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Syncthing Review

(4 customer reviews)

$0.00 Free Open Source

Syncthing is a great open source product that delivers what it intends to, free, open source syncing across multiple computers and platforms. It works well but it does have some challenges including not being as easy to use as many of the non-open source alternatives. Where it does shine is when you need an easy to use sync service for multiple computers running different operating systems.

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Our Review


  • Offers a free and secure method to sync between multiple computers and operating systems.
  • Creates your own peer to peer syncing. No third party servers to worry about.
  • Is available on the majority of operating systems including Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD and more. Does offer an Android app as well.

  • Can be a little more challenging to get installed and running since it does not install like the majority of other software.
  • Documentation can often be out of date.
  • Options can be confusing and difficult to understand.

Getting Started

If you are on a Windows or Mac computer getting started with Syncthing is as easy as downloading the file from the Syncthing website, expanding it and double clicking on the Syncthing executable file. For Linux and other systems there are usually packages available for those systems package managers and can be installed via command line. You can read more in the Syncthing docs on getting started. Once you have Syncthing running you can use the user interface via your web browser to connect to another computer running Syncthing.

To get started syncing you simply copy the device id from one of your computers and add it to the other computer you want to sync with. Once that is done you will get a notice on your original device to accept and start sharing and syncing folders and files. Easy to start, not so easy if you have to restart your computer. This is where you need to do some more work and for some people this will be a barrier to using Syncthing, which is to bad really. There is a whole section in the docs about how to autostart Syncthing and I recommend you take a look. If you are on Windows and want to make the whole thing easier you might want to check out SyncTrayzor because it might make it all easier.

The Great

There are lots of things to like about Syncthing and lots of ways to use it. Here are some of the reasons I like Syncthing and think you should probably give it a try if you are looking for a sync tool.

  • Open source! Not proprietary software that you cannot tell what or how things are being done. You can browse the source code yourself if you like.
  • Cross platform. Syncthing runs on so many operating systems that if you need to sync it will probably run on it. More than just Windows and Mac.
  • Interface is not to difficult to use once you get used to it. It could use improvement but once you understand how to use it, it is easy.
  • Can be installed on servers with a little work and easily replace FTP/SFTP to make transferring files simple.
  • You can easily create your own cloud service that does not rely on any third party.

Once you get Syncthing installed and running on the computers you want to sync you will wonder how you lived without Syncthing. From my experience the best use I have found for Syncthing is to sync folders from my server to my desktop to make website updates and changes quick and easy.

The Not So Great

There are some things that are frustrating about Syncthing and it might be enough for people to not bother with it.

  • Install can be more difficult. It is not as easy to use as other software and/or services.
  • Documentation can be difficult to understand sometimes. Along with this there are a lot of blog posts and other guides out there that tell you how to setup Syncthing but are for older versions. It can get frustrating if you are trying to get it working.
  • Troubleshooting can be difficult. I have had very few problems personally with Syncthing, but when I have had problems it can be difficult to find out what to do. For help you can try their forum or the GitHub issues to look for how to fix an issue.
  • If you are an iPhone/iPad user it looks like you are still out of luck, there is no app available.


I personally think Syncthing is fantastic and a great tool to use for syncing files. It might not be for everyone because there is a bit of a learning curve to get it installed and running, but for those that are willing to take the time to get it running it is a great tool and will save you time in your day to day tasks of syncing files and folders between your computers. For those that are concerned about privacy and using third party servers for syncing, Syncthing solves that problem by letting you create your own cloud service using your own hardware.

4 reviews for Syncthing Review

  1. YogiGirl

    The setup process is rather complicated and I wish it worked. I’ve been syncing many folders with many thousands of files over several years and it always has problems. I’ve just gotten used to it saying things like “The following folder has failing transfers” and “Failed items: 32,345”. The syncing is very fragile. I hope it hasn’t lost me any data.
    The good news that my friend recommended me Gs RichCopy 360, and it is really great, I had never face any problems or crashes while using it.

  2. Neofile

    Though Syncthing has a polished look and clean interface, it provides no useful information whatsoever on what files are actually changed or being synched. You’re left wondering if any of your GB/TB of data is going to be accidently deleted or lost without you ever knowing about it.

    The UI should really be expanded to give visual assurance of the operations being carried out, or better some manual control over parts of the syncing operation if a user wishes it. Even a basic detailed log would be helpful.

    Very promising software but a lot to mature before it can be trusted with your valuable data.

  3. Andrew

    This relies only on YOUR equipment, so if anything goes wrong you loose it all. Online cloud sync services are far more reliable and much easier to setup, and no additional maintenance or cost concerns (ie if your device dies or you’re waiting for a replacement, your assured your data is cloud backed up!). Synching requires that you maintain your equipment so the maintenance time and cost is far greater than what you may think. The setup and config is more complex that it needs to be, and designed poorly (ie prompts ‘failure’ and ‘error’ messages that require you to go to the website to try to ‘resolve’ = high maintenance). Skip this if you want to avoid unnessasay long-term commitments to maintenance (both the s/w itself and your h/w).

    • Cloudee

      Yes but many people do not trust third party services and prefer to run their own. Syncthing allows for that.

  4. Saviola

    Hover SyncThing is great and I like it’s updates , there 2 tools that I prefer more , Carbonite and Gs Richcopy 360 , both are easy and usable

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