Coincidentally as I write this review, I woke up this morning to a dead Apple Time Capsule, which was the drive that contained all my documents, pictures, music and so on. Thankfully I had everything backed up onto another drive and ran into no downtime or loss of files because I had such a strong backup strategy. This really stresses the importance of backing up and since hard drives contain moving magnetic parts, it’s only a matter of time until they fail. This was exactly the situation I ran into this morning with my dead drive and without a proper backup strategy, you can lose, months, years or even decades of important files. Whether it is your pictures, documents, music or files you might need for work, file loss can really send you for a loop when you lose everything. This is thus every reason why it is important to make sure you have the latest backup.
With that said, I have a review for you on a piece of software that can help you backup your files called GoodSync version 9. So your probably asking what is GoodSync and what will it do for me? GoodSync 9 is a piece of backup software which allows for you to specify the files you want to backup and then choose the drive that you wish to back up to. Upon first sync, GoodSync will backup everything and then as you create more files that need to be backed up, it will look for new or changed files and backup only those files. This not only saves time and system resources, but it also puts less strain on your drives. Besides just backing up, GoodSync also allows you to sync documents and files between computers. Let’s say you are working on a Word Document on computer A and you save the document, get up and go over to computer B. When you arrive, the file will automatically be synced over that way you can continue working. Personally I prefer shared drives rather than syncing, but this is a nice feature I’m sure many of you will love to have.
Another great feature of GoodSync 9 is it allows you to schedule backups and save to online providers like Amazon S3, Microsoft SkyDrive and more. Scheduling backups are a very nice feature since it creates basically an automated solution allowing one to simply forget about backing up and let the program take care of it. Another great feature of GoodSync 9 is it allows you to backup your data onto other computers in your house. With this feature you can use drive space you already own, spread out the data among drives, and not have to worry about who could be potentially looking at your files or having to encrypt your data like many of us do who use online backup solutions. Plus the nice thing with GoodSync 9 is you actually get some of the benefits of cloud storage since they bundle in GoodSync explorer, which allows you to connect back to your computer from a remote location and grab a file that you might need. Keep in mind that to do this, each machine needs a GoodSync license at you are looking at about $30 per computer to enable this functionality.
I do feel, however, that a cloud backup is still needed even with GoodSync Connect because while the data might be across multiple computers, there is still the risk that a fire could come along and take all your computers with it and online backup can eliminate this risk.
In my tests with the program, I found GoodSync 9 to work as advertised and both the backup and the sync functions seemed to work great. I even used it across a network drive to see if it would give the program any trouble and still the application performed flawlessly. Next I tested GoodSync Connect, which is the feature that allows you to backup files across other machines in your home and again I found it performed really well. While GoodSync Connect isn’t breakthrough, since it’s basically file sharing, but what makes it nice is that it is very easy to configure and definitely nice for the average user wishing to backup without a lot of configuration
So that leaves me with the downfalls of this product and the number one con in my opinion would be the user interface—this interface really needs improvement. Things are scattered everywhere and because of the poor user interface, I expect the average user to potentially have some issues configuring this product. It definitely is not plug and play and nothing like Windows Backup or Apple’s Time Machine where with pretty much with a click of a few buttons, the backup is started and configured. Would I recommend GoodSync 9 to anyone? No. I would only recommend it to advanced users because you really have to know what you are doing because it is very powerful and with the wrong clicks, one could potentially destroy their data which may be their only copy. Another thing that should be improved was the configuration interface when trying to connect to online-based drives. This process was confusing and a configuration wizard would be a nice enhancement.
Overall for $30 this program is worth it if you are more of an advanced user, but if you are not tech savvy, be aware that you can really screw things up with this program because there are so many options and some are advanced. I recommend that you make a backup before using this backup program as oddly as that sounds. Also while the ability to use GoodSync Connect sounds wonderful, it can get quite expensive at $30 a license per machine to use this feature. Overall if you are an advanced user and are willing to get over the downfalls mentioned, the program works wonderfully and is a great backup solution. Otherwise, for average users or those who want more of a plug and play solution, I would avoid this piece of software because it is just to complex and the interface makes things way more complicated than it needs to be.
GoodSync 9 is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems and is priced at $29.95 per machine for Windows clients and $39.95 per machine for Macintosh clients. GoodSync 9 is available for purchase at http://goodsync.com