Backup And File Sync Software PowerFolder

22 Dic/09

Power Folder is a comprehensive software program for Microsoft Windows, Linux and Apple Macintosh computers that can be used to backup and sync data. The free version of the file synchronization and backup software comes with 1 Gigabyte of free online storage space and unlimited transfers. The online storage space is just one of the options to backup or sync files. It is possible to configure Power Folder to only use direct connections between computer systems so that the data is not stored on servers in the cloud. All local and remote data transfers use encryption to protect the data from being accessed by third parties.

An account is required to work with the software program. The account creation requires the selection of an email address and password which are used to authenticate a user and provide access to the stored data. Powerfolder offers four key features to its users:

  • File synchronization
  • Data Backup
  • Collaboration
  • Web Access

File Synchronization

File synchronization uses a powerful wizard to guide the user through the process of adding folders to the program that should be synchronized. It is possible to disable the online synchronization option to prevent that data is stored on an online server. This makes it possible to synchronize files directly with computers that are either connected in the local area network or accessible on the Internet.

Several standard folders are selectable from the wizard’s main interface including MyDocuments folders but also folders of Firefox or Thunderbird. Additional folders can be added by using the file browser. PowerFolder will automatically calculate the total size of all selected folders which should give the user a first indication of the length of the synchronization process. The selected files will then be available for synchronization (either online or locally).

It is then possible to use the Sync Previously Setup Folders option in the same wizard from another computer to sync the files that have been selected. Ideal for syncing web browser profiles, emails, contacts, documents and other data that should be available on more than one computer system.

To minimize the update time PowerFolder syncs only changed parts of a file. Since files can be transferred directly between computers you can unleash the full power of your home network or Internet connection. Got unfinished downloads? PowerFolder automatically resumes them after reconnect. Quickly distribute your files with multi source downloads.

Data Backup

The data backup options works similar than the first step of the file synchronization process. The same choice of selecting one of the pre-selected folders or manually selecting folders is available in the wizard. Powerfolder offers to backup the data online or locally. Other computers can then be used to transfer the backed up data so that they are stored on those computers as well. There does not seem to be an option to select individual backup folders though.


It is possible to give access to other people who have a PowerFolder account of their own. Those users can then access the data that was selected by the account owner of the data. That’s an interesting option for collaboration by giving several users access to a specific folder that is containing work related files.

Web Access

Data that is stored on the servers can be accessed from the web interface at the PowerFolder website.


The free version of PowerFolder has a limitation of 1 Gigabyte of online and offline storage space, a maximum of three folders that can be synced to five computers. The commercial editions of Powerfolder get rid of most of the limitations. A product comparison is available here.


PowerFolder is an easy to use software with a severely limited free edition. The free edition should be enough for users who want to synchronize up to three folders with up to five computer systems. Users who want to synchronize additional folders or files that have a size of more than 1 Gigabyte need to consider switching to a paid account or to another file synchronization and backup software.

Power Folder is available at the developer’s website for all supported operating systems.

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