There is no shortage for a file synchronization tool on this market, most of which are commercial grade that also offers a free-tier for entry-level uses, such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, etc.. However, if you are looking for one that’s free, unlimited file syncing tool that also supports multiple platforms, here is one for you.
Syncthing is a continuous file sync tool that synchronizes files between two or more computers securely in real time. It’s also an open source project that supports multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. And it’s simple to use.
The client for Windows is called SyncTrayzor. Head over there and download the installer or the portable version in zip format. Yes, it has a portable version that doesn’t require any installation process or special DLL files. The installer version will update the SyncTrayzor if it’s already installed on the computer.
When it runs the first time, it will generate a configuration file, some keys and then start the admin GUI, which is also available in your browser at:
There is no login or account signup required to use Syncthings to sync files. Instead, you will need to pair devices to be able to talk with each other using Device ID, a unique, cryptographically-secure identifier generated as part of the key generation during the first time you start the tool. To show what your Device ID is, go to Actions > Show ID.
To add a remote computer to be your paired sync partner, click Add Remote Device under Remote Devices section and type in the Device ID in the Device ID field. If there is any computers with Syncthings client installed on the same network, it will show up in the nearby devices list.
Noticed that I shared a Device ID in the screenshot above? It’s ok because it’s not necessary to keep it secret. They are essentially part of the public key.
Once you have two devices linked up, now you can configure the folders you want to sync. Click Add Folders button in the Folders list on the left, specify the folder path, label, and done.
If you have multiple computers sycned up in your list, you can specify which device to sync and which ones don’t, under Sharing tab.
And don’t forget the File Versioning feature if you need it. Select one of 4 versioning options from the File Versioning tab.
And that’s all you need to get started. At this point the two devices share an empty directory. Adding files to the shared directory on either device will synchronize those files to the other side.
Depending on the storage space you have on either device, you basically have unlimited file sync capability without paying a dime to anyone.
Private and Security
First of all, there is no middle central server siting between your computer and your data. Therefore, none of the data is ever stored anywhere else other than the devices you have Syncthings installed.
Secondly, all communication is encrypted using TLS. The protocol used in the tool is an open protocol that is well documented. No hidden magic from any proprietory protocol by any big names.
And each node in your sync list is identified by a strong cryptographic certificate. Only nodes you have explicitly allowed can connect to your shared folders.
It’s a great tool, simple, secure, and in-control. It’s also flexible and can be configured to however you want it. It’s also free and open-source. If you are tired of tools from the big names that always has extra unnecessary features, offers, and limits, Syncthings is one that you should try and use.