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Thread: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

  1. #1
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    Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    The tool has been democratized to the point that now, many homes have multiple computers. The recent emergence of portable machines at low prices (netBook) further amplifies the phenomenon. Now, many users have to use multiple machines on a daily basis in either a personal or professional. This change leads us to rethink our habits. To simplify life, it is strongly recommended to put in place solutions that can synchronize files and folders with ease. The possibilities are many, but today we will focus on Windows Live Sync.

    The name means a Windows Live package of service connected "supplied by Microsoft. Among them, the flagship applications and services that are Windows Live Messenger and Hotmail hide components that could be better known, including Windows Live Sync interests us here. We have already discussed the case of synchronization of bookmarks and PIM . This time we will see that it is very easy to synchronize files and folders between multiple computers and more importantly free. In addition, the Redmond giant has not neglected aspect multi platform: the establishment of synchronization of this type can be achieved between one or more machines running Windows or Mac OS. Enough talking, now is the time to enter the heart of the matter!


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  2. #2
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    Re: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    What you can do with Live Sync

    Synchronizing files and folders
    The main function is particularly useful when it comes to use several computers (in personal or professional). Windows Live Sync will be able to synchronize one or more files and folders between multiple machines via the web (within the limits of available capacity).


    Synchronize in a safe
    Windows Live Sync is based on a peer to peer secure encrypted using the AES and SSL protocols. Authentication occurs through the RSA protocol. The paranoia will perhaps not sufficiently reassured, but we must still admit that for personal use, the level of confidentiality should be sufficient. Attention should however keep in mind that these protections only concern the synchronization capabilities.


    Achieve sharing between multiple users
    The scope of functions of the software goes beyond the personal. In fact, Windows Live Sync integrates multi-user functionality. A directory may be shared between several members. A rights management provides the ability to finely set the level of authorization of the members. For example, one contributor may be "Players" (allows opening and viewing the content), "Collaborators" (ability to add files but not edit or delete them), "Publishers" (possibility of view, add, edit and delete files) or "senior editors" (with the possibility to change the share permissions).

    Access its files and folders remotely
    Contrary to what its name suggests, Windows Live Sync is not limited to the synchronization of files and folders. Indeed, it is also possible to access the entire contents of a remote machine! If you are concerned for the safety of your data, be aware that this option is disabled by default. Once established, the remote access gives the possibility to navigate the tree of a machine via the Web. Downloading a particular file will be the simplest way from a web browser. Note that unlike the data synchronized with remote access, the files in transit on the network are not encrypted.


    What you can not do with Live Sync
    Synchronize data with a decentralized server
    This will not necessarily clear to the novice user, but Live Sync does not synchronize your data with a decentralized storage space. Microsoft's server only plays as a gateway capable of managing a list of files and folders to synchronize. For the system to work will require a mandatory minimum of two computers are lit for the duration of the synchronization.


    Synchronize data with your mobile
    Unfortunately, at present, there are no applications compatible with mobile phones and other smartphones (even with the mobile OS from Microsoft). Of course, there is still a relief. If the software that manages your mobile device offers an option to synchronize directory (eg ActiveSync and WMDM on Vista), do not hesitate to set up a synchronization cascade. Of course, in this case, you can not achieve synchronization mode OTA.



    Using safe remote access
    Synchronization is secure (encryption based on AES and SSL protocols), but this is not the same for remote access. When you upload files to a target machine using this process, they will travel unencrypted over the network. It is therefore strongly advised to use remote access for the downloading of sensitive data. In contrast, the peer to peer protocol that manages the synchronization is encrypted.


    Synchronize files without restrictions
    Sync with Windows Live, the size of files that can be synchronized is limited to 4 GB Relativisons things, stating that in most cases, this limitation should not interfere unduly. Add that this problem is not really as it is always possible to cut a large archive using a compression software like 7-Zip. In addition to the first clamping, a second limit is imposed. Windows Live Sync can synchronize up to 20 up to 20 folders containing 000 files each. Last point: the path of a file must not exceed 255 characters.


