By Walter S. Mossberg
As more people acquire multiple computers and high-end cellphones, one
of the biggest problems they face is synchronizing important files
among all of these devices, and ensuring they have backup copies.
Inside big corporations, these tasks often are handled by internal
networks, which store files centrally and back up computers nightly.
But consumers have had to resort to time-consuming and imperfect
methods. These include emailing files to themselves, manually
synchronizing their phones and computers, and manually copying files
among their computers.
Over the next year or so, I expect that one of the big trends in
personal technology will be the introduction of services and products
that make this job easier.
Both Google and Microsoft are reportedly preparing new services that
will back up all of a consumer's data to their servers. Apple already
offers a service called .Mac, which, for $99 a year, gives consumers
storage space on an Apple server, allows backups to that remote
server and synchronizes selected data among multiple Macs. And
Microsoft has recently acquired a small service called FolderShare,
which I reviewed last year, that can synchronize and back up selected
folders on any mix of Windows and Macintosh computers.
Now, a small Silicon Valley start-up called Sharpcast is introducing
an impressive, free service that synchronizes data among PCs, phones
and a Web site at lightning speeds. I tested Sharpcast for several
weeks, and found that it works really well. You can try it out at