App Addict
May 19th, 2024

Two Recommendations for Syncing Utilities

Mac Apps
Free File Sync
Free File Sync

When it comes to file syncing utilities, people have wildly varying needs. They may have a USB drive with a set of files they need for work but want to keep a canonical copy of the same files at home. Perhaps they like to have a full disk clone as a backup or, like me, a regular copy of an Obsidian vault copied to a cloud service.

If you are a master at the terminal, you might be able to make rsync do everything you want, since most file syncing utilities are GUIs for rsync with a few bells and whistles thrown in, but if you are a mere mortal, you probably want to opt for an app.

Free File Sync is an excellent choice. It's backwards compatible on Macs all the way back to OS X 10.10 Yosemite. It's free, open source and cross-platform with Windows and Linux. I use it on a Mac (in conjunction with NTFS for Mac) to sync files between a USB drive and a directory an external NTFS SSD. The default settings work for many use cases and it's a breeze to create and save sync jobs.

The other app I recommend, Sync Folders Pro, is $8.99 in the App Store. It has two features that Free File Sync doesn't have including a set it and forget it scheduler. I have a Keyboard Maestro macro that launches Sync Folders Pro every day at 1:59am and closes it five minutes later. In the interim, a scheduled sync of my Obsidian vault occurs with a folder on my Google Drive. If you purchase Sync Folders Pro from the App Store, you can download the Plus edition from the developers web site at no added charge. This edition gives you the ability to make full disk clones.

Key Features

  • Supports Macs, iPad, iPhone, iPod.
  • Bootable backup on an external drive (SSD, HDD)
  • Bidirectional synchronization, one-way synchronization, mirroring backup.
  • Powerful preview mode. Ability change file operations before sync. "Line by Line" comparison.
  • Automatic scheduled synchronization.
  • Synchronization any number of pair folders at same time.
  • Auto-updating help in the app. Periodically adding answers to frequently asked questions.

Other top choices in the sync and backup field that I've tried and can recommend are Carbon Copy Cloner and Super Duper.

Sync Folders Pro
Sync Folders Pro