    Finally, what are the possibilities?
    There is mainly three types of use. First, we can cite the case of an individual user who wishes to access their documents from one or more computers. Second case: the individual user can access to all the files that are stored in a remote machine (which may also be transferred to a third party). The third and final scenario for groups of users who wish to share files (documents, multimedia files, etc.).. Uses these three types can be divided into a multitude of different uses. If you are lacking ideas, you should come to satisfy your curiosity by visiting the chapter that follows.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    Application Fields
    The fields of application Windows Live Sync are as diverse and varied. We have listed a range of uses which will be facilitated by the use Live Sync.


    Ideal for traveling
    We saw the practice as Windows Live Sync is ideal when a user is required to work on two or more machines. For example, if you use a laptop on the road and as you work on a fixed machine in the office, you will not have to manually go to your documents via the network or using a USB storage media (eg) . With Live Sync, synchronization occurs in a transparent (provided that both machines are turned on and connected to the Internet).


    Family photos and music
    Which Internet User has never faced the problem of refusal to send large files by email? For now, many mail servers reject attachments whose size exceeds a certain limit (between 5 and 10 MB in general). Given that the synchronization service from Microsoft is limited to 4 GB files (4000 MB), it includes the interest of the thing. Ultimately, this system is ideal when you want to synchronize a folder of photos into a family setting. For this purpose, the only problem is that most ergonomic features themselves. Indeed, rights management and the principles of synchronization is not always easy to assimilate for novices (it is rare that a family is only composed of experts. In this usage, we can of course add the possibility share music files with his relatives or simply to synchronize with all of its machines network.




    Two good reasons to use at home

    Windows Live Sync deserves the attention of people who have multiple computers at home (this scenario was used more widely in the years to come). First, this system allows you to have all his personal documents on every machine in the home. Although at first sight, this practice does not interest you, remember that this solution allows for transparent backups require no intervention. Finally, we realize quickly that we have everything to gain.


    Small share with friends
    Windows Live Sync has been designed to allow file sharing between several members of a group of users. Persons wishing to share "sensitive" he prefers to Waste, a slightly more complicated to implement. Otherwise, Live Sync perfectly fulfill his office.


    A tool for the players?
    This case will not be the most common, but it still deserves to be mentioned. Players of network games that have to practice their favorite on several different machines may be interested in Windows Live Sync. Indeed, the possibility to synchronize the directory that contains the backup of the game allows you to start on its machine, and continue on another. This scenario may, for example, interested persons who often traveling with a laptop to a fixed. At home, this strength is also valuable when you have several machines.


    A good place for repairs?
    The computer addicts are often requested by those around them to solve various computer problems and varied. In this case, the stores are often the limits of a call (for interventions at a distance). If the problem does not connect to the Internet, the use of remote access to Live Sync will render great services. In this case, the program can see the folder structure and / or the presence of particular files.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    Software testing
    To understand the establishment of synchronization with Live Sync, we have chosen to present the stages of setting up a set of cases. We will synchronize a folder between a Windows machine and a Mac. In broad outline, the procedure is identical when using two machines on Windows. Do not worry, Microsoft has treated the ergonomics of configuration steps. At first, it is a bit confusing to have to go through a web browser to configure the device, but with a little practice, it quickly found its brands. Now to practice.


    For Windows PC

    Step 1: download, install and run the program.
    1. Download and install Windows Live Sync on your computer (by accepting the terms of use). This step should not pose any problems.

    2. The first time, the application does not start by default. Run Windows Live Sync by going to the Start menu (Windows Live / Windows Live Sync).


      Step 2: Log
    3. If you have a Windows Live ID, log. Otherwise, click on "Create a new Windows Live ID. Note: If you have an MSN] or Hotmail, use your logins and passwords. If necessary, check the box for remembering the password, then click "Next". If all went well, a new icon now appears in the taskbar. Right-click it and select "Sync website.


