For those of us who slave or a hot keyboard all day we’re painfully aware of the need for multiple backup options. It’s not enough just to drag and drop to copy files from the Mac to somewhere else. Even in the 21st century stuff happens so making sure files that are valuable and important are backed up is common sense.
Until recently my Mac backup scheme was a multifold effort. Time Machine. SuperDuper! clone. ChronoSync to copy select folders to other Macs. Arq to copy select folders to Amazon S3 online. Those are mostly set-it-and-forget-it options that have worked well for a few years.
A few weeks ago I lost a file. That hasn’t happened for years. The loss occurred during the one hour Time Machine window and before the other backup solutions kicked in with their automated schedules. That episode made me look for a way to plug the hole.
What I selected was a simple utility called SyncTime. It can be used as a backup system of its own, but there’s one feature that stood out for me and you’re likely to see the value right away. SyncTime does the basic backup routines of source and target files and folders, a one-way sync, a two-way mirror sync, and a one-way move.
Almost hidden among the features is the single most valuable option for my needs. SyncTime monitors a sync folder for changes to files, additions, or deletions, then makes the same changes on the sync-to folder. In other words, it watches a folder for changes, then instantly (or, almost instantly; I didn’t use a stopwatch) makes the changes on target folders.
I’ve been using SyncTime a couple of weeks and admit that, at least for this feature, I’m impressed. It just works. I’ve used it to setup a source and target sync to other folders, to Dropbox, to iCloud, to GoogleDrive and Microsoft OneDrive. Any change to a file or a new file added to the source folder is instantly updated on the target folders and you can have multiple targets.
As simple as that sounds and as useful as it is, SyncTime is not devoid of additional functionality. Considering the nominal price tag, it’s downright valuable and feature laden. For example, each sync can be customized. Setup background syncs with the three sync types. Exclude certain files. Setup overwrite policies (good to protect files you don’t want to lose). Run syncs in parallel and in the background. Confirm changes.
There’s just not much to not like and not much to pay for what you will like. It’s not as inclusive as SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner, and has nowhere near the features or capabilities of ChronoSync, but what it does it does fast, simply, elegantly, and fills a hole not easily plugged by the more expensive options.
That said, a preview or trial-run option during initial setup would be handy, as would a way to schedule backups, but the ability to monitor source folders for file changes is worth the price of admission all by its lonesome.