I’ve been a Mac user since 1986, so I have some perspective on Mac applications. There are few that I rate as highly as SyncProX. It was the first full-featured OS X backup app that could reliably make bootable backups. I’ve been using it since 2002 (v1.2.2). When SuperDuper and Carbon Copy Cloner came along, I tried them. I even own a SuperDuper license. So, I know what those apps can do.
First let me say that any comparison between backup & synchronization applications is useful only if you’re fully informed about their capabilities—and you seldom get that in user reviews (even this one). All backup & sync requirements are not equal, and neither are all backup & sync applications. If your needs are simple, you can get by with a simple app. But if you need a backup & synchronization application that can do it all, then you should take a closer look at SyncProX than most user reviews can provide.
Anyhow, here’s what SyncProX does for me. I need to run both manual and scheduled backups of data on networked computers. SyncProX can handle either, but part of its power is in its ability to automate the process. The backups include complete bootable backups as well as dedicated backups of database files.
For automated backups, I need powerful control over permissions and difference criteria for file size, date, modification time, creator, type, ID resources, as well as the ability to specify file skipping rules (in case of errors), what data are logged, how to handle file attributes, what should and should not be copied…and that’s just a partial listing of the kinds of options SyncProX provides. It takes some time to learn what all the features do, but it’s well worth the effort if you need them.
My automated database backups need to run scripts to shut down data and license servers, write the backups to sparse.image disks mounted remotely from the networked computers on which they reside, then unmount the disks, and then restart the servers. Everything has to be done with root privileges because the database directories have “No access” permissions for everything except the database application. SyncProX does it all, fully automated, without any need for me to log in as the root user.
The ability to specify what data are logged is critical for troubleshooting any problems…for example when an anti-virus app detects and quarantines some malware during the backup write operation, and creates several hundred temp files in the process, all of which appear as errors in the backup log. Ditto for bizarre problems that occasionally show up due to the way OS X reports changed files in FS Events when Fast Scan is enabled. In that case, turning off Fast Scan, repairing permissions, and running a full backup clears the problem. The log file provides all the info I need to track down the culprit and solve the problem, or get help from Qdea support.
Oh, yeah…want support? Got it. The developer usually responds within 24 hours, and often within a few hours. Qdea has even provided me with special builds of SyncProX to work around problems that appear when something changes in OS X…and something is always changing in OS X.
Qdea’s licensing policy is eminently fair…although for some reason it’s often deeply misunderstood. Well, here’s the bottom line: Any version of SyncProX that you download works forever…or for as long as the version of OS X you’re running is compatible. I have copies of SyncProX v 4.x and v5.x running on two old Tiger machines. They’re fully licensed, forever.
If I don’t need to upgrade when the two-year license expires, I just don’t renew the license until I need it. All previously installed versions continue to work on their respective licenses. If I upgrade my system and need a SyncProX upgrade, I buy the renewal (for $49.95…NOT $99.95), but I don’t have to buy it until I need an upgrade. And during the two-year license period, I can download any upgrade that Qdea releases, any of which are covered by that license—permanently. Sounds fair to me.
Considering the great support and the fact that SyncProX is constantly under development to keep up with changes in OS X, that’s a pretty low cost of ownership for an application that does so much and works so well.
SyncProX probably isn’t for everyone. If you don’t need all the features it provides, then use a backup application that does what you need. But if you need the Swiss army knife of backup apps—the stainless steel, chrome-plated, nuclear laser turbo-diesel high-strength industrial backup app—SyncProX will get the job done. It’s worth every penny.