Steve Kurtz
~ it's a beautiful world ~

File Sharing over the Internet

March 28th, 2009

If you’ve ever been away from your computer and realized you need a file from it, you’ll appreciate Windows Live Sync. Windows Live Sync allows automatic file synchronization and sharing between multiple personal computers.  Cost?  Free.

File Synchronization

The service works by connecting selected computers over the internet. For each computer that you want to synchronize, you install Microsoft’s Live Sync Client (Windows & Mac software available), designate the files/folders to be shared, and the software does the rest. As long as both computers are on at the same time, Live Sync will synchronize the selected files, so they are available on either computer. Once synchronized, the files are available on either computer, even if one is off or unavailable.

File Synchronization is great for:

  • Laptop users. You have a Desktop computer and a Laptop for the road. Designate files to be synchronized, and any work you do on your Desktop is automatically available on your Laptop while you travel.
  • Collaboration. Workgroups often need access to shared files. This is traditionally accomplished through network servers using VPN for remote users. With Live Sync multiple people in a geographically separate workgroup can share files without needing a central server.
  • Backup. Use Live Sync to backup files and folders to a second computer.

Remote Computer Browsing

Live Sync can also be configured to give you access to all the files on your personal computer from anywhere (while your computer is on). Just log into your Microsoft Live Share account on any internet connected computer to browse your computer and download files.

Common Sense Privacy and Security

Be sure to obtain permission from the computer’s owner (employer, parent, friend, etc.) before connecting a computer to Live Sync.  If you do use the browsing and download features, please exercise caution.  Consider enabling browsing only when you are away.  Make sure that whatever computer you use to access files while away does not “remember your password” and that you “Log Out” of Live Sync before leaving the computer.  Do read Microsoft’s Terms of Use during the signup process and understand the implications of sharing your data in this way.

To get started, just visit sync.live.com.  And let us know how you make out.

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