How does it all fit together in the big picture?

Hi there,

I’m new here, so, apologies in advance, if my questions may seem redundant;

But to take the redundancy edge off, here is an alteration of it:

What is Syncthing supposed to do and how does it compare to other solutions?

  • So, there is cloud storage like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc and if I’m not wrong, there are also open-source cloud storage server things which one can run and maintain oneself.
  • Then there are NAS devices which are like micro-cloud servers made for small usage, either backup or synching
  • Github & Gitlab, etc which allows awesome version controlling features but not at all seamless for syncing! Each time requiring one to put in some “commit” description & etc.
  • Then there are other OS dependent share options, I’m not entirely sure, I guess, Windows have something in that direction which could work as sync.

So, when it comes to Synching, what is it achieving:

  • Is it mimicking a NAS solution?
  • Is it mimicking a cloud storage?
  • Is the version controlling mimicking Git*?

And more specific questions:

  • When Syncting devices via the internet, does the file transfer is done via the router in the room, or does it travel somewhere across the internet, or at least to the nearest ISP location and come back?
  • Can Syncthing be used on a PC that has Wifi adapter without accessing other networking devices: files get synced between two devices when they meet each other. [imagine a dual computing machine setup, one mobile and a stationary; each day when the mobile device returns home and is in proximity of the stationary device the sync up. the mobile device can be a laptop or a tablet and the stationary device a desktop or workstation]
  • Does Syncthing needs the host and secondary device to be online at the same time and wait for the latency of syncing before one can switch between devices?
    • Can one live edit between two files? Imagine a text file open on both machine which is under a synced folder, would changes in the file in one machine show up in the second? [I assume the answer to be “no”, in case Syncthing need to have changes saved before doing its syncing]. How much would be the latency?

It’s effectively a peer to peer poor mans dropbox, with no third party that holds on to your data, all data lives on your devices. There is no “host”, all devices are of equal authority.

You can run syncthing without internet access, but that requires certain network conditions or manual configuration.

Devices need to be on and able to connect for the process to work, and no, it does not not do live updates, the latency depends on the capabilities of the operating system, but it’s probably goes from seconds to minutes. It’s definately not meant for some sort live collaboration stuff.

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Thanks for the prompt reply; Only a minor suggestion, I would rather say “DIY” instead of emphasizing the “poverty” status :wink:

So, one follow up: which is the best setup scenario for an uninterrupted Syncthign experience:

  • running it inside a VPS instance that is already hosting bunch of websites & co.
  • running it on an always on [secondhand] device that is meant for managing backups and sharing files & etc.

I didn’t mean live “collaboration”, more like: trying to copy past stuff from bunch of different resources on two machines, so the text file that is used to compose all those bits and pieces is shared between the two devices in real time. I understand that it is not shipped with the product by default [can imagine it would be super complicated] but it would be really cool! Though I’m not sure, how many people out there have such a heavy information composing workflow …

You can run in wherever you see it fit. People run in on VMs, dedicated specifically for syncthing servers, Rasberry PIs and what not.

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