Saturday, April 19, 2014

Dropbox and Google Drive

UPDATED 4/21: update below from Scott Johnston, Product lead for Google Drive.

I figured it was time to move from Dropbox to Google Drive. On the face of it, it's deceptively easy

I have a little over 100Gb sync'd with Dropbox across three Macs. I figured it'd be a simple matter of

  1. ensure all three machines are fully sync'd with Dropbox
  2. quit the Dropbox app on each
  3. on Mac #1, copy the Dropbox folder to the Google Drive folder
  4. on Mac #1, fire up the Google Drive client, and sync (ie. upload the 100Gb)
  5. on Mac #2, copy the Dropbox folder to the Google Drive folder
  6. on Mac #2, fire up the Google Drive client, and sync (which should be a no-op)
and then the same for Mac #3.

Everything was looking good to begin with. Even step 4, which some had said would be troublesome, worked just fine in practice—speedy upload, no problem. The real surprise was step 6:

because Google Drive was downloading an entire duplicate copy of everything, not noticing that I already had a complete copy in the local folder already.

Obviously this is fucked up. It's also, apparently, a known issue. And while I can probably live with the lack of LAN Sync, and the general unpolishedness of the Google Drive client, basic functional brokenness like this is a deal-breaker.

From a number of people I've heard great things about the Insync client for Google Drive—including its support for multiple Google Accounts. For now, though, I'm heading back to Dropbox.

UPDATE: To my surprise the Google Drive Product lead tweeted an acknowledgment of the issue. Sounds like a fix is in the works.


A Guy on the Internet said...

Bittorrent Sync is working great for me. You'll want a machine offsite, since it's not a cloud thing, but I kind of don't want my stuff in the cloud anyway, just accessible everywhere.

Jeff said...

I'm a SugarSync user. While it's got its own warts, I like the fact that I can designate any folder to sync rather than being limited to one folder for all my stuff. So I can sync Documents, Pictures, Movies, etc. and still use whatever folder structure I want.

Bittorrent Sync sounds promising, but it's weird to have to leave all devices on all the time for it to work properly... I wonder if there's a version that I can throw onto an EC2 instance, so it's backed up to the cloud, but not someone else's service.