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How to use Cloud sync apps to move desktop folders to cloud?

Sarath

iDota
What I am trying to achieve?
I want to move most of my files that sit on my desktop which are important and used frequently to cloud based sync apps like google drive, iDrive, Box etc. I want to be able to access them seamlessly across my different computers. (I am aware that is what those cloud folders already do)

Why?
I have had a weird serial failure of my computing devices, starting with my desktop which had to be shipped so I got it packed, found my laptop with a broken hinge, got it repaired and it was my primary device for a few months, then I got my desktop back but the GPU failed and I got a used one now, in the end I am stuck on whether to use my laptop or desktop now.

Usage?
Light computer work, a little more advanced than how our parents would use a PC.

My present knowledge about cloud apps:
I have a google drive by default as most people with gmail accounts do. I tried their Backup & Sync app and noticed folder that synced everything in it to the cloud. So I used this to work on my thesis on my desktop which was more comfortable at home and was able to show my progress to my Professor and guide for feedback. I was very happy with this arrangement and the free 15GB remained more than adequate for a couple of years. I then moved my important documents, degrees, certificates, IDs to this folder as a last resort if needed.
I also have iDrive 5TB cloud backup subscription that automatically backs up my entire PC. It too comes with a Sync folder with a 15GB limit.
My present idea is to download all of those sync apps, I have a paid account on Google Drive & iDrive and free ones on Dropbox, Box and another Gmail account and use them as separate folders sitting on my desktop.

So what more do I want:
I just want validation if my plan is good or is there a better way where I can use one app to sync files across different providers. Or better apps to sync than the ones I mentioned above. I am looking for free solutions if possible or paid ones at nominal cost.
Basically if my present Google drive supported 50GB for the sync folder than I would have been content. But so is not the case even for the (100GB) paid account which I have.

What am I not looking for:
I am not looking at backup solutions. I already have a $80 5TB/year subscription for all my important files (mostly photos and videos) including complete HDD clones, paid Gmail account for phone backups and access and 2 different HDDs for redundancy. To top it I have an internal HDD that just sits in my cabinet disconnected if all else fails.
Disclaimer:
I am not up to date with technology for the past half decade due to my residency and then the prolonged pandemic leaving no free time for hobbies hence a lot of my tech knowledge isn't updated from 2016

My query right now is only for a home user with 2-4 different laptop/Desktop PCs and the quest for uniformity of access to files.
In the future I may have to use a similar system for my clinic and use it to sync medical files and documents seamlessly and safely with highest importance on privacy between my Home PC and Clinic PC. So any advice on slightly expensive alternatives for cloud syncing files is highly appreciated. This will be entire different system of IDs and computers, disconnected to my personal account and not related to the outcome of this thread.
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
is there a better way where I can use one app to sync files across different providers
I doubt such an app exists since I have not heard of one. Most providers have their own apps for this and as far as I know there is little interest in anyone to use multiple cloud providers simultaneously or to build such an app.

Perhaps not what you are looking for, but you could try Syncthing. It's a non-centralized P2P based syncing solution. So, if you share a folder on, say, your phone and configure Syncthing on your other devices, any file you put into that folder on one device will be replicated to other devices as well, anywhere in the world. I personally use it with my VPS to sync files between my desktop, phone and VPS. But this does not work with any existing cloud providers, you technically have to make it act like your own cloud provider in a sense.
 
OP
Sarath

Sarath

iDota
Hi Desmond, been a long time. Nice seeing a friendly face in these times.

I found something like this odrive - Unify, sync, share, and encrypt any storage online and there are countless such options. The multitude of options are even more confusing. I am not aware of some of the terminologies.
There are these apps like oDrive which connect to all your individual cloud storage provides and bring them to one place or app according to them.
 
OP
Sarath

Sarath

iDota
Perhaps not what you are looking for, but you could try Syncthing. It's a non-centralized P2P based syncing solution. So, if you share a folder on, say, your phone and configure Syncthing on your other devices, any file you put into that folder on one device will be replicated to other devices as well, anywhere in the world. I personally use it with my VPS to sync files between my desktop, phone and VPS. But this does not work with any existing cloud providers, you technically have to make it act like your own cloud provider in a sense.

I went to their website and it's quite a good proposition for syncing between devices. But both the devices have to be on at the same time for them to sync right. Because the data is directly synced without involving a third party like a cloud storage provider.
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
Hi Desmond, been a long time. Nice seeing a friendly face in these times.

Yeah, hardly see you here. Keeping busy I guess.

I found something like this odrive - Unify, sync, share, and encrypt any storage online and there are countless such options. The multitude of options are even more confusing. I am not aware of some of the terminologies.
There are these apps like oDrive which connect to all your individual cloud storage provides and bring them to one place or app according to them.

Seems like a premium service but looks more inline with what you are trying to achieve. Though I think using one cloud service would be a saner solution.

I went to their website and it's quite a good proposition for syncing between devices. But both the devices have to be on at the same time for them to sync right. Because the data is directly synced without involving a third party like a cloud storage provider.

Yeah, both devices need to be on for the syncing to take place. That is why I use a VPS as well so that the files get synced there and it keeps running. If any of the devices are off or offline, the syncing will continue whenever they become available
 
OP
Sarath

Sarath

iDota
Yeah, hardly see you here. Keeping busy I guess.
Yeah medical residency is tough. It's all consuming and that included thinkdigit too. Had a few good months and then Covid. Rest is history.
Seems like a premium service but looks more inline with what you are trying to achieve. Though I think using one cloud service would be a saner solution.
Yeah, both devices need to be on for the syncing to take place. That is why I use a VPS as well so that the files get synced there and it keeps running. If any of the devices are off or offline, the syncing will continue whenever they become available

I did try ODrive for a few days and yes managing too many folders with their own sync apps vs using the oDrive sync app feels just the same. There are many alternative apps but I haven't tried them.
One advantage of ODrive is that you can sync multiple free or paid cloud storages, so instead of using different clients for each Box, GoogleDrive, Dropbox etc you can use one client to use them, I even added a Blaze 10GB free account which I think is a cloud storage provider intended for archiving.
Another advantage that I have not tested yet is that, it can break the 15GB limit imposed on most sync folders irrespective of your actual storage. I am not sure if the sync folder storage limits are the same for every provider but this app has a nice work around for the same.

Disadvantage is that many free features that are part of the Google Drive for example are paid options in ODrive, like the ability to variable or smart sync (different names) doesn't download all your data better explained here

Placeholder files​

Placeholder files (.cloud) and folders (.cloudf) are empty stubs that represent actual content in the cloud. They automatically turn into real files when you need them. Using placeholders allows you to see all the files and folders in the cloud without downloading them to your computer.

In the end I found an old Box account with 50GB free data so I'm going to use that for my desktop needs and chuck this oDrive for a later date.

I realized in the end that I will be able to use multiple folders and save some money using some free accounts for the same but I won't be able to convince my wife and parents to adopt a similar system. So I am looking for simpler options especially for ways to sync the entire desktop, since most people just leave their files on the desktop itself and I am sure this is going to be the case with my family members and I won't always be there to tell them to put their data in a small folder that reads Gdrive or Box or iDrive.
 
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