Monday, September 22, 2008

DropBox vs Live Mesh

As I am writing this I found another service that does some of the same things as DropBox and Live Mesh so I guess I will be revisiting this topic again in a later date.

Currently with Microsoft's Live Mesh there is some real power here. With this software even though it is in what is called a Technology Preview you can' do many things. The more powerful of these features is the ability to remote any computer that is activity connected to your live mesh account. If you forgot something or needed to access a file that you didn't put is a live mesh folder. The ability to remote a computer so far is only available on the Windows OS. The Mac version has been posted to be coming soon. As for a Linux version of this feature I feel it will never be an option. The Windows mobile version of this software allow you to at lease gain access to files you are currently syncing with the Live Mesh system.

When it comes to syncing folders you can easily sync your files between the Windows XP and Vista systems. Once you have the Live Mesh client software installed on your computer all you have to do to get your files synced is right click on a folder, and select Add folder to your Live Mesh. This brings up options that allow you to say which computers you would like to sync your files with. You also have a webpage that you can log into and access your files from there. For testing I added my iTunes folder, and my Visual Studio Projects folder to the Live Mesh. Now anytime I update a programming project I am working on or any time I download a new iTunes song a copy of the changes I have made automatically get pushed to my other computers I have in the Mesh. This makes it even simpler when I am testing a program on several systems that are in my Live Mesh. I also put my Virtual Computers into the Live Mesh. This gives me the ability to have my files updated as soon as I start them. No need to constantly copy or open a security hole into my file system of the Base OS just copy a file I want to work on.

This product will be more and more functional as other Operating Systems are added to the mix. Microsoft is a big company and sometimes it is hard to change direction of this big ship. This is a small step to give up control of the file system to allow the files to live somewhere else and not on a Windows only environment.

Enter the new kid in town, DropBox. I started using this service about a month ago. They were in an Invite only beta testing only setup at the time. Today they are open to the public and anyone can setup an account with them. You are allowed 2GB of space on their server to store files that are Synced between your computers. This program works with Windows, Mac, Ubuntu Linux, and Fedora Linux. This software with its limitation of 2GB for all of your files, also gives you the ability to share your folders with other users of the service.

I quickly setup my system to work with my Ubuntu, Vista, and Windows XP system. I got Dan to setup the service on his Mac computer. We started sharing a folder and enter the fun. We noticed that if both of you have the file open, at least if one is on a Linux system and the other a Mac OS, you can both edit the same file, but only the last person to save the file will have their changes synced between the computers in your DropBox. The website with DropBox allows you to recover old changes to your files, and deleted file, if you make a mistake. I have not tested that part.

Install for but systems was really quick and painless. If you have lots of computers, or just two you want to sync files between this is a wonderful option. There is no remote control of a computer that is turned on like in Live Mesh, but DropBox wasn't designed for that in mind.

If requested I will add some screen shots to show what happens between the computers, but when a file is changed, added, or deleted a little popup appears near the DropBox icon in your status trays. This give you a little heads up of you are working with someone and they change a file. You can see instantly that you now have the most up-to-date file.


NEZ said...

Hi, which do you prefer Mesh or Drop Box?

Currently I am using mesh because of the 5GB but it has no delete recovery or file versioning (that I am aware of).

Also do you know if mesh sends only the byte changes reducing the transfers like drop box?


terryjr386 said...

After working with both for a long time, and I use Linux, as a primary mobile system DropBox has become the one that I use the most.

I still use Live Mesh for being able to remote my computers that are in my Mesh.

NEZ said...

Thanks for the reply, I have installed & am now using dropbox.

I like the 1 folder for all synced stuff as that is how I like to work & just uploading byte diff is great!

I also had a look at syncplicity which is still in beta also, it looked good. The main things that turned me was I wanted was the byte diff & the new dropbox feature comming out soon "exclude filters!".

Egor said...

I would recommend services. They provide 20gb on start. And you will got 5gb for every referral for both of you. You can upgrade your storage as much as you possible to invite. The invitation link for 20gb is here –