It also does backup and in this GoodSync review I will take you through the steps of the software and what it has to offer.
Goodsync Pro is a seasoned file sync and backup software which I have trusted with my daily backups during the last 6-7 years. GoodSync has a very prominent position in my backup strategy and it runs parallel to my other backup program, which I use for my weekly compressed backup routine.
Related article: Goodsync 10 Beta, a Quick Look Inside to See What´s New
I use GoodSync at least once a day and quite often more than that after I finish important or time consuming tasks and it does exactly what I need it to do:
- Incredibly fast for those daily and in-between backups
- File sync capabilities
- Cloud connection
- Instant file access
- Excellent price/value relationship
GoodSync main features
The main features of GoodSync are:
- File synchronization also simply called ”file sync”
- File backup
The file synchronization part of GoodSync is a two way job that will keep the chosen folders synchronized based on the time and size information of the file. This means that when you make changes on either side, GoodSync will keep track of what was changed and what needs to be updated, added or deleted.
If you only work in your office you will probably find little use for this feature and will more likely turn to the backup feature instead. However, if you work from multiple locations or on more than one computer you will be able to put this functionality to good use.
The backup part of GoodSync is a straight forward one way job where one side controls the other. GoodSync can handle a “left►right” scenario as well as a “left◄right” arrangement. However, to most people the “left►right” will probably feel more natural as most software is arranged with that orientation.
In the case of a backup job, any change made to the “slave” side of the job will be overruled by the controlling side at the analysis and sync operation.
HD Video demonstration of file sync and backup▼
Automated file sync and backup
GoodSync is also capable of automating the file sync or backup. While setting up the basic functions in the software is pretty easy, some areas of GoodSync do get a little technical and somewhat less user-friendly than other areas.
The schedule setup is a little bit odd and takes some getting used to. Even though the feature is actually quite flexible, this part could be a good candidate for a facelift in the next major release of GoodSync.
However, most of the options in the auto dialog interface are pretty straight forward, such as:
- “on file change”
- “on GoodSync start”
Creating a new job
Setting up a new job is extremely easy and with a licensed version of GoodSync you can set up as many jobs as you need.
It takes only a few steps and a few seconds to set up a new job and get it going. It is as simple as follows.
- Assign a descriptive job name
- Choose between file sync or backup
- Browse for left and right location
- Run “analyze”
- Run “sync”
The video demonstration describes these steps in detail.
Browse left and storage choices
After you have given the job a fitting name, the next step is to browse for a left and a right location and this opens a well structured selection interface.
There is next to no limit to you can setup your file sync or backup job when it comes to storage types. You have several storage options to choose from including:
Of course you can choose any folder or hard drive on your local computer or laptop.
You can also connect to external devices that are connected via USB, eSATA, firewire etc.
You can connect to folders that are shared on your home network. This is extremely practical if you use more than one computer in your home where you can connect over LAN or Wi-Fi.
Even though this option involves more technical insight than the other options, this solution is perfect you are working on your laptop from some off-site location. With FTP connection you can perform sync or backup tasks on your server at home or at your place of business.
Connecting to your preferred cloud service is as simple as adding account and access information. GoodSync offers a handsome selection of services for your selection.
To name a few:
- Amazon S3
- Google drive
- Office 365
Selection of content
The selection of the items that you want to include in the job is very straight forward. If you wish to select more objects you can turn on the “select multiple items” Feature. This way you can easily select multiple folders or files for the job.
I really like to use this feature and I would actually prefer if the default state of this function could be changed to “on”. The first thing I do when I set use this interface is to turn it on.
The last step to finish the basic job setup is to choose the right side or the destination folder if you have chosen a backup job.
Now the job is created and you have defined what needs to go where and how. In order to get the job going, GoodSync needs to analyze the job to decide what must be copied to what destination.
The time needed for the analysis will depend on the power of your computer and the amount of data.
My work folder is roughly 75 gigabyte and an analysis takes 3 minutes to run on a standard I7 quad core PC. After this particular analysis I needed to “sync” 500 mb of data which took 35 seconds.
After the analysis of GoodSync has run its course, the system must be allowed to perform the needed operations. A press on the ”Sync” button will initiate this.
