How much time do you spend asking someone else for a file they have? How many requests do you get for someone asking for a file that is only on your laptop? For some, particularly small business, the time spent doing these two things can be significant. This article is devoted to a simple method of getting your laptop to manage the process of sharing files. You will need a web server to be a single computer that can act as a single point of reference for all files. A web server can be set up and home using your ADSL connection, or leased. This method could be used to synchronise files amongst multiple projects and multiple people.
This article is intended as a simple method for individuals and small business. Large corporates are able to pay significant license fees for proprietary software and employ systems administrators that does this.
Using syncback to synchronise a directory on your computer with another location
The software I use is Syncback from Two Bright Sparks . The Syncback software may be downloaded from here. The free version is Syncback. The version requiring payment is SyncBackSE. The differences between the two are explained here. I use the free version.
I had planned to write a how to guide and provide snapshots of different screens to aid communication. I don’t need to do this. The Two Bright Sparks web site has some excellent tutorials with great pictures that will help you understand the software. I will provide their links below and you will need to go through them. Please download and install the Syncback software and go through the tutorials.
- Syncback tutorials (home page)
- The Backup guide
- Synch your laptop
- Automated backups
- Restoring backups
- Using advanced features – please select “Using advanced features” from Syncback tutorials (home page)
These documents and tutorials above provide an excellent introduction to SyncBack. The Syncback soource would generally be your laptop. The Syncback destination could be a computer on the same network to do a backup. It could also be a web server anywhere in the world.
Sharing files around the worldÃ‚Â
When I share files, I provide the following information:
- address: the domain name address for the files
- directory: the individual may only be interested in a specific directory or directories. Syncback can be set up to just synchronise the selected directories.
With this information and the Syncback software, individuals can take a copy of the files at this location. The laptop can check at regular intervals to see if any of the files have been changed, or new files added. Ti will download the revised files automatically. The server providing the files can give each user different access rights. They may be able to change the files, add files to the location or delete files. Multiple people can synchronise with the same destination. This would provide a very simple means to have common library of files for multiple people. This library of files could be family photos or it could be business documents. If they were family photos, you could allow individuals to download, but not change or delete. They may also be able to add photos.
There are many alternatives to achieve this result. Each alternative offers different levels of security. This is a method that just works. It may not be suitable for business applications.
In the next few weeks, I will write an article on how to set up your own web server to distribute the files.