When finished, your data in the two folders will be identical. However, youll notice that the Automatic Synchronization is off. We need to perform a few additional steps to turn it on.
On the file menu click View and select Options. Select Application from the left pane. In the right pane youll find two options you should check off. The first is Automatically check for software updates; this is pretty self explanatory.
The second and more important one is Start application system tray icon on system start-up. Without this there is no automatic monitoring for changes, so be sure to activate it. Optionally, the default name given to this sync operation is New Job 1. You can give it something a bit more descriptive like WORKFILES SYNC if you like. To do this simply select Default Profile and click the Rename button next to the job youd like to re-identify.
Finally, select Automatic Synchronization. Here you have various options for assigning when synchronizations will take place after changes have been detected. You can set it for as soon as one minute up to as late as one hour after. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour for an external HD, and 10 minutes or less for a removable device like a USB flash drive. Press OK, and youre done. From now on any changes made in one folder will automatically replicate to the other.
Sync in a Flash
Had this been a removable device like a USB flash drive, the procedure would have included a few additional steps. When you originally selected the target drive, the software would have recognized it as a removable device, and prompted you to Bind to drive characteristics. You should check this option, because the drive letter of a removable drive could change the next time you connect it to the computer.
Checking this option means the program will search for the physical device by its characteristics regardless the drive letter. If unchecked, any device with the specified drive letter will be used for synchronization, which could lead to syncing the wrong data.
Back under Automatic Synchronization, you need to set one other option. Since this is a USB Flash drive, check the box that says: When removable device is connected. This allows automatic synchronization whenever you insert the device into the USB port. Other then these additions, all the other steps remain the same.
You may want to sync your files with a company PC, but I.T. policies prohibit installing any unauthorized software. In this situation Allway Sync wouldnt be appropriate. However a portable version, Allway Sync 'n' Go, works just like the standard version, except it runs directly from a USB disk or an external HD without installing any software on the office PC. And its still free.
Allway Sync does have one notable drawback. The free version of the program limits the number of files you can synchronize to 40,000 every 30-days. For many people, this won't be an issue. However if you have large data archives to manage, this could be a problem. Should this limitation affect you, simply purchase the Pro version of the application for $29.95. Thats an incredible bargain for one of the finest synchronization utilities I have ever come across and would definitely be money well spent.
Most of us have data that we cant live without and as a result we store multiple copies of it in a variety of locations. Keeping all of these separate data depositories up-to-date can be a real challenge, but thanks to quality and affordable programs like Allway Sync, you can rest assured that your data, no matter where it resides, will always be current and available.
Ronald Pacchiano is a contributing writer for SmallBusinessComputing.com.
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