What You Said: How Do You Sync Your Files Between Your Devices?

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By Jason Fitzpatrick on June 17th, 2011

Earlier this week we asked you to share your tricks and techniques for keeping files synced between your different devices. Now we’re back to highlight how you do it.

Overwhelmingly, you do it with Dropbox. Despite the proliferation of different platforms there has been little inroads made into any sort of universal syncing. We heard from quite a few different readers and by far the most popular option was to use Dropbox to ensure that you could get the music and documents you wanted whether you were on your desktop, laptop, netbook, iPhone, or Android device.

In the same breath however, nearly all of your added on an additional service. The real message, it would seem, is that there simply isn’t a service good enough to meet all of the needs most users have, all of the time. The most common response to our Ask the Readers question was “Dropbox and…”; this pattern is illustrated nicely in the following quotes. Kim writes:

Dropbox for all kinds of things. (Would also use Sugarsync, but it doesn’t support Linux.)
Lastpass for passwords.
Xmarks for bookmarks, although I’m going to try Firefox Sync soon.
Evernote for things like shell commands I might want someday.
Google Beta for music, once I get it uploaded. I have an Amazon account too, but Google gives you more space.

Michael finds himself in a similar situation and writes:

My devices – Home Desktop, Work Destop, Notebook, Netbook, Android Phone-Droid X, iPad

Mail/Contacts/Calendar/Music – Google
Files – Dropbox
Photographs – Flickr
Browsers – both Chrome and Firefox Sync
Bookmarks – Delicious,Trunkly, and Pinboard
Evernote – Notes

I have been experimenting with Tonido but haven’t got it running the way I want just yet.

Jon writes:

Dropbox for the small files
Thunderbird and lightning for emails and calendars (+ google calendar to sync it with my CRAPberry)
Microsoft’s Home Group for the printers (+ hamachi if I am outside of home)
Skype for small files and pictures
The Tornado for big files

It would seem that the state of file syncing and inter-device communication is still a frontier of sorts and the only way you’re going to get things exactly the way you want is to cobble together a set of tools that reaches all your devices in all the formats you need. Hit up the original comment thread here to see all the different ways your fellow readers are slinging their files about.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/17/11
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