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Mac File Sync Explained | Learn About Syncing | Online Backup Search

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Mac File Sync Explained

Learn all about syncing all of your Macs. You can use iCloud but there are also other alternatives that work better in some cases.

Steven Johnson
by | Posted: May 24, 2011 | Updated: April 22, 2013
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So you have an iPhone, an iPad, an iMac and never seem to have the file you need available.  Well this guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to keep your File in sync for your Mac and other Apple Devices.

The Best Ways To Stay Synchronized

  • Online File Syncing (Sometimes called cloud file syncing) is our favorite way to stay organized. It’s a form of online backup that has become very popular in the past few years, especially on the Mac.
  • Local Syncing is necessary even if you are backed up online, but the syncing you do will have to be over a network or require a more complicated set up to run as smooth as cloud syncing.

Top Online Mac File Syncing Companies

  1. SugarSync All Plans And Pricing Read Review
  2. DropBox All Plans And Pricing Read Review
  3. Box.net All Plans And Pricing Read Review

Why Online File Syncing Works:

  • Keeps all connected devices up to date
  • Protects data as well as storing it
  • Archives of your file versions (like a timeline)

Cloud storage is good because your data is securely strung across a network of connected servers. These servers are all managed by services that keep your data safe with encryption. By keeping your files within one of these services, you will be able to keep all of your connected Mac devices up to date. Read our article about Cloud Storage

Having your data in multiple physical locations decreases the likelihood of loss or damage to your files significantly.

Most of the service providers’ software keep versions of your files in archives. This is done locally on Macs with applications like Time Machine. This can be good, but you run the risk of your Mac and your Time Machine breaking at the same time. This happens a lot with power surges, over heating and other environmental scenarios. Read about "Versioning" in our Online Backup Terms and Definitions

There are free services and paid services, but it really comes down to how much data do you need to keep in sync.

Local Mac File Syncing

Just want to keep certain files on your mac synced with another drive connected to your computer? There is an app for that.

Mac File Syncing Applications:

These Apps Will Synchronize:

  • Networked Macs
  • External Hard Drives
  • USB Flash Drives
  • Mounted Drives

There is a downside to Local Mac File Syncing. Which is that you can’t get the information delivered to your iPhone or iPad. Also, these applications do not keep backups, duplicates or archives of your files.

We hope you found this article helpful. Contact us to let us know of any improvements we can make.

Steven Johnson

Steven is a web developer and online technology expert. He has built global networks and websites for fortune 500 companies. A graduate of Georgia Tech in Chemical Engineering, he now happily spends his time building Joomla and Wordpress websites as well as reviewing online backup services, web hosting and anything else that needs reviewing.

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