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Review: DirSync 3
DirSync 3 was reviewed in the process of searching for the best backup software.
- Versioning is implemented well, providing a deletion folder that can either be kept with the files hierarchy or in a different folder root.
- GUI is well designed, and has moderately extensive online help for each feature.
- Excellent synchronization options. See details below.
- Very extensive progress indicators.
- Built-in service/server to enable automated backup jobs.
- Comparison mechanism is either CRC32 or Date & Time (which allows for some time differences).
- Impact to other running processes can be adjusted by thread priority, bandwidth throttling or max execution time.
- Pre & Post Job command execution.
- No encryption or DVD burning. But this is to be expected for a program intended mainly for synchronization purposes. Unfortunately, the lack of encryption means that using this for a remote NAS implementation would be risky.
- No compression. While it is possible for a synchronization utility to support compression (i.e. no longer a native mirror) on the destination, DirSync does not.
Main Program Window
Synchronization / Mirror Options
Of all the backup / synchronization utilities I have evaluated, DirSync has one of the strongest assortment of options for handling the mirror / synch process.
The above modes are grouped into three types of synchronization processes: One-Way Sync, Bidirectional Sync and Restore. The description provided for each mode is very informative and included below:
- One-Way Sync - All operations are applied to target side. According to configurations, the single files in source can be copied to target, the single files in target can be deleted and the older files in target can be overwritten by their newer counterparts in source. If the matched files are different and the source one has the same or older timestamp, there is a conflict. NOTE: A good practice is using "Synchronize" mode often and switch to "Replicate" mode occasionally.
- Bidirectional Sync - Always create a super-set of the data on both source and target. According to configurations, the single files in source or target can be copied to corresponding folder in the other side. The older files in one side can be overwritten by their newer counterparts. If the matched files are different and their timestamps are the same, there is a conflict.
- Restore - The same as the "One-way Sync" plus, the newer files in target folder can be overwritten by their older counterparts in source. This is useful when you want to recover the backup files or sometimes there is a conflict in "One-way Sync". NOTE: The transfer direction is from source to target folders! For a recovery job, the folders must be reversed to the previous backup.
For each of the above modes, there are additional options that you can use to modify the synchronization process further. Setting a Sync Mode will cause an appropriate selection of these options, but you can override them individually if necessary.
I would strongly recommend DirSync if you only require hard drive-to-hard drive synchronization / mirroring. As I continue to use this for local mirroring, I have not yet run into any instabilities or bugs, which is indicative of a solid product.