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Difference between mirroring, backing up, and synchronizing

By Speck13 ยท 4 replies
Jul 22, 2014
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  1. Hey all,

    I recently installed a program called SyncBack Free to backup and sync my data between drives and computers, and have a basic question about it.

    The program allows me to backup, mirror, or sync files/folders from a source to a destination folder. What exactly is the difference between the function of backing up, mirroring, or synchronizing files or folders?

    Your help is greatly appreciated,

  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    Primarily, YOUR point of view - - your intended purpose in using this.

    We think of SYNC as a means to keep some data consistent across two or more devices, eg your contacts from the pc consistent with your cell phone.

    To mirror is a term to denote replication; If you have some property deeds at home, you should consider having copies in a safe deposit box at your bank - - ie mirrored.
    The active documents are at home, but a passive set is always good to have just in-case. It is most frequently used in association with Raid-1 devices.

    Backs & mirror copies are synonyms.

    I use a sync product (Allway Sync) as a means to control replication to secondary media (aka a backup copy). When my previous laptop died, I reversed the data flow to perform a restore of my data (not system files).
  3. Speck13

    Speck13 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the information. So when it comes to mirroring, is the replication a physical copy of the data or more of a shortcut to the source?

    I know that if I delete information from the source, it will be mirrored at the destination. But if I delete information on the destination, it will not occur at the source, instead the data will just mirror whatever is on the source again, which should bring back the files I deleted at the destination folder mirroring the source.

    I may have made that sound more confusing then it actually is, but does that seem accurate?

    Do synchronizations keep track of order?

    If I create Folder A on Device 1, then delete Folder A on Device 2, then re-create Folder A on Device 1 again, will the sync be able to detect when the modifications occur to be sure it everything syncs in the time that I have modified information between devices?
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,869   +903

    we don't think of mirroring this way - - it's just a DUP
    not so. First, you don't have access to 'the mirror' (speaking Raid-1). Your access is the RAID, not the primary or any mirror(there can be more than one).

    If you have direct access then you're not using RAID and may be misusing the term
    there is no versioning (ie copies in time), again, there's just the DUP
    GOOD sync programs give the user a choice

    * sync both ways
    * sync one way, ie consider one as a master and the other as the slave copy​

    The Cloud versions of sync are like the former, as there may be several devices being made consistent. So regardless of which device has a modification ( change, add, delete), the other instances are made consistent.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  5. gavinoscur

    gavinoscur TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Backups will let you have your old data back. Mirroring just gives you whatever you have now.

    Mirrored backup is one way sync, from local to cloud. And the sync local deletion applies to mirrored backup. Once set, it will delete the cloud file when local file is deleted.

    Sync is two way sync, between local and cloud. when set up sync, you need to specify whether the local deletion should be synced.

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