I have three Macs—two desktops and one notebook—and keeping them all in sync was once a challenge. Now my synchronization is handled automatically using ChronoSync, a flexible, straightforward, easy to manage file synchronization utility.
Multiple Mac Problems
I used to envy those Mac users with a single Mac. Of course, most of them had a single hard drive, so they were walking, talking, disaster waiting to happen.
Multiple Macs have multiple issues, the least of which is keeping all the applications and utilities up to date. That’s easy. Install here, install there.
What about synchronizing files between Macs? That’s not so easy with my favorite Mac cloning and backup utility, SuperDuper! ChronoSync does what other utilities don’t.
ChronoSync is an easy to use data management tool that allows you to efficiently synchronize files and folders from one disk location to another.
This is a tool I’ve used for many years and have yet to find one that is both as easy to setup and use, and, importantly, as reliable.
General setup is simple enough, though a look at the Preferences will show you how much back up power exists in ChronoSync (click on any image for a close up view).
Those Preference settings are all you need to get started, and cover window size, sync alerts, and scheduling. The real power comes in the document preferences, which can be customized for each individual sync document you want, and you can create many.
Synchronization basically means that the files or documents you have in one or more locations will be synchronized somewhere else; another Mac, a file server, even on the same Mac, or to another hard drive connected to your Mac.
Using the document-based interface, you can easily identify a group of files, specify a destination, then schedule the action to occur as often as necessary. Perform trial syncs and compare files so you always know the status of every file.
ChronoSync uses a simple Left to Right (or, Right to Left, or both ways) window set up. The files you want to synchronize are selected on the Left, and where they synchronize to is on the Right.
Click the Trial Sync button to see what will happen, what changes will be made, deletions, archiving, or updates. ChronoSync is fast and only copies what you need to copy to perform a sync or back up.
Archive deleted files in case you need to restore an older version. ChronoSync monitors the state of all your files so it only copies files that have been changed, keeping your synchronization time to a minimum.
Include & Exclude
Sometimes you may not need to backup every file in a folder. Not to worry. ChronoSync lets you include or exclude only those files in a folder that you want. Filters are easy to set up and manage, and ChronoSync lets you create multiple sync documents to match your requirements; different Mac, different drive, across a network.
Perform trial syncs and compare files so you always know the status of every file. Filter out specific files and folders using rules and exclusions.
Basic synchronization and back up routines are simple. Create a back up Document, test it, click Sync to begin. It’s easy. ChronoSync makes it easier with an automated synchronization scheduler. Easy become easier.
The most powerful aspect of ChronoSync is scheduling. Create multiple synchronizer documents and schedule them separately or combine them in a ChronoSync Container to schedule them together.
The Scheduler interface is intuitive and simply works. You can set ChronoSync’s prefs to send you email when a sync has been completed, or other information if something went wrong.
Mix & Match
ChronoSync manages syncs and back ups with Documents. Each Document can be a different back up—to another Mac, a different hard drive, even different sets of files and folders.
That means you may end up with plenty of different Documents that perform different kinds of syncs and back ups. No problem. Grab your Documents and put them into a Container (holds many different Documents), and click once to run all the Documents in the Container, for multiple syncs and back ups one after the other. Containers can be scheduled to sync and back up in the background using the scheduler.
Managing multiple Macs, each with multiple hard drives, can be a challenge made utterly simple and set-it-and-forget with ChronoSync. I don’t know of a better, more intuitive, feature-laden, or dependable sync and back up utility.