Scientific American presents Tech Talker by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

In this week’s episode I’ll explore file syncing services. File syncing services or programs do exactly what they sound like: They sync your files across multiple devices. This can be particularly useful if you go between multiple computers or mobile devices in any given day and need all of your files to be up to date.

As of right now there are a handful of these services available, each with its pros and cons.

Why do You Need File Syncing?
If you don’t already use one of these file syncing services, let me give you an example of why you might want to start. Say you’re working on a file on your desktop computer at home, but your family insists you go with them to the family reunion in another state. You can take a copy of the file with you on a flash drive, edit the document on a laptop, resave it to your flash drive, and put it back on your desktop when you get home. Or you can save yourself all these steps and simply keep everything up to date with one click. A file syncing program will create a folder on your desktop and everything you put into that folder will be synced across your devices via the internet. So when you access that folder later on another device, it will appear exactly as it is on the computer you last worked on it. No extra work or transferring or different versions to worry about whatsoever!

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