Over the past few years I’ve podcasted quite a bit about one of my favorite Mac utilities, Chronosync, but never given it a feature review. It is time. Chronosync handles synching and backups from your Mac with style.
For instance, using Chronosync I have one script that looks at the contents of some of my most important document folders and copies them to a backup folder on my iDisk every week. This way my key documents get offsite backup. The best part is Chronosync does this on a schedule and it requires no user involvement.
Selecting files for synchronization for backup requires selection of the volume and applicable directory and selecting, or unselecting, individual components for Chronosync’s attention. It is not entirely intuitive but makes sense once you understand it.
Once selected you cansynchronize or backup with just about any device. It will work with local or attached storage or even other computers. The developer’s separate application, ChronoAgent makes this particularly easy with other Macs and an excellent solution for synching between desktop and laptop machines.
The interface makes it easy to choose between unidirectional and bi-directional syncing. So whether you are looking to simply create an archive or sync multiple changes between two working machines, Chronosync can handle it. The application can even sync non system files with a Windows PC. It analyzes your data and allows for trial synchronizations. Additionally, Chronosync can create version archives on your backup to allow you to fetch prior versions of files.
In performing this bit of magic, ChronoSync uses "Relative State Monitoring" that allows it to detect deleted, moved, or renamed files and folders, and resolve conflicts. ChronoSync protects data integrity by verifying data, ensuring proper copies are made before replacing data, and providing detailed logs. Because it only copies changed files, the process is remarkably fast.
The scheduling tool allows you to set repeating and single run backups with the precision of a Swiss watch. It even emails you when backups complete or, more importantly, fail.
Because each synchronization or backup process is its own file, you can save as many templates as you require. I’ve been using ChronoSync for several years and never had any problems with it.
A license will cost $40. Interestingly, that is it. There will never be an upgrade fee, ever. When the software recently updated to version 4.0, I got it for free. You can check it out at econtechnologies.com.
You can listen to this review on the Mac ReviewCast, episode 223.