Dropbox has to be one of the most useful and effective cloud based storage services. It is true that there is no shortage of the online storage and syncing services these days most notably SugarSync and SpiderOak among a pile of others. These services might have more features and may be very good at some specific tasks but for the pure syncing job where a user just wants to keep some folders at his two or more computers in sync nothing beats Dropbox because of its simplicity and robustness. Only problem for many users might be that they provide only a limited capacity of 2GB for free account. If you want to have more storage space then you have to pay. Granted you can get some extra space like 250 MB or more for each referral but not everyone wants to be in this tiring process to increase their Dropbox space by just few 100 megabytes! Another problem which is commonly associated with Dropbox is that do not allows to synchronize arbitrary folders on the file system. If you want to synchronize a folder then it must be in the Dropbox folder. There are some tricky hacks to mitigate this problem for example one can create the actual folders in the Dropbox directory and then create symbolic links to these directories to where ever they need these folders.
However today I am going to tell you a different approach to both of the above mentioned problems namely storage capacity limitations of the account and directory restrictions. I am talking about the OneSync synchronization software which allows to synchronize the folders of any size via Dropbox.
OneSync uses the concept of intermediate storage to synchronize the contents of two locations. In OneSync’s case intermediate storage can be any storage medium such as portable drive, a shared network folder or a Dropbox folder. OneSync GUI is very easy to navigate to synchronize the contents you just need to give the name of the sync job, folder you want to sync and name of the intimidate storage location. In our case it should be the Dropbox folder or any folder with in the Dropbox folder. After filling in these boxes you just need to press the Add New Job button to add the job to the current list of jobs. From now on whenever you want to run a job just select the desired job and press the big Sync Selected Jobs button. Its that simple! You will have to do the similar steps on the other computer that you wanted to sync with this computer.
Please note that OneSync only transfers the files to the intermediate location that have been modified after the previous sync or they have been new – this is to speedup the syncing process. It also means that in the first sync all the files from the the synced folder will be put to the intermediate storage (in our case to the Dropbox folder). So naturally the initial size of the folder should not be larger than the free capacity of your Dropbox account. In other words cumulative changes size should not exceed the Dropbox capacity during any given synchronization phase. However total size of the folder can be as large as you want. Basically this type of synchronization works pretty well for the folders which start small but gradually grow in size for example your favorite music collection that might be small in start but continue to expand with the new albums with the time, or a software or a books collection that you might want to synchronize between your home and a work computer. In my case it is a big pile of documents, research articles and book that I need to keep synchronized between my personal laptop at home and office computer. Even if the initial size of the folders that you want to synchronize is already large than you can perform an initial sync via this software using a USB flash drive etc. and from then on use the Dropbox as the intermediate location to keep the folders in sync. As you can see this software can eliminate two most important limitations that Dropbox users can face. It works pretty well as long as you understand its limitations as I explained. I should also mention that there are other software that also support the concept of intermediate locations to synchronize the contents of folders at different machines however none of them integrate as well with the Dropbox as this one.
Oh! before I forget it also integrates pretty well with the windows shell and you can initiate a syncing process in just 2 steps. You can download it from official website here. Ok that’s it for now and I wish you a happy syncing!
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