SyncToy 2.1 Tested: Backing up to a CIFS/Samba Share

SyncToy has been around since Windows XP and despite its age, it has weathered the many years Microsoft has been offering the free utility despite other Windows PowerToys losing support from the original developers and from users. SyncToy is a simple application for mirroring and copying files from one location to another and is excellent for backing up to a portable USB external hard drive. There are dozens of free and commercial applications on the Internet for backing up/syncing folders to a Windows machine, but SyncToy's simplicity has made it one of the few free Microsoft applications I install consistently over the years. As a regular user of rsync and its GUI version Grsync in Linux, I appreciate the similarities between the two (though Linux rsync and other alternatives such as lftps and Unison certainly have more flexibility).

SyncToy can sync folders across a network - even to a shared CIFS/Samba folder as shown in the screenshot below.




In the setup illustrated, the external hard drive is shared via Samba through the wireless router and accessed through Windows 7 and synced using SyncToy. Unfortunately, performance takes a huge hit so for most users SyncToy might not be the best application.

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