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  • In a recent conversation with Jim Collision on the benefits of using AllwaySync, he pointed out after reading the feature list for AllwaySync, that it contained integration into SkyDrive.  Something I had missed despite being a heavy user for years.  As you know, SkyDrive gives you 25 Gigs of storage, but offers very few tools and very little integration to take advantage of it.  I decided that I would exploit this feature and give it a shot and see how it worked as well as how easy it was to setup.

     

    Just to clarify, this talks only about SkyDrive however AllwaySync also supports the following formats and services.

    • FTP
    • Standard Windows Folder
    • Archive or Encrypted Volume
    • Amazon S3
    • WebDav
    • MS ActiveSync
    • Google Docs
    • Windows Azure
    • SkyDrive
    • iKeepinClould

    As many of you have seen, this is the main screen that comes up for AllwaySync.  It shows the tabs across the top which indicate a specific folder or job.

     

    Click here for additional information on using Allwaysync.

     

    AllwaySync-Main

     

    To test SkyDrive, I added a new job tab.  Once you add the new tab, you have to establish the drives/folders to sync.   When you select your first location, you are prompted with a choice of services to pick from from a regular folder to one of many services they support (see the image below).

     

    AllwaySync-Setup 1

     

    Once you select “SkyDrive”, you are prompted for your live ID.  I would suggest not using compression so you can access the files directly via another computer or using a mobile app (see below).

     

    AllwaySync-Setup 3

     

    Once you input your credentials, select the folder you want to sync with, click “Synchronize” and sit back and relax.  Below is what you should end up with.  Of course you can modify the default folder assignment on the SkyDrive.

     

    AllwaySync-Setup 2

     

    As we mentioned in BYOB 71, Microsoft has a SkyDrive app for IOS and Windows Phone 7 which allows quick access to the files you sync’d with AllwaySync.  Very useful if you are synching say a photos folder.

     

    photo

     

    Conclusion

     

    This is a great feature which is basically free.  Since AllwaySync is free for personal use, and SkyDrive is also free there is no real cost to this.  It offers you the flexibility and power of AllwaySync and Microsoft's generous 25 Gigs of online storage.  I do not see many downsides to using this but I do have one caution.  Typically online backup programs encrypt the data on your local machine and send the encrypted data over a secure connection to the cloud.  This works much like copying the data to a cloud drive directly.  The data is not encrypted and remains in its native format but it is however sent over a secure connection (https).  Overall this is an excellent solution if you need some sort of cloud storage for things like photos, spreadsheets, or documents.  There are some file size constraints on SkyDrive so you can not use this for everything. Give it a try and see if it work for your needs as the price is sure right…

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    If you only make use of Skydrive then I'm happy with Live Mesh and Skydrive. There is one big downside for now. Mesh folders are not visible in the Skydrive mobile app. Many are lobbying MS hard on this snafu so I'm hopefull we see convergence of mesh folders and Skydrive folders soon.
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    Just a point of clarification: you state that "AllwaySync is free for personal use". This is not quite true. It's free below a certain level of usage. Even though I'm not using it in a commercial setting, but only for my own personal use, because I'm using it to make copies of my WHS 2011 data, I exceeded the level of usage where AllwaySync is deemed free. As a consequence, after getting nag messages telling me that AllwaySync would stop working, I've bought a license.
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    I was excited about this when I first tried it a couple months back but ran into some sync errors as I was uploading a pics folder with ~4,000 pics. Don't recall the error, but after a number of failed attempts, I figured it might not be ready for prime time. Maybe I'll try again.
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    Sorry, I'm a little unclear on this. Is there an AllwaySync app that runs on WHS? I couldn't find anything on the Allway web page. Always on the lookout for something that will let me trickle my data up the slow pipe (ADSL) to the cloud... SkyDrive in particular. I know of Cloudberry for WHS, but not anything else.
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