This excellent software does double duty as a synchronisation tool and as an automated backup program. Exceedingly simple to use, it offers 2GB of free online backup space, takes up little RAM and few system resources, and works with Macs as well as PCs. All that, and it's free.
Simply install the software on your computers and indicate which folders to synchronise. SugarSync Free then works in the background. If the computer to which you wish to sync is not online, the files will sync to it when it returns. In addition to syncing the files, SugarSync Free backs them up online.
You can do a lot more, too, such as sharing files and folders with other people. The software also keeps older versions of your file online so that you can revert to any of them.
The free edition of the software will synchronise only two computers, and it has a limit of 2GB of online storage space. For-pay versions let you synchronise among multiple PCs and offer faster upload speeds.
Download SugarSync Free | Price: Free
Windows Live Sync
What if you want to synchronise your laptop with more than one other desktop or laptop, but you don't want to spend the money that SugarSync charges for it? Give the free Windows Live Sync a try. With this tool, you can sync folders on as many computers as you want, and you don't have to pay a penny. Keep in mind, however, that this software doesn't include online backup; it only synchronises folders from computer to computer.
Using Windows Live Sync is even easier than working with SugarSync Free. The method of adding and removing folders is more straightforward. Since you manage everything from a website, you can set up your synchronisation options in a single step rather than multiple ones.
Like SugarSync, Windows Live Sync works with Macs as well as PCs. However, I have been unable to get the software to work with Snow Leopard, the newest version of Mac OS X. If you want to synchronise with a Snow Leopard Mac, you may run into problems.
Download Windows Live Sync | Price: FreeXmarks
Here's a common problem for laptop owners who also have another machine: How do you keep your Favorites and bookmarks synchronised among all your computers? Let's say that you browse the web on your laptop, adding a few bookmarks and deleting a few. The next day you use your desktop, but of course it doesn't have the latest bookmark changes you made. Trying to make the corresponding additions and deletions on the desktop's web browser can be time consuming, and that's assuming you even remember them all.
Xmarks solves the problem neatly. It synchronises the bookmarks on multiple PCs, and better yet, it does so between browsers as well: With its help, you can keep Internet Explorer bookmarks on one PC synchronised with Firefox bookmarks on another. The tool even works on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.
The software used to be known as Foxmarks. Since then, its creators have updated it with additional features, including the ability to offer information about sites when you conduct searches. The extras are useful, but you'll really want this software for its synchronisation of the bookmarks on all your PCs.
Download Xmarks | Price: Free