Toucan Portable App Fits Backup and Sync Into a Small Package
By Jon L. Jacobi, PCWorldMay 24, 2010 12:04 pm PDT
Toucan? You can. Who can? You can! Back up, copy, sync and encrypt files with ease that is, and without having to install yet another utility on your system. Toucan (free) is a file utility found at portableapps.com (as well as here) and the install is location-agnostic. In other words, you install it wherever you want–on your hard drive, on a thumb drive, etc. Then you either run it from where you installed it (double-clicking on the .exe file), or create a shortcut on your desktop.
Toucan won a job in my IT toolkit for the simple reason that Microsoft’s Windows XP copy routine becomes virtually useless when anything out of the ordinary occurs. If you want to copy a large batch of files–and to make sure the process isn’t interrupted by braindead dialogs asking you if you’re sure you want to do something you just told the computer to do–you need something like Toucan. It lets you issue instructions up front to skip copying files if they already exist in the target location, overwrite them if they’re older, etc. Toucan’s copy routine is actually found under the Sync tab, which logically enough, also contains the sync routine as well as the move, mirror, equalize, clean, and update routine jobs, all of which are explained nicely in the small but effective help file.
Encrypting files with Toucan is as easy as selecting them and supplying a password. It’s a pretty basic function, so you must track where they are and remember the password yourself. For quick and dirty securing of files it’s very handy, but you won’t want to rely on it for big jobs. The backup routine simply puts a friendly face on standard archiving. You can back up to both standard Zip and 7-Zip archives, however, you’ll need another program to open them. XP and later versions of Windows can handle Zip, while 7-Zip is both free and supported by several free archiving utilities such as PeaZip.
I use Toucan all the time. While not the swiftest or prettiest of programs, it’s always worked perfectly for me. I wish it would open the backup files it creates, but other than that, it’s a gem.