Microsoft Sync vs. Live Mesh

By | February 7, 2009

Nowadays everybody has more then one pc and one of them is probably of the portable type. There are several tools with which you can synchronize the documents between two (or more) computers, but in this blog I will only show two of them. And of course they both are from Microsoft ;-)

Both of the tools are a bit different, but I use both of them! For both of the tools you need a Windows Live ID!

Live Mesh
To download/use Live Mesh just browse to http://www.mesh.com and click Sign In on the right side of the screen. You can add devices by clicking the Add Device button. Just follow the instructions!
This application is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Windows Mobile. So it’s possible to synchronize your documents between these three types of devices! With Live Mesh it’s also possible to sync your documents to the online storage (5 Gb).

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When you connect to the Live Desktop you can easily browse the documents you synced with the Live Desktop. When you want to sync a folder with other devices (or the Live Desktop), you just right-click a folder and select Add folder to Live Mesh.

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The following screen appears where you can select with which devices you want to sync the selected folder. By default the documents are only synced between the current device and the Live Desktop.

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So when you want to sync the documents with other devices, you can select them here.

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Whenever you’ve synced a local folder with another device the folder icon changes to the Live Mesh icon (as you can see below).

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Live Mesh – Live Desktop
When you logon to http://www.mesh.com and connect to the Live Desktop you’ll see all the folders that are synced between the different devices. In my example I created a folder called blog.hznet.nl.

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When I double-click the folder on the Live Desktop, you’ll see the files which I placed inside the folder.

If you enable file drag and drop you can simply drag files to the folder to upload them (or you place them in the blog.hznet.nl folder on your local device). The files are automatically synced between the devices you see in the Synchronized Device list (just right of the folder).

Live Mesh – Remote Control
With Live Mesh it’s also possible to connect (Remote Desktop) to the online (Windows) devices.

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Just click on the Live Mesh icon in the taskbar and click the View Devices button. To connect to a device just click on Connect device next to the device you want to connect to. A Remote Desktop screen will open and you will be connected to the remote device!

Live Sync
Another Microsoft tool to sync documents between devices (No Windows Mobile devices this time!) is Live Sync. To use the software just browse to http://sync.live.com and logon with your Windows Live ID. Click on Install Live Sync to go to the installation page and install the appropriate version.

When you installed the software and connected your pc, you’ll see the devices in the Remote Access list.

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The easiest way to sync documents between two devices just click the Create a Personal Folder next to the Personal folders selection.

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In the next screen you select the machine from which you want to sync a folder. You’re now able to browse to the folder you want to sync (on the selected device).

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When you selected the folder you want to sync, just click Sync Folder Here. Now you can select the pc you want to sync the folder with, you can also select Skip this step and Finish.

Conclusion – Live Mesh vs Live Sync
Both the tools sync documents between devices and with both the tools you can invite remote users (invite them via e-mail) to share your folders with. Live Mesh is the only tool which has a Remote Desktop tool built-in. The only tool with (5GB) online storage is Live Mesh.

So Live Mesh is the tool with the most features, but if you want just sync your files between you’re PC’s (and Mac’s) Live Sync will be good enough.

When you want also store (some of your) documents online so you can even access them when all of your pc’s are offline, Live Mesh is the better choice!

  • John L

    I downloaded Live Mesh on to three different computers but have to admit it is proving next to useless as it will only upload individual files and not folders. I tried to upload a website so that I can maintain it wherever I am but it wanted every individual, picture, icon and file uploaded one at a time. After ten minutes messsing about I gave up as I would have been there for ages uploading everything. Basically a website that takes up about 12mb of space would have taken me best part of an hour to upload and I would be constantly clicking on each file to do it.
    Until it supports folder uploads it will remain a flawed product in the meantime as there is nothing else of any use. It would probably take weeks to upload 5gb of files to store so I will just put the stuff on a usb stick as I presently do and use them from there as it is far far faster.

  • http://www.frontware.com Frontware

    We use Live Mesh for more than 3 months. It is not slow at all. We synchronize files between 5 computers in different locations (about 4GB) and live Desktop. It took around 3 hours for the 1st synchronization.
    It can synchronize directories with sub-directories. No need to specify every file.

  • Diego

    Hello.
    I have Windows Live Sync and the problem I have is that whenever two people are editing the same file at the same time, Live Sync creates two new files in the same folder adding the xx@xxx.com at the end of the file’s name. Does this happen with Live Mesh as well? (this was not happening when I used Foldershare in the past).
    Is there any feature where just the first person who opens a file can edit it and other people can open it just as “read-only”?
    thanks and I really appreciate your help.