Synchronizing Files Between Multiple Computers

The trouble with shared network files and folders is that they're not always there when you need them. The situation is especially awkward with portable computers, which are designed to be disconnected from wired networks and carried out of range of wireless access points. If you're working with a group of files on a server at the office, how do you keep working when you no longer have access to the network?

Several solutions are available. If you are using the Professional or Ultimate/Enterprise edition of Windows 7, you can mark folders or files on any network share as Always Available Offline. Those files will then be available for use whether or not you are connected to the network, and Windows 7 will transparently keep everything in sync.

If your edition of Windows 7 does not support offline files, you can keep your work life synchronized by using either Windows Live Mesh or Windows Live Sync . These free web-based tools are particularly useful for collaborative projects in which multiple, perhaps widely dispersed, users contribute input to common shared folders.

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