Unix and Linux people love talking about a great utility called rsync. In a way, it's rather like the Windows utilities "robocopy" or "xcopy". But where rsync really wins is that it only copies as much of a file as it needs to. So if only a few bytes in a 3 GB file have changed, rsync could copy that file almost instantly whereas robocopy or xcopy would need to shift all 3 GB across the system again. A pain if you're backing up across your local LAN, and a massive problem if you want to back up across the internet.
If you like the idea of rsync and you want to try it under Windows, check out a product called Syncrify. It costs money for commercial use, but is free for personal usage. You can find it at http://web.synametrics.com/Syncrify.htm.
Here's how their web site explains how to use it:
1. You install Syncrify Server on any machine of your choice with plenty of hard-drive space. This machine can be located anywhere on the Internet.
2. Using your web-browser you, the administrator, create multiple user accounts.
3,. You then install Syncrify Client on a machine that you want to backup. Run this client, decide the files you want to backup and schedule as task to run it.
4. Individual users can connect to the Syncrify Server using their web browser to view backed files as well as download/restore any file when they need it.
So, if you have a spare PC lying around, and you want to use it for backup purposes, syncrify lets you create your own personal cloud-based backup solution. And if you happen to own something like a Pogoplug, and you've installed the free add-on which turns it into a web-hosted drive, syncrify should be the perfect companion.
Syncrify for Windows is a 47 MB download. It's 32-bit only, and also requires Java. You only need to download and install the server component. You can then download and install the client app directly from your newly-created server.
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