Keep Networked PCs in Sync with SyncToy

Use SyncToy to create folder pairs between two PCs on your home network.
If you have two or more PCs in your house, you've probably wished for an easy way to keep certain types of data in sync between them.

For example, maybe you do most of the MP3 downloading on your PC, while your wife stores the family's digital photos on hers. Ideally, those files would be in sync and up to date on both your machines.

That's not only convenient, it also creates an extra backup in case one of the two systems dies an untimely death.

All you need is Microsoft's SyncToy 2.0, an unsupported but effective tool that creates "folder pairs" between PCs. Once you set up a pair, all it takes is one click to sync the contents of the two folders.

SyncToy gives you three synchronization options: Synchronize, Echo, and Contribute. Interestingly, the program keeps track of any files that get renamed and carries those files over on the next sync.

Speaking of which, this is a manual tool: You have to run it whenever you want to update your folder pairs. Thus, it's not really a replacment for something like Windows Live Sync, which does its work automatically and in the background. Instead, it's a great little for syncing occasional-use folders on networked PCs.

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