As I mentioned in my previous article, BTSync is an easy, secure way to sync data between multiple computers without the need for a cloud-based service. In the first part, I covered installing and using BTSync in Linux. In this article, I will cover installing and using BTSync in Windows.
NOTE: BTSync is also available for Mac OS, but I don’t have a Mac computer to test on. My understanding from the documentation is the Mac version is very similar to the Windows version.
The installation for Windows is pretty straight forward. Download the Windows installer from the website, http://labs.bittorrent.com/experiments/sync.html, run the installer, and follow the prompts to install the program.
The program is a window with five tabs. Most of the tabs are just informational, but let’s go through each and find out what we can learn.
The Devices tab shows you the currently active sync devices, the folder to which they sync, and the status.
The folder tab is where you do most of your work. This is where you add and remove folders to sync.
To add a folder, click on the Add button. For the Folder secret, click on the Generate button or enter the secret from another computer. Use the Browse button to select the folder to sync. Click OK once you are finished.
To view the preferences for a folder, right-click the folder and select Show folder preferences. On the General tab, you have many options. Most of these you can leave at the default settings. One to give some consideration is whether or not to send deleted files to a folder named .SyncTrash. If the selection is checked, any deleted files are sent to the .SyncTrash folder under the main sync folder.
On the Folder preferences Advanced tab, you can get the folder secret, or if you want to give someone access but not allow them to change the files, a read only secret. You can also a generate a shorter one-time secret (full access or read only). You can only use the one-time secret once, then it is no longer active.
The Transfers tab shows you files that are being transferred to your computer from the other computers set to sync with its folders.
The History tab shows you a list of sync actions taken on the computer.
The Preferences tab allows you to create a device name for the computer, whether to show notifications, whether to start BTSync when Windows starts, and whether to automatically check for updates.
From my experience so far with BTSync, it works very well. You have no file size limits, and the only space limit is the size of your hard drive. I am currently running it on all my computers, which includes Linux and Windows 7. I have not experienced any issues with the files syncing between the two platforms. They have worked seamlessly so far. My hat’s off to the folks at BitTorrent. They have create a easy to use, secure little tool for syncing folders.
One nice thing about using a multiple computer sync tool is you have an automatic multiple backup of your synced files. In my case, this means I have three backups. If one computer goes down, I still have the files on my other two computers.
This also means I can work on the same file from any of my computers. Syncing folders for your note and calendar programs means you have the same information on all computers set to sync that folder.