Double The Cloud Power: How To Sync Files Across Storage Services

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sync files across computersBeing able to sync from our many devices to the Cloud is an awesome benefit of modern computing. We’re able to take our files with us on mobile devices, access them from other computers without the need of a device like a flash drive or SD card, and it’s an excellent solution for backing up that data that we can’t live without.

Speaking of backing up that data, one of the best, but seldom used, ways to use cloud storage services is to create a redundancy backup system. Basically this means you would use two or more cloud storage services to sync your data between them and to your computer, without creating duplicate files on your computer system.

Why Bother Backing Up? I’ve Been Fine So Far

Might I just say to that: Famous last words. Backup! If you need some motivation, take a look at the articles:

Alright, Fine – I’ll Back Up, But Isn’t One Enough?

Sure. You can get by with one backup, but if you have the capability, why not back up your backups? The method isn’t new. Creating redundancy among backups has been around for a while, specifically on hardware and is known as RAID. For more information on that, be sure to check out James’ article: What Is RAID Storage & Can I Use It On My Home PC- [Technology Explained].

To do this in the cloud, there isn’t a specific method or a known technique that is the “way to do it”, likely because cloud storage is still so new (and because of that, being educated about them would be a good idea). Instead, there have been apps and workarounds created to help with the process.

Technique One: SugarSync To [Cloud Storage Service Folder] And Vice Versa

Two things are required for this method:

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  1. SugarSync.
  2. A service with a physical folder on your computer.

Such services would be Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and Box (although I’m sure there are others too).

If you have any idea how SugarSync works, then you know you can choose which folders to sync to it. Furthermore, you can choose what folders or files within those folders to sync if you don’t want to sync the whole folder. If you’re not familiar with how SugarSync works, well… now you are. It might not be a surprise to you that I’ve included this method as I’ve already written that SugarSync is the most well-rounded file backup and syncing service available. This feature of being able to choose which folders to sync is one of the primary reasons why.

Alternatively, you could replace SugarSync with Cubby, and the results should be just as good.

Note: In the screenshots below, SugarSync 2.0 Beta is being used. However if you haven’t upgraded, the article I wrote highlighting SugarSync (also linked to previously) features the previous version. Both have the same functionality of adding folders, but the interface is different.

To add a folder, there are a couple of options. You can right-click the folder and add it to SugarSync like shown below.

sync files across computers

Another method is clicking the button to prompt a window for selecting which folders you’d like to add.

sync files across networks

Lastly, if you use SugarSync 2.0 Beta, you can drag and drop the folder directly onto the main menu.

sync files across networks

Use SyncBack Or SyncToy Between Two Folders (Windows Only)

If, for some reason, you don’t have the same enthusiasm that I do in using SugarSync, or perhaps you just don’t want to use that space for duplicates, another option is to use a program like SyncBack or SyncToy, both of which have been previously covered in more detail here on MakeUseOf and contain step-by-step instructions of how to use.

Like the SugarSync method, you will also need physical folders of these services on your PC in order for it to work. Just set them up like you would any other folder and since they’re automatic, they’ll do the rest.

sync files across networks

Connect Wappwolf To Your Cloud Storage Services

This isn’t the first time Wappwolf has been mentioned on MakeUseOf. Bakari wrote an extensive article highlighting its usefulness with Dropbox, which you should read for a more in-depth look at using and understanding how Wappwolf works. However, Wappwolf isn’t just for Dropbox, but it connects to Google Drive and Box as well. In addition, to those, it works with many other services like SugarSync, Basecamp and Evernote.

sync cloud storage

There is an almost overwhelming amount of features that Wappwolf has. It has special actions for documents, pictures, audio, videos and files in general. I encourage you to check it out and experiment with it – it’s the only way you’ll truly understand and appreciate it.

sync cloud storage

If you need additional help, the Wappwolf tutorials for Dropbox, Google Drive and Box might be of some help.

IFTTT: Cloud Storage Recipe

sync cloud storage

If This Then That is an incredible service and likely one of the most valuable on the Internet due to its versatility and the ability to customize anything to your preference. In this case, we’ll create a recipe between Dropbox and Google Drive on IFTTT.

When you go to IFTTT, click Channels in the top right corner. You should then see a page like the one below.

Click the channel you’d like to use. For this example, we’ll use Dropbox, but you can do it in any order you prefer. Next you’ll choose a Trigger, in which I’ve chosen the first one: New file in your Public folder.

After choosing a Trigger, IFTTT will suggest recipes. The Dropbox and Google Drive one was conveniently displayed right at the front, but if it’s not for you, or you want to use a different service, such as Box, just click More Recipes with this Trigger.

After you’ve chosen your recipe, you may have to activate the Trigger. If you didn’t already have the Channel (in this case Dropbox) activated at first, you would have already had to go through this process. Just allow it like you have in the past with other services.

Once the Trigger is activated, it’s time to put them into Action. This is where IFTTT is highly customizable. The choice is yours what you want to do and is entirely dependent on you, your needs and your situation.

sync files across computers

And you’re done!

For more about IFTTT check out Tim’s article: How To Create Your Own IFTTT Recipes For Automating Your Favorite Sites & Feeds.


There you have it – four very different ways to accomplish the same thing. Why did I mention four? Because we all have our own routine and way of doing things. Each may have different advantages and drawbacks for each of us. It’s up to you to decide which will work best into your workflow. Are you a SugarSync advocate? Perhaps a local app guru? A web and mobile app fanatic? Or are you just crazy about IFTTT?

Or perhaps you’ve already created your own routine and way of file redundancy via the cloud. If so, we’d love for you to share!

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