Backbaze Backup claim to be “the world’s easiest cloud backup” and offer unlimited cloud backup for as little as $5 per computer per month. Backing up all of you files and external hard drives is enabled by default!
GoodSync effectively combines real-time file synchronisation across multiple PCs with a solid PC backup application. The software itself is a single one-off payment and will work with many mainstream cloud storage providers including Dropbox, Amazon S3, Google Drive, Backblaze B2 and many others.
For someone who regularly works across 2 or more PCs and needs solid, real-time synchronisation along with multiple backups sets and the option to use multiple cloud storage providers GoodSync is definitely worth a look!
I have been looking forwards to testing this out for a while now, so let’s go!
- Secure and reliable backup software
- Impressive range of cloud storage providers supported
- Full encryption and compression support
- Great scheduling support including real-time synchronisation
- Supports multiple backup & scheduling sets
- Only supports file level backups (no image backups)
- No option for email based backup reports
- Unsuitable for those seeking extensive versioning (available only on deleted files)
- Potentially unsuitable for those looking for a “set and forget” solution
- A one-off licence fee provides potentially good value!
- Also available is a very functional free version (ideal for testing)
Once downloaded the installation of GoodSync is fairly straightforward and I had the software up and running myself within a couple of minutes. There are, however, multiple prompts shown during this process meaning it doesn’t quite have the “1 click” feel of some providers such as Backblaze.
You will also be prompted to optionally log-in or create a GoodSync account during the install, this is, however, optional if you only intend to use the free version of the software.
Once installed and loaded up it starts to become apparent straight away this is a professional level tool, with no easy to use wizard to greet you its straight into the application’s (admittedly quite nice) interface to get on with the work for yourself.
I personally found the layout quite nice and after a few minutes appeared to be relatively easy to work with. On the left of the main screen we have the jobs ist (both backup and sync jobs), the slightly bigger file selection window on the right side of the screen and above this, in addition the menus are the source and destination targets for the current job. This might look unusual at first glance however, using GoodSync’s setup the left target is best suited as the local source (the files to backup) and the right target the storage (either local or cloud based storage).
So, lets start by looking at how to get a new backup running, to begin with click on “new job” from the menu bar and when asked select “backup” from the options box which pops up, whilst still in this options box we can also enter the name of the job and click “ok”.
Once complete the software will take us back to the main screen (again no wizards here), once at the home screen our next job is to configure the source and destination for this new backup job. We do this configuration using the target boxes found above the main file window (See below):
Starting with the left target, I can select anything from a single file through to an entire folder or even my entire profile to be backed up (note that performing system image backups is not possible with GoodSync!):
Next, once the items to be backed up are selected we need to select the storage to be used (the right target), this cold be a locally attached hard drive, a NAS device or one of the many supported cloud storage providers including Dropbox, Google Drive and Backblaze B2. GoodSync also provide their own cloud storage service offering, amongst other options 100GB for a very reasonable $19.99 per year should you wish to go with that instead!
Once the backup source and the target storage have both been configured we are ready to set the options for our new backup set, this includes scheduling, compression and encryption. All options can be accessed by first selecting the job (if there are more than one) from the left panel and then clicking on the “options” button found in the top right of the screen:
Once in the options screen, on the initial “General” tab which it opens up on are some of the most important settings for our backup, this includes the versioning controls for our backup. Interestingly, this appears to be found under the “Recycle Bin” section, it is here we can there specify to save deleted versions of files either in a specific ‘History’ folder or in the recycle bin itself and for how many days to keep said files before deleting:
Whilst not a full versioning system in itself (it appears to only be for deleted files rather than modified files) this is still a useful function to have. On the downside, however, due to these limitations a backup is essentially just a one way synchronisation job which obviously wont be suitable for some users!
Moving on, with the options under the “filters” tab we can optionally filter out certain file types from our backup, for example .ISO files. We can also, optionally, include or exclude system files and temporary files from our backup as well should we wish!
The “Auto” tab is where we can select either a schedule for our backup and / or additionally select a trigger which will cause it to spring into life (such as logging off from the PC). The main scheduling tool, whilst a little unconventional, is straightforward and provides a quick and efficient way of configuring virtually any schedule you might need:
Moving on, both the source selection and target storage each have a set of options available to each of them as well, this includes being able to set compression and encryption on any files as well as the option to include or exclude file attributes (file permissions etc.).
