Log Me In:
For some time now I have been wrestling with the issue of keeping my files current and synced on my home PC, my office PC, and my laptop. And for years now I have also been flying with virtually no backup to my precious data files. Once I knew I was visiting at Georgetown, I figured had to do something. I first tried LapLink Gold, of which I had a free copy, but could never get it configured to run. I then shopped around for an Internet service that would accomplish this with greater ease.

After some searching and reading reviews, I settled on logmein. While I know there are several other worthy competitors, I wanted to report my extreme satisfaction with this service. I chose it because (1) its price is very reasonable ($69.95 per year) for a service with all its features (see below), (2) it is a completely browser-driven service requiring no installation of any programs, so (3) you can access your data from any PC, and (4) it is fast and very easy to set up and use. [UPDATE: I also chose it because, unlike other solutions, it does not require you to store your data on its servers. It is simply a peer-to-peer file sharing system.]

Here's how it works: You need to set one of your PC's as your base or home PC. (The subscription price is for each base or home PC to which you want to sync other PCs.) I use my PC at my home in Boston which is always on. You then can sync as many other PCs to the home PC as you wish. I sync both my office PC at Georgetown and my laptop to my home PC. All my PCs now have the same data files which also serves as an up-to-date data backup. Every time I finish a session in which I have edited or created new files, I sync my PCs before logging off.

Essentially, as I understand it, this is a java-script program running a closed peer-to-peer file sharing network. The initial sync takes a while as it copies all your files, but updates of a just a few currently modified or new files are lightning fast.

In addition to file management, the service also allows you to share large files with others (eliminating the need to email large files), give others guest privileges to access your home PC, and control your home PC by remote control. Using the last function, your home desktop is replicated on your remote PC and you can control it as though you were in front of the home PC. Close and open windows, run programs, or reboot. I have not taken advantage yet of these other functions other than once to control my home PC, which worked really well.

As I said, other services do some or all of these tasks, but this one has really worked for me. If you are interested, you can try the full "pro" version as a free trial. If you purchase the service, you can use the discount code HDUA-P4YT to get a $10 discount off the first year's subscription. Click here for purchase information.

My apologies for what I know sounds like a commercial, but I have needed a service like this for a long time and was at a loss as to what to do. I thought others could benefit from my experience.

I am opening comments so others are free to post their own favored solutions to this problem of syncing data on multiple PCs. I cannot promise to answer questions about the service. You can contact logmein directly at 800-993-1790 or by email at support@logmein.com. Their tech support has been very personal, prompt, and knowledgeable.