Synchronizing Files and FoldersWell if you have a laptop or a work computer as well as your home desktop, you should know about file synchronization. It can make your life a heck of a lot easier if you do work on more than one system during the week.
What is file synchronization?File synchronization, in its simplest form, is automatic copying. Files from a specified directory on one system are mirrored to a directory in a second system. Whenever changes are made, or at specified points, the computers communicate and share any changes that have been made to the directory or files.
New files created on one system are replicated to the other, as are changes made to existing documents. This allows 'offline' work, where a computer disconnected from its file synchronization 'partner' can be used to work on the shared files. When the computers are connected again, any changes or additions will be carried over to the other system.
The most typical example of a situation where you might want to use file synchronization would be an office worker who uses a laptop both at home and on the network at the office, or one who uses a laptop to take work home. File synchronization allows all the work done at home to be instantly added to the work desktop (or the office's server) as soon as the laptop is connected to the office network.
The same thing happens automatically in reverse when the user disconnects the laptop to leave the office. In this way, the worker always has the latest version of their files on hand, without having to juggle and manually replace the 'home' and 'office' versions of the same work. Both computers maintain an updated set of the same files.
Obviously, file synchronization can be used in more than just a simple two-computer setup. An administrator might enable offline file synchronization on certain folders in a network drive used to store communal documents. In this case, authorized persons at work could make changes to the documents outside office hours, and have these changes replicated automatically the following day, allowing other people at work access to the newly updated files.