Finally, under the options screen, we have the ability to run scripts either before or after the job as well as more advanced options such as using VSS to include open or otherwise locked files. The ability to run scripts after the backup is especially important as GoodSync as of yet appear not to have email backup reporting available which is very disappointing to discover.
Whilst testing I found the backups themselves always ran as they should and with no issues, the main screen shows a summary of the latest backup job which includes any changed files, amount of data transferred and so on.
Next, I’m going to look at using the sync functionality by creating a new sync job, this is very similar to the backup functionality and provides a way to keep files and folders in sync across 2 or more PCs. To start with, as with the backup job, we must begin by selecting “New Job” from the menu and then this time selecting “Syncronize” as is shown below:
Once completed the new Sync job will appear in the job list on the left of the screen, just like we did with the backup job earlier we must continue by selecting a source folder and a target to synchronise with.
The source could be, for example, a specified folder on our local PC that is being worked with. The target, which is to be kept in sync with this local folder could be a folder on a cloud storage provider or a direct connection to a folder on another PC itself (in other words, network depending, we can sync to other PCs with the GoodSync software directly). If the two (or more) machines are not accessible over the same network we can still keep them in sync but this would require the use of cloud storage as the go-between.
Once the source folder and the destination (be it cloud storage or direct to another PC) is configured we can begin looking at the options for the sync job. As with the backup job these options are found by selecting the sync job in the left job list and clicking on the “Options” button towards the top right of the screen:
The first thing to notice (and this is a useful feature) is that we can still configure potentially unlimited versioning on any deleted files, this means if a file was to be deleted in the sync folder we still have options for recovery (if configured here!).
Under the “Auto” tab we can again also specify a schedule or certain triggers (e.g. logging off) for the synchronisation process to occur. In addition to this we can optionally specify real-time synchronisation which triggers the job as soon as any file in the source folder is changed, we can also add a small delay to this process as well should we need to.
As before, we can again specify both compression and encryption options for our files if needed and also specify any scripts that are to be run before or after the latest synchronisation is complete.
As with backing up or syncing there are no nice wizards available when it comes to restoring files, instead we must use the main interface and run the “Analyse” function found on the menu bar to begin.
Once run this function will show us all files on the left (our local source folder) and those on the right (essentially our backup storage target). The software will indicate if it has detected different (or missing) files on either side and here forms the basis of our restore.
Simply locate the file to restore on the right (the storage target) and then right-click on it and select “Copy Right to Left”, repeat this for all necessary files and folders which are to be restored.
Finally, once all files and folders have been selected, we can click on the “Sync” button, which is again found on the top menu bar and which will perform the restore operation for us (or the re-sync of any selected files).
In some ways this functionality is quite simple and straight to the point but I certainty wouldn’t suggest this as a main backup tool for those seeking a quick and easy way to get their PC backed up!
There isn’t much else to the GoodSync application outside of the core backup and synchronisation functionality. In many ways this is ok since this is very much a tool to do a specific job very well and that is clearly what GoodSync is focused upon!
All files, both on the source and destination side of a sync or backup can optionally be encrypted with a user defined password. GoodSync don’t offer too many encryption options other than just on or off and the option to additionaly encrypt filenames if needed. Basic, yes, but it is nice to see this is also included in the free version of the software as well which is great!
GoodSync have some excellent support resources on their website including a software manual and a good knowledge base. Users of the paid version also have access to 24/7 technical support via an online ticketing system.
GoodSync is priced at a one-off $49.95 per PC.
I think it is fair to say GoodSync (as the name might suggest) is very much focused around being a file synchronisation tool first and foremost. It is also fair to say that thanks to the excellent cloud provider support, (real-time) scheduling options and encryption support it makes a very good job of this!
Additionally, whilst it is nice to see a backup component included with this tool I feel it is somewhat lacking for all but the most basic backup jobs. As GoodSync attest to themselves on their website a backup with GoodSync is essentially just a one-way synchronisation. This is of course fine for some users but I would not advise using this as a main backup application if you want to create more advanced backup jobs which take advantage of file versioning for example!
During my testing everything worked as it should have and for a more tech savvy user the interface is actually quite well thought out and easy to get to grips after a time, this is despite lacking wizards which many competing products now make good use of.
All-in-all this is a solid tool which works well and provides everything you might need whilst working with files across multiple PCs as well as performing basic backups.
Well done GoodSync!