My Syncthing story

First of all huge thanks to the developers and contributors.

I bumped into Syncthing just two weeks ago when looking for a way to synchronize files between local and remote units. I had heard of BitTorrent Sync, but when looking further into it I did not like the closed source/secrecy – so my search continued until I found Syncthing.

At first glimpse, Syncthing looked to be somewhat simple for my needs, and the lack of iOS support counting negative. Although I noticed that the developers were very active, fixed issues and added features on a daily basis, so decided to give it a go. …and here I still am. I will return to my impressions shortly.

My setup is as follows:

  • Mac mini Server running 24/7 as my central storage and backup device
  • MacBook Air as my home computer
  • Lenovo X230 running Windows 7 Enterprise as my work computer
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPad
  • 1 Gbit/s WAN both at home and work

My primary need is to have offline storage of my important files, synchronizing them between my Mac mini at home and my Win7 laptop at the office. Ideally, a pure backup, but versioning is mostly fine. I also needed the solution to be Cross-platform as I mix OS X, Windows and iOS units.

It took a while to get Synthing set up and running properly. After two days of fiddling and travelling back and forth between work and home, it has been running steadily for 10 days so far. I currently synchronize six repositories consisting of 16,000 files in 240 GB. Seen sync speeds of 20 MByte/s.

Pros:

  • Open source and free
  • Active development
  • Security (encrypted and real peer-to-peer)

Cons:

  • Cumbersome installation
  • No iOS support
  • Re-hashing files on software update
  • File exclusion need a lot of tinkering

With time, I hope to see a matching open-source iOS client, improved file exclusion and perhaps a real backup feature (one-way sync only). Overall, I am very pleased though! Thanks a lot so far!

Greetings from Norway! :smiley:

3 Likes

Welcome! To address two of your cons, you might like to see this topic about an iOS client: iOS client: dare to beta test? and you will be happy to know that rehashing is almost never necessary on an upgrade, 0.10.x->0.11.y was the exception :slight_smile:

I think if the initial setup could be made easier we would get a lot more happy users: unassisted firewall tricks and node id copying is not much fun!

Thanks! I am probably brave enough to beta test the iOs client when it support v0.11. Pleased to see that rehashing 0.10 -> 0.11 was an exception. It took my work computer 7-8 hours to rehash all files on the external drive and I am not too sure I want that every week or two.

Some kind of automated setup would most probably be beneficial, and score more happy users. I am not afraid of Terminal and cmd myself, so easily managed to create the .plist and .bat to get Syncthing running on login on both OS X and Windows. Others might be scared off or struggle more. Copying node IDs is easier, although it takes time when you have remote computers. Security wise it seems like a smart move though. :smiley:

To address another con:

See https://github.com/syncthing/syncthing/pull/1712 and many many more threads on this forum, search for “selective sync”.

I am pleased to see that a smarter and/or more user friendly file exclusion is in the pipeline. Gave up getting Ignore patterns to work as I wanted, especially how to ignore the “Icon\r” file, but that is just a minor-minor issue.

If you can give a simple diagram of the folders in question, along with an indication of which folders to include and exclude, I can give suggestion for what to put in your ignore patterns.