SyncThing - pro or con?

I would be interesting in hearing from anyone who is using / has used SyncThing.

I have used SynologyDrive for some time to sync folders between my desktop and portable Macs, and it works just fine. However, I have found that this is basically the only thing I am using my Synology for at this point, as I have shifted my backkup/acrhive storage to an external raid array attached to a Mac Mini used only for backup purposes (and which unlike the Synology can use BackBlaze and ARQ for offsite backup, which I prefer to Synology’s HyperBackup utility.

As such, I am thinking I might retire the Synology, but I need a solution to replace SynologyDrive first.

SyncThing seems to fit the bill. While there is no server computer that provides the canonical copy of sync’d files as would be the case with SynolgoyDrive, Dropbox, OwnCloud/NextCloud, etc, I am not sure that is really necessary since all sync’d files would be on my Mac Studio, MBPro, and MacMini, with the Studio cloning daily to both an external SSD and the external raid on the Mini, TM to an external drive, and the Mini then backing up to the cloud backup, so the loss of one other storage site (on the Synology) really isn’t placing my data at significantly greater risk.

One thing I don’t totally like about SyncThing is that it relies on an outside server for device discovery, while the SynologyDrive does not (the server is of course my own Synology device), but that really isn’t necessarily any worse than using an outside syncing service like Dropbox, and perhaps better since the discovery server is only used for one computer to find the others, and the file as themselves a are not stored outside of my own devices. (I know that you can also self-host a discovery server, but I don’t see the need to deal with that at this point.)

So I was wondering if anyone has experience, pro or con, regarding SyncThing.

I was considering an experiment by putting one or two of my sync’d folders into SyncThing for a few weeks and seeing how it works out before fulling migrating away from SynologyDrive.

1 Like

I used SyncThing for a number of years when I needed a solution for syncing on a local network that had intermittent wan access. Really good software, and a forum that’s quite active. Would happily use it again.

1 Like

Happy holidays. I have been trying it the last 6 months for syncing folders between Macs and Linux, and it has worked very well. I first set it to local discovery only on my network, because I’m a little too paranoid to use the relays, but in a pinch I would trust it. The setup boggled my mind at first, but now it is quite easy and I can do it in a couple of minutes. At first, tried to link every computer to every other one and was a little too spaghetti feeling. Switched to a, guess you would call it, hub-and-spoke system for greater simplicity. Yeah, only good things to say about it, but a test folder is, of course a good idea. Hope this helps.

Do you use QuickConnect on the Synology? If you do, it’s using the Synology server to find the NAS first, so no different than using a relay server.

I’ve dabbled with Syncthing, but stuck with Resilo Sync, as that’s been rock solid for the years since I bought the license and have t seen the need to move yet really. Once setup it worked fine, and to me, the setup was the hardest bit, though the last time I tired it, they were trying to improve that.

I’m running SyncThing on OpenMediaVault (Debian) in a Dokcer container and syncing to a RAID array on my Mac so that I can have a local backup off the server and also leverage Backblaze on the Mac.

It’s been rock solid for a few months since I set it up and performs far better than my previous set up using scheduled jobs on Chronosync.

I’ve been running Syncthing for a few years to keep some directories in sync across Macs, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and a couple of iPads (Möbius Sync is the iPad client). It’s been rock solid and has never let me down.

wildcard (virtual Synology)

excuse the brevity - these could be useful

Thanks to all for the responses.

So far I am finding two big issues with SyncThing:

  1. I have about 230 GB in my Sync folder. Sync’ing from my Mac Studio to a new MBPro took about 6 hours over WiFi,not bad. However, my sync from the Studio to a MacMini, wired network, is still at only about 50% after two days. Very odd, that. The Mini is storing the data, however, on a. USB-C connected RAID array with spinning hard drives, so maybe what I am really seeing is the major different in write speed between hard drives / RAID and an SSD….still, curious.

  2. Finder tag sync does not appear to be reliable. The Mini seems to be getting tags on files from the Studio, but the MBPro did not get any tags. What I have found is that you have to go into the advanced settings for each folder at each end of each connection to enable metadata syncing. There is also a way to set that as a default for each added folder, but that DID NOT happen for the “default” folder, eg the first one that gets set up when you first launch SyncThing. Adding it in later does not seem to force a sync of metadata. This could be a showstopper for me if this does not work properly. I may remove the shared folder from the MBPro, delete it, and then do another sync to see what happens but if Finder tag syncing does not work, this is not going to be a viable solution for me. I do have a lifetime ResilioSync license as well. I found it in the past to be difficult to set up, but once set up it seemed reliable, so I may have to go back to that.

With something like finder tags any other readers (I think OP’s setup is just macOS?) should be forewarned that mixing operating systems will almost certainly cause weirdness here.

Interestingly, SynologyDrive handles Finder tags and other MacOS metadata just fine, even though it is inherently cross platform because the Synology unit, which is the central server in this process, is Linux based and the file system I am using it BTRFS.

I have abandoned SyncThing. I was just having too much trouble making the tags work, and they are too integral to my filing to have them become unreliable, so I went back to SynologyDrive.

I was hoping to pare down my home infrastructure a bit with this change, but it’s better to stop breaking things that have been just fine for a long time for this purpose, so the Synology is staying.