Power Folder is a comprehensive software program for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple Macintosh computers that can be used to backup and sync data.
The free version of the file synchronization and backup software comes with
1 5 Gigabyte of free online storage space and unlimited transfers.
The online storage space is just one of the options to backup or sync files. It is possible to configure Power Folder to only use direct connections between computer systems so that the data is not stored on servers in the cloud.
All local and remote data transfers use encryption to protect the data from being accessed by third parties.
An account is required to use the software program. The account creation requires an email address and password which are used to authenticate a user, and provide access to the stored data. Powerfolder offers four key features to its users:
File synchronization uses a powerful wizard to guide you through the process of adding folders to the program that you want to synchronize.
It is possible to disable the online synchronization option to prevent that data is stored on an online server.
This makes it possible to synchronize files directly with computers that are either connected to the local area network or accessible on the Internet.
Several standard folders are selectable from the wizard's main interface including MyDocuments folders but also folders of Firefox or Thunderbird.
Additional folders can be added by using the file browser. PowerFolder will automatically calculate the total size of all selected folders which gives you a first indication of the approximate time of the synchronization process. The selected files will then be available for synchronization (either online or locally).
It is then possible to use the Sync Previously Setup Folders option in the same wizard from another computer to sync the files that have been selected. Ideal for syncing web browser profiles, emails, contacts, documents and other data that should be available on more than one computer system.
To minimize the update time PowerFolder syncs only changed parts of a file. Since files can be transferred directly between computers you can unleash the full power of your home network or Internet connection. Got unfinished downloads? PowerFolder automatically resumes them after reconnect. Quickly distribute your files with multi source downloads.
The data backup options works similar to the first step of the file synchronization process. The same choice of selecting one of the pre-selected folders or manually selecting folders is available in the wizard.
Powerfolder offers to backup the data online or locally. Other computers can then be used to transfer the backed up data so that they are stored on those computers as well. There does not seem to be an option to select individual backup folders though.
It is possible to give access to other people who have a PowerFolder account of their own. Those users can then access the data that was selected by the account owner of the data. That's an interesting option for collaboration by giving several users access to a specific folder that is containing work related files.
Data that is stored on the servers can be accessed from the web interface at the PowerFolder website.
The free version of PowerFolder has a limitation of
1 5 Gigabyte of online and offline storage space, a maximum of three folders that can be synced to five computers. The commercial editions of Powerfolder get rid of most of the limitations. A product comparison is available here.
PowerFolder is an easy to use software with a severely limited free edition. The free edition should be enough for users who want to synchronize some files between computer systems.
Users who want to synchronize additional folders or files that have a size of more than 5 Gigabyte need to consider switching to a paid account or to another file synchronization and backup software.
Power Folder is available at the developer's website for all supported operating systems. This includes clients for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as Android and iOS apps, web access, and WebDav support.
Update: Powerfolder is stull around, and the free version of the application is still available. It shares the majority of features with the commercial versions, including all security features. In fact, the only features that are missing are all branding features, some administrative features, and support features.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.