Secure Web Backups and Publishing for Mac
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Folder Sync   | Encrypted Sync   | Retrieval  | Sync Options   | Scheduling / Chaining   | Excluding Items   |   Use Cases   |   Logs and Trouble Shooting   |   Release Notes
Sync Options

Creating a new sync definition is an easy and intuitive process. What do you need to sync a folder? Well, a source folder, a destination folder, and need to figure out what sync mode, exclusion or scheduling options you may want to use. Click "New" to bring up the Options panel and let's make s sync. Name your sync in the general tab, then move on to the Folders tab. Here you can define a Source->Destination(Target) folder pair. AASync can have local or remote folders for either source or destination, except that one of them must be local, as Remote-to-Remote sync is not supported.

  • Define a local source or target: - Either drop a file from the Finder into the icon well, or click "Set Local Source (or Destination)" to bring up the file picker panel. Select a folder and click OK!
  • Define a remote source or target: - Either drop a file from the Finder into the icon well, or click "Set Remote Source (or Destination)" to bring up the Remote Login Panel:

On this panel, enter the protocol (FTP) , host (ftp.myserver.com), user (ftpuser), password (ftppass) and the full path of the remote folder if it is known already. If you copying the path of a remote folder from another app and it is a full URL (so it looks something like ftp://somehost/some/path), then copy the path portion of the url (/some/path) into the path field.
Do not forget to properly set the protocol button because most hosts accept only one protocol, either FTP or SFTP. The port field is usually left empty, some servers deploy extra security by using non-standard ports. If you have been given such a port along with the connection info, enter it into the port field. Otherwise, leave it empty.

You should ALWAYS browse the remote system to make sure AASYnc can properly configure itself for this remote host! Use the Browse button to browse and find the remote folder path *after* you properly set the protocol and all the host/user/pass data. AASync will login using this data and let you browse the filesystem of the remote host, even create a new folder (if it is a remote destination).

Remote (Character) Encoding:

If you browse a host with a different character encoding, you MUST set the encoding to that of the remote host before you start browsing. Otherwise, you may not see any contents of the remote host and browsing will fail. If you do not know the character encoding that your particular host uses, contact the admins of that host. The default, UTF-8, is now supported on most systems.

Try SSL-TLS:If you use FTP you have the option of using secure FTP with SSL/TLS. AASync supports all forms of SSL/TLS, explicit, implicit, with or without data channel encryption. Also AASync will auto-detect the settings of your server. By default, this swith is on, so AASync will try an SSL connection first, if that does not work it will revert to non secure FTP. If you turn this switch off, then SSL will not be tried at all (so if the server allows secure conections only, the connection will fail!). Please note that this switch is just an instruction for AASync for the browsing, the actual setting will be determined by the result of the browsing, and then it will be saved only after a successful browse of the remote host.

Once you are done browsing or enter a path, an OK click will close the login panel or the remote path browser, we are back at the Sync Definition Panel. The url that was just set will appear in a URL format. Source or target folder can be defined the same way.
One of the folders must be local, as Remote-to-Remote sync is not supported. Set various options (see below for explanation), then click "Save" to save the folder pair. At this point you are ready to run a sync operation.

Sync Modes

It is extremely important for the user to fully understand how the different modes work, to make sure whatever happens is exactly what the user expects. Different modes are optimal for different sync situations, so please read carefully and select the right one for each sync definition.

