FreeFileSync helps to synchronize drives, files and folders. The open source software can compare individual files and folders with each other and also provides a backup of the files through synchronization. The backup should be stored on an external hard disk which must not be permanently connected to the computer so that it is not encrypted in case of a hacker attack with Ransomware and can be used to recover the data after the system cleanup.
Synchronize files and folders
FreeFileSync compares the files at the binary level to find differences in content that are not recognizable by modification date, file size, and file name, so no files are forgotten during synchronization. This is done by the system tool via batch processing, whereby several files and folders are updated at a time, and you don’t have to sit next to them all the time.
FreeFileSync supports Unicode and can therefore handle international characters. It also knows NTFS, Microsoft’s proprietary file system, where support includes long file and path names, encryption, compressed data, and security rights. Rights such as DACL, SACL, owner and group cannot be taken over with a standard account, which is why it is deactivated by default. If you still need to store this information, you need an administrator account for system administration. With the Volume Shadow Copy Service, encrypted files can still be copied and FreeFileSync also provides detailed information about the storage space allocation and distribution of the files in the folder structures.
Control and monitoring
The synchronization settings can be set using filters. If desired, these synchronize only a part of the files, which all have the same file type, for example. You can also use the filters to find and synchronize recently moved or renamed files and folders. The filters are supplemented by macros that automate work steps.
If the synchronization should not be possible as desired, FreeFileSync recognizes the problems during the search run and generates error reports. Furthermore, it cancels the copying process as a precaution to avoid data damage. The synchronization algorithms of the backup tool also avoid data jams and manage the simultaneous synchronization jobs of multiple users.
Synchronization across system boundaries
FreeFileSync is not only limited to one computer system, but also synchronizes files and folders in the network. The open source software uses the SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), which is encrypted in comparison to FTP and thus prevents unauthorized access.
Communication with mobile devices is also possible. For this FreeFileSync knows the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP), which allows a connection with a Smartphone or Tablet with Android as well as an iPhone or iPad with iOS. It should also be possible to connect and synchronise with digital cameras that are familiar with MTP.
System requirements and licensing model
FreeFileSync is available for Windows, Mac and Linux and is free for personal and business use. The freeware advertisement fades in and only disappears when the developer receives a donation via PayPal, credit card or Sofortüberweisung via the Donate button on the manufacturer’s website.
In addition to remote advertising, the donation version offers further advantages. The donation version can be used as a portable version without installation from a USB stick and automatically receives updates. The time period in which new updates are available depends on the donation amount and starts at 3 months, for 10 EUR. This only applies to the single-user donation version for private users. For companies with several users, higher amounts apply, which can be calculated variably on the manufacturer side under FAQ.