Is syncthing what im looking for?

Ok, so my school is getting rid of their accounts and switching to something else, which means my access to OneDrive is no more after the 5th of september. So right now i am downloading all my data. I use my laptop and my desktop to access my onedrive via integration into windows explorer

I am either going to do a ssh server and use sftp netdrive which integrates ssh into windows explorer, or i am looking into synchthing… The server will be 2 hours away from me at my parents house

what is syncthing exactly? does it keep the files on the server only or on my laptop, server, and desktop? IE, so if i make a word doc on my laptop, it will make a copy to my desktop and server, and keep the file updated?

My laptop has very little space.


As per the explanation at,

Syncthing is a continuous file synchronization program. It synchronizes files between two or more computers in real time, safely protected from prying eyes. Your data is your data alone and you deserve to choose where it is stored, whether it is shared with some third party, and how it’s transmitted over the internet.

so yes, all your changes are synchronised across all devices. You also don’t need to keep everything everywhere, but please keep in mind that there’s no central server with Syncthing that you can access through a website and browse the files remotely like you can with “cloud” solutions like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. There’s also no fancy “smart sync” functionality, where files are present as stubs locally (thus not taking space) and downloaded only on demand when you click them.

On the other hand, Syncthing is superior on mobile (Android), as it offers the same type of proper synchronisation functionality as on the desktop, while those other solutions usually do not.

My laptop has very little space.

This is likely going to be a problem. While you can utilise ignore patterns to sync parts of your data on demand (i.e. unignore, sync, then ignore again and delete once you don’t need it anymore), it’s not as convenient and user-friendly as with e.g. OneDrive or Dropbox.

To make the best use out of it, I’d suggest to try to expand your disk space to at least not be forced to perform the “unignore-sync-ignore-delete” cycle on regular basis. Maybe an SD card or a large USB thumb drive could be an option if you can’t replace the internal drive?


Ok, i see how the software works now. My main goal is to be able to be at school, work, train and be able to access files on my desktop, use said file, and have it update. Synthing does accomplish this.

If i did use a 128GB thumb drive on the laptop, im not sure i would need syncthing since the drive is portable and i can use it between the desktop and laptop. However, i do have a sd card reader and that would be way better for me to use than taking up a USB port and also risking someones elbow during class hitting the thumb drive or knocking a drive off hte table.

Lets say i do use synchthing…I would have to use it over zerotier or hamachi because my current ISP says they do not block ports or servers, but they do…

second, i will have to contact my school to make sure they allow zerotier or hamachi to work over their lans…

thanks for the information

Syncthing is quite capable of getting around various network restrictions, so you may want to try it out first as is, without relying on other methods like the two mentioned above.

When it comes to the USB thumb drive, I was thinking about something similar to


which is tiny and doesn’t stick out, so you can simply plug and keep it in the laptop as fixed storage basically. The advantage over an SD card is that it’s usually much faster and has better longevity.

1 Like

I have never seen those. I need to see if they have at least a 128GB. i think that would be enough for me to do what i need to do.

If i can find a 128GB low pro usb like that for a dang good price, syncthing seems like the thing for me. Im willing to spend a few bucks to keep my data safe.

also need to make sure it will fit and still give me room to have my other usb device plugged in

i still might add a 3rd pc in the mix for “backup” purposes

thanks again

The Samsung ones go up to 256 GB. SD cards can go up much higher, but please buy a decent one if you do, as I had a cheap Samsung SD card in the past die from syncing a lot of files to it (with Dropbox, not Syncthing, but it’s the same situation). The cards are usually not made for writing a lot of data to them, unless you buy the sturdy ones, i.e. the so-called “high endurance” that are meant to withstand constant write, e.g. in cameras and such. They are usually the most expensive though.

1 Like

ill probably buy the one you pictured, but i have a suspicion that it wont allow me to plug in my usb mouse receiver next to it. I only have 2 ports and they are pretty close. Ill have to see. i have about 110GB of files right now. I could always remote to the dekstop and add files to the synch folder if i need to

well, i guess my decision is made haha. My 3TB drive last night kicked the bucket… so now im trying to recover the data. this sucks to say the least.

1 Like

ok, i am going to be ready soon. I used recuva to get most of my stuff back.

here is my idea.

have a PC(server) at my parents house(2 hours from me) with plenty of HDD space

i will store all the files on the server at my parents house and use synchthing to synch the files from the server to my laptop and from the server to my desktop. Laptop will not synch with the desktop. Basically, the server at my parents will send and receive files from the laptop and the desktop


As there’s no central server with Syncthing, it’s always good to have at least one device that stays on all the time. If you’ve got plenty of space there, I’d also recommend to enable (staggered) file versioning for backup purposes (unless you’ve already got another, full-fledged backup solution, but judging by the posts above, it doesn’t seem so).

Why not sync the laptop with the desktop though? It will be much faster, especially if the two are located in the same local network.

1 Like

mainly because the laptop and desktop will not always be on the same network. My school is 3 hours south of my current place i live, so i take the train.

I guess i just synch between the desktop and laptop and then just have a backup solution for the desktop in case something happens to the files.

I would only need a 120GB or less for all my school stuff.

what backup solution are you thinking of?

and since my desktop has plenty of new HDD space now, whats this staggered file version? would i need that just between 2 pc’s using syncthing?

Nothing in particular. Some operating systems have backup solutions already built in. There are probably hundreds of third party backup tools too. If you go with the latter, I’d recommend something free and open source, so that you won’t end up locked up in a proprietary format that’s impossible to manipulate outside of the specific piece of software.

Please check In this case, you’d want to set up file versioning on the server specifically, because all folders are stored there and there’s enough space for versions.

1 Like

i will read up on it. Only reason i am wanting the server at my parents house, they have a dedicated ethernet cable and very fast upload, whilst at my apartment 2 hours away, my upload is terrible(download is great) so synchthing between my laptop and desktop at home could be slow, but if i utilize my parents very fast internet, it might help… then again, it could be to redundant.

I am seriously thinking that it would be best to just synch between my laptop and desktop, and when i am at campus with the laptop, the schools internet will be handling the upload, and when i am home, the synch is done over the same lan.

Having a server isn’t strictly necessary, but I personally do like to always have at least one device that runs 24/7 with no downtime and/or interruptions. Of course, you can try to keep the desktop on all the time as well, but not really, as it probably needs to be restarted at least from time to time and is also more prone to breakdowns than a server that has no user interaction and just stays on doing its job.

1 Like

im buying a 1TB SSD usb 3.0 external drive soon. i will have that on the desktop at home which i will have it backup the synch folder and others every night or so.

thanks for all the help

This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.