My budget for Mac apps being what it is these days I wish that Mac backup utilities were priced at a dime a dozen. They’re not. In fact, the better Mac file sync and backup apps often have a hefty price tag, despite intense competition in the backup segment.
Why? Mac users are smart enough to know that backing up files should not be left to the freebie apps that might work today, but are completely gone and off the market tomorrow. There are many ways to backup your Mac’s files, so, most of the time I recommend Time Machine, and some kind of Mac disk cloning backup.
In between the two are apps that sync folders of files from one Mac to another, or sync to an external disk, or to another target connected somewhere on the internet. For that kind of file sync and backup you need a specialized app but you want one that’s so simple it becomes set it and forget.
DropSync is one of those synchronization apps that is both simple to setup and use the first time, but also adheres to the criteria of set it and forget it aficionados.
Setup uses the familiar Source (your files and folders) and Target (where they go), left and right screen.
If you need to connect your Mac to a remote file server to sync files and folders, DropSync’s setup makes that a simple process, too. Set it and forget it also means you have to have a level of trust that the app doing the file syncing will do what you think it will do.
DropSync has a nice Preview function so you can see what files are being synced before you commit. Of course, everything gets logged so you get see what’s happened and when.
Here’s where an app like DropSync becomes very useful. Not only can it backup select files and folders, but it also keeps files– such as you all important Documents folder– in sync between your Mac at home, your MacBook while on the road, or to the office computer. There’s even a bi-directional sync feature to make sure that the most recently edited file exists on both sides of a sync.
Earlier versions of DropSync were a bit convoluted, but the latest has a better way of browsing files, straightforward check-boxes, and a useful include or exclude filters panel. But it remains simple enough to get up and running a few minutes, and smart enough to use to login to remote sites with a high level of security. If you’re especially geeky, DropSync can create a workflow unique to you by integrating AppleScript scripts.
If you have more needs that mere local backups, but have to keep files secure and synced to a remote location or Mac, DropSync does the deed.