Sync folders over network without USB or cloud drive
For teamwork or disaster recovery purposes, many people would like to sync files and folders between 2 or more computers keeping the data consistent and up-to-date. But how to make it happen?
The usualy method is to manually copy folders to an USB drive, and then paste them to the destination computer. Once the source folder is modified, however, you have no choice but to copy the changed files again and again.
To make things easier, you may want to sync folders over network. Thus you don’t need a removable device, any changes in the source folder can be auto synced to the destination, which will greatly improve the work efficiency.
Luckily, the idea is achievable for computers within the same LAN. Now I’ll introduce 2 easy ways in Windows.
How to sync folders between computers over network/internet?
On Windows PCs, sync folders over network requires you to create a share folder and authorize other computers within the LAN to read and write it. If you want to manage the folder sync flexibly and safely, like auto synchronizing files between various sources and targets, you could also create sync tasks with a file synchronization tool.
Method 1. Create a shared folder to sync files over network
Windows allows you to share folders with computers in the same network. The steps are as below.
Step 1. Right-click the folder you want to share, choose Properties.
Step 2. Switch to Sharing tab and click on Advanced Sharing... option under Advanced Sharing section.
Step 3. Tick Share this folder and then click Permissions to authorize the users you want them to access the folder.
Step 4. Click Add... to add the user you want to share with, just type the username and click OK. Then, set permission for the previously added user, you can choose among Full Control, Change or Read.
Step 5. On another computer with permission, press Win + R key to open the Run box and then type \\ + computername or IP address of the source computer, \\192.168.0.55, for example. Press Enter to get access to it.
You should also be able to find it in File Explorer > Network. If you see an error message like “Network discovery is turned off….” please click on the "Network discovery is turned off" banner, then select Turn on network discovery and file sharing.
If you want to sync folders between 2 computers even when the source computer is turned off, please try following steps:
Method 2. Auto sync folders between computers over network/internet
This way is actually based on Method 1, but with more functionality and flexibility.
When you create a shared folder, you need to store all the data you want to sync in it, and manually copy, paste or make changes to the source files when needed. This process is actually error-prone and could lead to data loss.
But with a file sync software like AOMEI Backupper Standard, you could automatically sync files from anywhere to a shared folder with the permission, or vice versa. If you have multiple folders to share, you can also create multiple sync tasks with different settings and schedules.
★ AOMEI Backupper Standard is a freeware supporting Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. The intuitive interface and simple operation enables you to complete a sync task within 3 steps.
★ You could set up a schedule to run the synchronization automatically, like Daily/Weekly/Monthly/etc.
★ Various storage devices are supported. In addition to folder synchronization between 2 computers, you could also sync folders to one drive, google drive, dropbox, external hard drive, USB flash drive, NAS, etc.
★ In advanced versions like Professional, you can include or exclude files with specific formats to sync. More sync modes like Real-Time Sync, Mirror Sync and Two-Way Sync are also available.
If you create a shared folder on computer A following Mehod 1, then you can do following things on other computers in the same network:
Sync files & folders to computer A.
Sync files & folders from computer A.
Both of the operations can be managed by AOMEI Backupper in an effecient and safe way. Here take the first case as the example.
Step 1. Launch the software on any of the computers within the same LAN, go to Sync tab and choose Basic Sync.
Step 2. Click Add Folder to specify the folder you want to sync. You can add multiple folders as you like by clicking the + button.
Then click the destination box and click Share/NAS > Add Network Location to enter the required information of the shared folder you just created.
Step 3. Click Schedule to create an automatic sync task, and Start Sync. Thus when you modify these files, you don’t need to perform synchronization again. It will auto sync the changes to the target folder at the next scheduled sync.
That’s it, now you can access the shared folder on computer A to access the synchronized data.
If you want to sync folders over internet for two computers that are not on the same LAN:
Then you may still need a transit storage like cloud drive, the operation with AOMEI Backupper is equally simple.
After specifying the source folders in Step 2, just click the small arrow beside the destination select box, choose Select a cloud drive, then select the cloud service you want in the popping out window.
Thus you can sync folders to Google drive, OneDrive, etc. and install destop APP of corresponding cloud service on target computers to download the files and folders.
To sync folders between 2 computers over network or internet, one of the best ways is creating a shared folder which can be accessed by multiple computers within the LAN. Alternatively, you could use a file sync tool like AOMEI Backupper to manage data synchronization better. If you want to back up these files to an image file instead of an exact copy, there are also complete backup and restore features at your service.