RT Cunningham

Syncthing vs. Resilio Sync – Syncing Files from Laptop to Server

I’ve switched to Syncthing (link) for backing things up. Why? After thinking about it for a while, I realized I didn’t need all the space Mega offered as a cloud storage service. But that’s not the only reason.

I don’t like using third-party services, even when they’re free. I’m at the point now that I don’t really need them either.

Syncthing isn’t Cloud Anything

Syncthing and Resilio Sync have at least one thing in common. They may have more, but I haven’t used either long enough to know. Anyway, that one thing is that they allow file synchronization across devices.

If you want cloud-like storage, you can choose your storage devices with either of these software programs. You can rent a dedicated storage server online or you can use a huge hard drive connected to a home or office computer.

I couldn’t get Resilio Sync to work right and I toiled with it for hours. While being distracted by outside noise, I got Syncthing working in less than 30 minutes.

I used Resilio Sync when it was first created as BitTorrent Sync. A little, but not for more than about a week. I was still using Windows back then, but I can’t tell you which version.

Setting Up Syncthing

I set up Syncthing on my laptop computer and my Digital Ocean droplet at the same time. I used an article at LinuxBabe.Com as my guide. There was only one thing missing.

To use the GUI at the server, I had to proxy it through a TLS-powered subdomain. The relevant code with Nginx is:

location / {
  proxy_read_timeout 600s;
  proxy_send_timeout 600s;

I could have used it as it was, but I would have had to edit configuration files to do so. I wouldn’t have been able to stick the GUI behind SSL without the server block.

Using Syncthing

I’m sure file transfers using Syncthing are relatively fast when used in a LAN environment, or over home WiFi. Upstream isn’t fast at all from my laptop to my server. I’m on DSL. Downstream from my server to my laptop is pretty quick comparatively (about 10 times faster). Yes, I’ve tested it in both directions.

The free space on my droplet is at about 23 gigabytes. My daily backups add up to less than 500 megabytes each, rotated on a three-day basis (less than 1.5 gigabytes at a time at the server). I’ll eventually have backups going both directions, but I’m not in a hurry.

February 25, 2018

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