a link), backup and syncing, but after my experience with Jungle Disk I'm not so sure I want to because having used Carbonite for two years I just trust it and know what to expect. This gives me a feeling of security.

Cheers,

Sarah


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Dominique Pivard  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:30
Finnish to French
You can use SyncToy with Dropbox Sep 3, 2011

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
Dropbox does automatically update files but that is the snag for me. I get conflicts with Trados Studio when trying to save sometimes (error message: this file is in use by another application), because Dropbox is busy updating the file. Same problem with my TMs. So I put my TMs somewhere else so that Dropbox can't see them, and then of course I forget to back them up individually!

I use Wordfast and memoQ, not Studio, but I also put my TM's outside the Dropbox folder, for the reason you mention. I then use SyncToy, a freeware utility from Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=15155) to copy the TM files every 5 minutes to the Dropbox folder. Dropbox can then upload them to the server without disturbing my CATs. Works very well. Dropbox is quite efficient at syncing large files, and it also gives you a full history for the past 30 days.


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