For those of us Mac users who also have to live a life tied to a Windows PC, or perhaps get our geek on with a home Linux PC (they’re cheap, secure, and don’t break as much) it’s nice to run into an app that lives everywhere.
That’s the story behind FreeFileSync, a multi-platform, open source app that syncs files and folders for Mac, Windows, and Linux. A word of warning, though. FreeFileSync is loaded with features and unlike SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner, they’re smack right in your face.
That’s a polite way of saying FreeFileSync is utilitarian in nature, not for the faint of heart, and definitely not an intuitive interface.
See what I mean?
If you can get by the visual issues, and don’t mind wading around an interface made for the pocket protector-toting crowd, FreeFileSync has a lot going for it.
For example, among the long list of multi-platform features, FreeFileSync can detect moved or renamed files and folders and respond accordingly with a backup. It’s smart enough to handle Windows extended file attributes and security permissions, yet it can do version backups, too.
It even locks files against the same network share so you can serialize multiple backups. Despite the visual complications of the UI, the app uses the standard left and right, source and target method to backup or sync files, and features the time honored two-way sync that we road warriors prefer.
Sync or backup jobs can be automated, and there are built-in options to handle conflicts. I like to think of this app as ChronoSync for Mac geeks. It ain’t pretty, but it works.