I have 100GB+ of data (photos, music etc) on a network share, but due to the small disk size (128GB SSD) on my Macbook Pro, I'd like to have a local copy of a small selection of it, and easily manage what data is locally synced.

I'm struggling to find a good solution for this. I'm after the following features:

  • LAN sync. I want transfers between my computers on the same network to be fast, not via cloud storage - nor do I want to plug in a USB drive every time I want to sync stuff.
  • Affordable. Although I have 100GB+ of data, I don't need it in the cloud, so don't really want to pay the cloud storage rates. I'm willing to consider cloud-based options if they're affordable and offer LAN sync, though.
  • Sync any folder. I don't want sync to be limited to syncing only contents of a particular folder.
  • Syncs automatically or runs on an easily configurable schedule.
  • Intuitive Selective Sync GUI for managing subfolders to sync to the laptop. Dropbox's 'selective sync' feature is a good example, especially the "advanced view":

    Dropbox OS X selective sync advanced view

I've looked at a number of options that are out there, but they all seem to fall short:

  • Goodsync. So close! Standalone app, Under $70 one-time payment (licences for mac & the PC with the share). It just doesn't have the Intuitive GUI for selecting subfolders to sync. To include/exclude folders to sync, you have to type/paste individual folder names into a list, rather than select them from a finder-like directory browser - this is tiresome and error-prone.
  • Chronosync - another standalone app, similar to Goodsync - again no good selective sync GUI.
  • Dropbox - has LAN sync & selective sync, but only for files that it also hosts in the cloud; $100/year for 100GB is too much given that I don't need cloud storage. Only syncs ~/Dropbox.
  • SkyDrive - pricing reasonable ($50 for 100GB), but no LAN sync and can only syncs the ~/SkyDrive folder.
  • SugarSync - will sync any folder, but more expensive than Dropbox and no LAN sync.

Does anyone know any software that's a better match for my needs? Or perhaps I've missed existing useful features in these tools, or a completely alternate approach? Does anyone else have similar requirements?

I used to use unison to do this kind of thing but I got fed up with it because I didn't particularly have the patience to maintain profiles describing what I didn't want to sync etc.

  • If your MacBook Pro has space for a second drive, I'd ditch your optical and get a big spinning drive and make a DIY fusion drive. The OS will then tier data for you - but it's a pretty radical departure from a decently worded query so I'll not even suggest it as an answer. – bmike Jan 25 '13 at 0:37
  • It is very hard to find a program that solves it all. I suggest you trying TeamDrive out. It looks like you could run it over the LAN. I found Syncplicity which lets you sync any folder in your system, and let's you exclude whatever subfolder you want, but you can't host it yourself, and it's 2 gb only. – erandros Mar 23 '14 at 15:06

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.