You can follow the process by checking the green progression bar and you will also be given an estimation of the time needed for the job.
GoodSync will then copy, rename or delete the files as needed in order to synchronize the chosen folders or to update a backup.
GoodSync Action Icons
In the center of the “Item” area you have a set of small buttons that work as both buttons and status indicators. The icons that I mention in this article are the ones that you will encounter the most.
The button function is effectively a user override option. With these buttons you can overrule the intended action of GoodSync by activating the buttons.
Most often you will use this option to exclude or override a planned copy or deletion process. You do this by pressing the small circle button in the central column.
Personally I use this option when GoodSync attempts to include folders or files that I consider to be of a temporary character such as scratch files from Graphical applications.
Please consider the the image below for an overview.
The video also demonstrates this topic.
Once you have everything running, an analysis can turn out a significant amount of updates. If you wish to evaluate the analyzed result before syncing, you have a series of filters to your disposal that will make it easier for you to get an overview of the planned actions.
The available filters include:
Last and lower part of the GoodSync interface is the log window. This is where you get notifications about the active job.
Disk overload issue
Until I finally sat down to figure out why, I often had the problem with error messages about insufficient disk space when I used GoodSync.
As it turned out, GoodSync has a build in trashcan/safety feature that was causing the problem because I was overextending my hard drives.
Using hard drives to the full is generally not advisable and it is recommended to leave at least 15 percent headroom for temporary files and the occasional extra space requirements. However, obviously you choose how you use your disks, but being aware of this issue up front helps avoid unnecessary annoyance when using GoodSync.
This issue is explained in detail in the demonstration video
What happens is that GoodSync gives you a period of time to regret changes to your files just like Windows and OS has a trashcan.
This is basically a good thing of course, but if you sometimes handle many or large files this issue can arise even if you have ample free disk space.
The problem is that this feature is on by default and it is not immediately apparent what is going on. The so called ”gsData” folder is a hidden folder that you will only notice when you turn on, ”display hidden files and folders” in your operating system.
If you have enough disk space you can choose to continue until you start getting error messages. Else, you can make a decision when you start using GoodSync, whether the OS trashcan is enough or if you like having this added security buffer. If you do, simply keep enough headroom on your disks.
If you choose to use the GoodSync trashcan you have the option to define the lifetime of the saved deleted files. See image below▼
Why get GoodSync if you have a backup program already?
The first argument is of course the fact that GoodSync is a synchronization program at it´s core. So if you need file sync this program could be the right choice for you.
Advantages with GoodSync
- With GoodSync you can always see what goes one behind the curtain
- Fast for the daily and ad hoc backups
- Ecryption (only Beta)
- Great value
Advantages with Acronis True Image 2015
- Sealed and compressed “one file” format with no unintentional access possible
- Versions that give you the option to regret choices and salvage deleted items.
- Password protection
But do you have to choose? No!
To me the real sense of security comes from the combination of the individual strengths of the two programs.
Loosing my data is simply not an option and I want everything that the two programs have to offer. On top of that I appreciate the fact that I get those features from two independent programs. In my opinion this only adds to the level of data safety. Even if I did find one program that offered the same features in one package, I believe I would stick with my current arrangement.
At a combined price of 80 dollars I don´t think this solution is too extravagant.
My personal backup strategy
I have written a full set of articles about my file structure and backup strategy, but below you can have a quick overview of my backup strategy which is a great asset. (See links below this article).
With no hesitation, I truly recommend GoodSync. While this is not a smartly designed, app looking program, it is a strong backup partner and it does what it is supposed to do without hiccups.
It does get a little technical in a few areas when you get a little deeper into the program, but this will not hold you back for long.
- Easy to set up new jobs
- Extremely fast daily use
- Permanent file access
- Integration of multiple storage types and cloud services
- Full software license without expiration
- The interface doesn´t scale that well when you adjust the size of the program
- Somewhat impractical, yet complete online manual
- Encryption is available in Beta only
A full 30 day trial version is available.
Good sync is a very strong ally for your daily backup and the special backups when you finish important work.
Combined with a traditional backup program like Acronis True Image 2015, you can achieve a close to bulletproof backup strategy. (This statement assumes that you keep backup versions on a second location as well).