      Step 3: configure the directory synchronized
    4. Click on "Create a personal folder, select the computer that you then select the folder you want to synchronize (office / dossiersync in our case). To close the transaction, click "File synchronization here." Everything is finished (you can click "Skip this step and complete"). It only remains for you to reproduce these operations (few details) on another machine (a Mac in our example).



    On the Mac side

    Step 1: download, install and run the program.
    1. Download and install Windows Live Sync on your Mac The installation is done through a file. PKG (in not making a drag and drop into the Applications folder).

    2. Go to the menu "Applications" to run Windows Live Sync. By default, the program does not start automatically. Note: If all went well, you should see the Live Sync icon in the menu bar of Mac OS (two horizontal arrows).


      Step 2: Log
    3. If you have a Windows Live ID login. Otherwise, click on "Create a new Windows Live ID. Note: If you have an MSN or Hotmail, use your logins and passwords. If necessary, check the box for remembering the password (remember my password) and then click Next. Now click on the Windows Live Sync and select "Sync Website. If you have not already done so, create the folder you want to sync or share. In our example, we will create a folder named "test" on the desktop.


      Step 3: configure the directory synchronized
    4. We are entering the heart of the matter: select the folder sync which was created from the Windows machine. Then you will then indicate that the local location that you want to synchronize with this directory . To do this, click "Add Computer"

    5. Select the appropriate machine (the one on which you are working). It only remains to specify the local directory you want to synchronize This time, click "Folder Synchronization here (choose the automatic mode). Everything is finished, you can now test your first sync by placing a file in this folder!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    When we talk about Windows Live Sync, we think especially synchronization capabilities. Yet the program also repatriate a file stored in a target machine (and not just a directory in sync)! The paranoia can be reassured by default, remote access is disabled. To better understand the functioning of the process, we have retraced the steps of configuring remote access. This example is an extension of the previous tutorial. We will therefore attempt to access the contents of the Mac from the Windows machine (the steps are identical for Windows to Windows).


    Step 1: allow access to the target computer
    1. Above all, it will be essential to allow access to the target machine. This will be done from within the program itself (and not via the web interface). Click on the icon of sync and made "Plus / Settings".
    2. All that remains now is to check "allow this computer." Everything is ready, this time we will try to access the directory of the Windows machine from Mac OS ...



      Step 2: Remote Access
    3. Go to the Web interface for managing your account Sync (Sync icon in the menu bar / Sync Website). In "Remote Access", as you can see, the Windows machine is marked in green.

    4. You now have access to the full directory of the target machine. Repatriation of a file on your machine will be via a simple download.



    Warning: The downloads are done via remote access is not encrypted. Lack of security forces, it will avoid transit of sensitive files on the network.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Windows Live Sync: Synchronize your Files and Folders

    Conclusion
    Among the many components of the Windows Live package, Sync is not the best known. Two reasons probably explain this lack of popularity (which hopefully, will be only temporary). First, it is only a few months that Live Sync (formerly known as FolderShare) left its beta to join the circle of connected applications for Windows Live. Then there is the issue of ergonomics. At the beginning, understanding the workings of the system is not needed as evidence. Having to go through a Web interface is a little confusing. On the other hand, some configurations will be made from within the program itself and not from a browser (such as the authorization for remote access). Fortunately, after a short period of practice, these blemishes fade very quickly and we eventually find its feet.

    After the formality of introduction of the system, the benefits are many. As computers proliferate in the professional and personal environments, the practice of such a program offers a series of welcome. Whether to save, share or synchronize (for example), Windows Live Sync is ideal. The program is light, it works perfectly, and not to spoil, it is available free of charge. Before you begin, you should simply be aware of some limitations of the process (security, limit the number and size of files, etc.).. We hope that this small small taste you want to start your body and soul in the synchronization of files and folders!


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