What is file syncing? It's a question I didn't even think of answering, because I've worked with computers so long that it's obvious to me, and it's easy to forget that others don't know (it's the curse of knowledge). I quickly realized I was wrong when I started spreading the word about file syncing software I'm working on called ZitaSync.

File Syncing in a Nutshell

File syncing is short for file synchronization. Making sense yet? No? Okay, read on...

Imagine you have a phone, tablet, laptop, and a desktop computer. You take some photos on your phone (as seen below).

What is File Syncing photoThe file syncing system then automatically copies those photos to all devices...

What is File Syncing photo synced

 Likewise, any photos made on the tablet would also be copied to all other devices in the syncing group.

One Way Syncing (a.k.a., Mirroring)

There are two file syncing variations, the first one of which is one way syncing (also known as mirroring). As the name suggests, file changes are copied one way only. So, if your phone were one-way synced to your computer, then new photos, videos, & files would be copied from the phone to computer. However, if you edited or deleted one of those photos, then those changes wouldn't get copied back to the phone. Likewise, files saved on the computer won't be copied to the phone.

What is File Syncing one way

Full Two-Way Synchronization

With full two-way synchronization, any photo, video or file added, modified or deleted on one device automatically gets mirrored on all the other machines. At least, those in the syncing folder do (you don't really want every single file on your computer to be copied). So, if you deleted the photo you took on your phone on your laptop, then it would be deleted on your phone too. If you edited the photo instead, then the modified version would be copied back to the phone too.

Basically, any change made on one device is mirrored on all the others. The file syncing system will copy files between machines, and also rename and delete files as needed to keep the devices synchronized.

What is File Syncing full two wayWhy Would You Want this?

Here are a few reasons why you might want file syncing software:

  1. Convenience. Files are automatically copied so you don't have to do it manually. For example, I like taking photos on my phone, but prefer to edit them on my laptop. File syncing software automatically copies the photos/videos across, so it's ready for me when I sit down at the laptop
  2. Small group collaboration. It's a useful way to share files between a group of collaborators
    WARNING: I said "small group." Things get messy very fast when you've got too many people working on files at the same time
  3. Automatic backups. Lost your phone? That sucks, but at least you still have your precious family photos/videos. They automatically got copied to your other devices so they're safe (assuming you're using file syncing software)

ZitaSync File Syncing Software

Interested in file syncing software? Click here to check out ZitaSync.