Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How to synchronize multiple computers that are not connected to a network

Most file synchronizing application assumes you have your computers networked with each other either through the Internet or through a local area network, wired or wireless. File synchronizing fails if there is no direct communication between the computers. So how do you synchronize two or more computers that aren’t connected to each other?

To achieve the impossible task of synchronizing two or more unconnected computers we will use a free synchronization tool called SyncSharp. Here we will use a USB drive to act as a medium to carry the synchronization process. You’ve got a USB port, right? You do have a USB Flash drive, right? Let’s begin.

1. Download SyncSharp and copy the executable to your pen drive. Now double-click the program to run it. (Subsequently, the program will launch automatically upon inserting the USB device.)

2. Click on ‘New’ to create a new task.

3. Under ‘Source folder’ select the folder on your computer which you want to keep in sync with another computer. Under ‘Target folder’, select a location on the pen drive where the files will be copied.

syncsharp-new

4. Choose the type of synchronization you want to perform:

Synchronize – To keep source and target folders contents in sync. This will perform synchronization in both directions.
Backup – To backup files in source folder to target folder. This will perform synchronization in only one direction, source to target.

5. After the task is created, you can modify it by right-clicking on the task and choosing Modify, or by clicking the Modify button.

syncsharp-modify

6. Here you can apply filters, like files to include, files to exclude, folders to exclude and other options.

syncsharp-filters

syncsharp-advanced

7. Once you have customized the task, click on Synchronize to sync the two folders.

8. Remove the pen drive and insert it on to the second computer, the one you want to keep in sync with the first.

9. Start SyncSharp. You will notice that the task list is empty. Create a new one.

syncsharp-empty

10. Under ‘Source folder’ select the folder on the pen drive where the synched files reside. Under ‘Target folder’, select the folder on the computer which you want to keep in sync.

syncsharp-new2

11. Adjust and apply any filters appropriately.

12. Once done, select the task and click ‘Synchronize’. Both the computers are now synchronized.

The next time you need to synchronize the computers, simply plug in the USB drive and the program will start itself. Wait for the program to complete synchronizing. When completed, remove the USB drive and plug it in to the second computer. Again the program will automatically start and perform the second part of the synchronizing procedure. Upon completion, both the computers will be synced.

Note, that Windows 7 users will have to run the program manually as auto run of USB drives are disabled as a security feature.

(Alternative solution: USB Go Link)

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