  • Default Mode (Cumulative Sync with optional destination checking) This mode is recommended for most website maintenance and publishing operations. The files are transported as is, the sync engine will try to reproduce the files in the destination folder AS CLOSE to the original as possible. Please note that this sync process is subject to all limitations imposed by the source/destination hosts filesystem differences plus the limitations of the transport protocol (FTP or SFTP). These limitations are explained in more detail below. For backup purposes this default mode is NOT recommended, except for local backups to another filesystem of the same kind. In these cases filename conflicts are not likely.
    SUMMARY: this mode is recommended when you DO want to use the files in the destination in their original form (like when you publish your website).
    The "Always check destination" can be turned off for optimization, if you are sure your files are there on the destination, and do not want to have them checked every time. Changes in the source folder can be detected without actually checking the destination every time. Use this mode if you are sure the destination folder is not changed by somebody else, and you have tested the fact that changed files are actually uploaded without errors. We recommend that you keep this option checked. The main objective of a sync is not speed.. it is correctness.
  • Archived Mode with optional encryption. This is the primary backup sync mode. If your sync is for backup purposes, ie. you will NOT use these files in the destination folder, they are just there for safekeeping, use this mode. Archived mode simply means that files are stored in the destination folder in an archived format, even their name is changed. Why we do this? The advantages are numerous over using the unarchived mode.
    • Eliminates the biggest problem that hinders most sync ops: the filename incompatibilities between the source and the destination.
    • No need to worry about character encoding of various systems, this mode does not have to translate filenames from one system's encoding to another's.
    • Total reproduction of file metadata. When you retrieve these files from the destination folder, the file's modification date, permissions etc will also be restored. This works on any remote system with any protocol. Do not have to worry about FTP's trashing of modification dates or illegal characters in filenames.
    • Want total security? Turn on encryption also. This only means that the files aren't just archived but their contents are also encrypted using industrial grade encryption with a password you supply, giving you total safety from the prying eyes in case somebody gets a hold of your files.
    • Esay retrieval of your archived /encrypted data: just select the sync, right click then
    For this mode, the source folder MUST be local. Make archived /encrypted backups of your private files over ftp or sftp to the local host or any internet storage. For details read here
  • Mirror Mode In this mode, the destination is always checked such that spurious files in the destination folder (those that no longer exist in the source) will be deleted to make the destination folder look exactly like the source. This means that if delete a file in the source folder, it will also be deleted in the destination folder. By default this options is off, meaning that you are in the archive mode, deleted files are left in the destination, only modified files are overwritten. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THIS OPTION! Since it deletes files, it is generally not recommended, only after careful evaluation of whether or not it is necessary. The best use for the mirror mode is to publish an up-to-date version of a website for instance. In this case it makes sense to remove unnecessary files that have been deleted in the source. It also recommended that you use another sync definition in Default mode to to a different location to have an archive backup too. Mirror mode cannot be combined with the Archived/Encrypted mode.

Exclusions and Scheduling:


  • No Logging - with this setting, AASync will not save any logs of the sync it performs. If you do not really care what AASync does in the background use this setting.
  • Default This is the default setting. AASync will log sync events, such as new files changed files, deleted files etc. Will not show actual commands, returns or other debug info. This is the best setting if you want to be able to look back later when a particular file has appeared, changed, etc...
  • Verbose logging for problem solving is a global option read about it in Logs and Trouble Shooting

Other Options:

  • Character Encoding Access to hosts with Non ASCII character sets (SHIFT JIS, etc..): In order to ensure that AASync will work properly with files whose names contain non-ascii characters, be sure to set the character set of the host properly in the Site Preferences for that host. What encoding to use? Ask the system administrator of the site...
  • Preview Mode If this button os checked, the changes are detected and listed in the transcript, but no actions are performed, the state or either source or target are not changed at all. This option is NOT SAVED! You must turn it on before each sync op.
Global Firewall Options:

The AASync/Preferences menu will bring up the preferences panel. On the firewall tab the user can enter the proxy/firewall scheme information. There are many firewall schemes out there AASync tries to support the most used ones. Currently, SOCKS (4 and 5) and the common FTP Firewall Toolkit schemes are supported. Please be sure to follow your system administrator's guidance in how to fill out the fields on this tab. The proxy information may be sparse depending on your site's particular setup, the only field that is mandatory is the proxy server, as it is required for all firewall schemes.

Normally, AASync will try SSL/TLS first on FTP sites, it it is not supported, the sync will use regular (non-secure) FTP. If this causes problems, it can be turned off on this panel. Same stands for Passive FTP, it is recommended that users try that first. Most users do not need to change the default settings here which are ON for both SSL and Passive FTP. NOTE: these settings are global, they will effect all FTP sites you connect to! Also, FTP-SSL sites do not use the firewall proxy settings!

For encrypted backups you can specify a default password that will be used for all encrypt/decrypt operations, unless you override it in the individual sync's options panel.

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