GoodSync from Siber Systems is one of the nicest-looking and easiest-to-use file- and folder-synchronisation programs we've seen.

Installation is a breeze; setting up and defining synchronisation jobs is almost as simple. For each job, you just browse to the requisite two folders, ask GoodSync to analyse the contents of each to make sure there are no incompatibilities, and - assuming all is well - give the green light and watch your folders sync.

If you are new to sync programs, the lack of documentation may initially seem daunting, but Siber helpfully provides detailed, pictorial walk-throughs on its website. That said, contextual tool tips would get you up to speed quicker, and are noticeably absent for some controls.

GoodSync Pro's tabbed interface is thoughtfully and logically laid out - you have a separate tab for each job. And the program has all the features you'd expect: bidirectional and unidirectional syncing, backup, file filtering, syncing of deletions and job scheduling.

Automatic scheduling of synchronisation is a cinch, and will add real value if you wish to use GoodSync for backing up. Being able to sync without thinking is a sure-fire way of avoiding a half-hearted backup regime.

GoodSync has one exceedingly useful feature you might not anticipate needing - the ability to tag a folder. This keeps you from inadvertently syncing to a like-named but different folder on a different drive if you set a job to run automatically when you insert removable media.

With Good Sync you can also synchronise files and folders across a network, but not to CD or DVD media. You can sync over FTP, too. And because it works freely over a network, you can use it in a mixed-platform environment - a file edit made on a Mac will still be in sync with the version the PC user sees.

Download the free trial of GoodSync and you can use it without restriction for up to 30 days, after which you're limited to only three jobs, and 100 files per job. The $29 (around £20) Pro version removes those limits. It also adds to the mix free upgrades, as well as web- and phone-based support.

One thing we really like about GoodSync: unlike with some other similar products there's no proprietary file format, which protects you against being upsold at a later date.

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OUR VERDICT

GoodSync is, well, good. If you want a simple and effective synchronisation program, you need look no further than the program - now at iteration 7.2.8.

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