How to do local LAN sync

So when Dropbox started putting limits on the number of devices you could use to sign in I started paying for iCloud. This resulted in my starting to upload all my photos, which takes an eternity given our slow internet connection.

I also recently acquired a few new-to-me Macs. I spend roughly equal time working on the two iMacs and my laptop depending on circumstances.

As a result I have discovered that I really want to figure out an easy and seemless way to sync folders over LAN. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve thought about resilio sync, but I’m a little lost on how to make the sync LAN only. It would be nice if the service didn’t require a cloud account. Any suggestions?

DEVONthink would be able to do this

You could share a folder on one of the Macs, then have the others connect to and work from that share.

If you’d rather sync on a schedule and not work over the network, ChronoSync might be what you’re looking for.

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Just try resilio sync. Easy and fast.

I’ve used it for years and it’s never failed me

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I Agree with @JKoopmans

Resilio Sync is the best tool for the job.

Essentially if all of your Macs are on the local network, it will just sync between them. There’s no cloud needed, and it’s a one-time fee to purchase it. (They have a centralized server that helps computers not on a LAN sync with each other, but that’s not a big concern.)

I use RS to sync a bunch of folders outside of Dropbox, including all of my shell scripts and such. The nice thing is that each folder is its own sync process, so if one of them is syncing a big file/folder it won’t prevent the other ones from syncing normally.

RS also has the ability to not sync files/folders. So, for example, I can sync my ~/scripts/ folder, but I can tell it not to sync ~/scripts/.git/ which I only want/need on one Mac.


@AlxOgrd, why not just use iCloud sync? Is it just too slow with your internet? Do you need the sync to be instantaneous?

I use the standard iCloud sync between my work and home computer and never had an issues with files not being up to date by the time I go from work to home—and I work less than 5 minutes from my home…


I actually used ChronoSync to keep a couple of specific folders on my 2 macs in sync before I got the new Catalina MacAir. I am still getting it set up on the new machine but the issues are me and some other work preventing me from really rethinking how much I want in sync on the 2 machines. It was a nice easy process and worked well.

You might also tell iCloud not to work with photos, unless that is really something you need synced across your machines.

I appreciate the mention of Resilio Sync. I think it’s going to be a robust replacement for Synology’s Drive client, which has been hit-or-miss and generally fiddly for me.

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