A GoodSync Alternative: Resilio Connect

A GoodSync Alternative: Resilio Connect

GoodSync Alternative:  Considerations and Overview

GoodSync, by Siber Systems, is a well-known file synchronization and backup software program built on a standard client-server architecture. GoodSync does a solid job of transferring data and synchronizing files between two computers. GoodSync, and programs similar to GoodSync, perform two primary job functions: file synchronization and file backup. The file synchronization job detects file changes in directories and synchronizes the changes between two machines.  The backup software is used to copy changes in directories from one machine to another. The enterprise version of GoodSync offers a centralized management server to remotely configure and monitor jobs inside the enterprise.  GoodSync runs on operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android, Apple Mac and iOS.

GoodSync and other conventional file synchronization software programs (such as FreeFileSync, SyncThing, DirSync Pro, and Rsync, for example) utilize a point-to-point client-server architecture, where data transfer or online backup can be performed between two machines. For basic one- and two-way data transfers this approach may suffice but there are drawbacks (covered extensively in What’s the difference between peer to peer and client server?). 

This blog addresses those and other considerations in a GoodSync alternativeThis blog also addresses key differences between GoodSync and Resilio Connect, explaining both products’ architectures and functionality.

GoodSync vs Resilio Connect

There are several differences between Resilio Connect and GoodSync. One fundamental difference is that Resilio Connect employs a peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture while GoodSync utilizes a traditional client-server model. 

In the GoodSync model, file synchronization and file backup are constrained to one- and two-way data transfers between 2 computers.  There is no support for one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many file synchronization scenarios.  This holds true for a variety of scenarios: file synchronization to cloud storage (sometimes referred to as cloud sync), server to server sync, and a variety of data transfer scenarios which could benefit from multi-directional file synchronization, such as file backup, file sharing and collaboration, and disaster recovery.   

On faster networks, the 2 computers may become a limiting factor to performance and availability using GoodSync.  In short, the GoodSync architecture suffers from:   

  • Serialized data transfer between the two (2) computers
  • Fixed resources on each computer:  A fixed amount of CPU, memory, disk IO, and throughput could be limiting factors. 
  • Single point of failure in the event of an outage. 

In contrast to these Goodsync limitations, Resilio Connect offers universal file delivery, enabling omni-directional file transfer and file synchronization: jobs can include nearly any number of file systems (i.e., computers or “endpoints”) in a single job. For example, with Resilio Connect you can synchronize 5 servers, backup data to several servers concurrently, or send updated files to as many file systems or cloud storage buckets as you need, all in parallel from several servers.

In the Resilio Connect model, user friendly jobs are created for file distribution, consolidation, scripting, and synchronization; each can be scheduled or automated.  For automation, real-time file synchronization simplifies managing jobs across many computers.  Resilio Connect rapidly processes large data sets–including unlimited file sizes and up to many millions of files. Combined with functionality to synchronize important files in any direction, Resilio Connect provides exceptionally fast, efficient, scalable, omni-directional file synchronization.  

Resilio also makes efficient use of the network, minimizing the amount of data transferred.  Resilio sends less data over the network thanks to an optimized differential sync engine, built-in compression, and efficient recovery from failure.  

When comparing GoodSync to Resilio Connect, it’s important to know that Resilio Connect detects file changes and renames in real-time and hashes file changes across numerous computers, each of which travel independently between computers. This approach ensures data resilience on the wire: all computers participating in the file synchronization job receive data as fast as possible, allowing Connect to deliver the fastest file transfer and file synchronization speeds of any file sync or file sharing platform, outperforming GoodSync, rsync or any other tool. This P2P approach also enables additional computers to participate in data transfers, distributing the load from a single computer to several. Check out Resilio’s file transfer speed calculator to see for yourself. 

GoodSync vs Resilio Connect for WAN Optimization

GoodSync’s file synchronization technology uses the TCP/IP protocol as the underlying data transfer transport for file synchronization and file backup. TCP/IP (as is the case with FTP, SFTP, Webdav, and open source file transfer or file synchronization programs built on TCP/IP, such as Rsync) does not tolerate latency and packet loss on the network; performance degrades and becomes unreliable over distance, as latency and packet loss increases. 

When considering a GoodSync alternative, it’s important to understand that GoodSync’s TCP-based protocol faces issues such as:

  • NAT traversal can be an issue for GoodSync. If your computer is placed behind NAT (on a WiFi or broadband network behind a firewall) then TCP/IP needs port forwarding to establish a direct connection between machines.  By contrast, Resilio Connect’s ZGT (zero gravity transport) protocol is based on UDP so it can bypass NAT without additional configuration.
  • WAN optimization is a must have.  Unfortunately, GoodSync may experience slow speeds over long distance connections (wide-area networks). As distance grows, latency increases as does the probability of packet loss. As network conditions worsen, GoodSync performance on TCP/IP degrades. Most all GoodSync alternatives do not offer native WAN optimization to deal with packet latency and packet loss. Resilio Connect, however, offers built-in WAN optimization, over UDP.  The UDP protocol uses bulk-based packet transfers with selective acknowledgments to ensure fast file transfer at near wire speeds, over any distance.
  • GoodSync can synchronize and backup between two computers within a local network only without additional configuration. Unlike GoodSync, Resilio Connect provides rapid file synchronization and file backup, among any number of computers, over any distance, out-of-the-box. 

Cloud Storage and Cloud Services Comparison

GoodSync and Resilio support file synchronization and file backup to cloud storage using a variety of cloud storage providers.  Resilio, however, offers turnkey configuration for the major ones, including Microsoft Azure Files and Blobs, Azure NetApp Files, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud (GCP), Backblaze, Wasabi, among others.  

One of the coolest features available with Resilio Connect enables you to use Windows file servers as a cloud cache and storage gateway to nearly any type of cloud object storage.  The key benefits of this provide an efficient way to download and sync data to and from the cloud without incurring excessive cloud egress fees.  Resilio calls this transparent selective sync. 

Smart Data Routing with Resilio Connect

GoodSync is further limited by its use of direct IP addresses. GoodSync discovers other machines on the LAN using network broadcasts.  Resilio Connect uses a smarter approach combining multicast and a tracker server. The client registers on the tracker server and the tracker server announces the IP addresses of the other machines to all computers within a job. This way you can avoid job changes if machine IP addresses are changed and can set up a direct connection between machines over the Internet without any configuration.

Moreover, Resilio Connect now includes a Proxy Server to simplify connecting agents to corporate resources behind DMZs and firewalls. This greatly simplifies connections for remote work scenarios traversing NAT or DHCP on home networks, or dealing with changing IP addresses.  

Reducing File Synchronization and File Backup Times

When a file is changed on one machine, Resilio Connect uses an advanced differential sync engine to transfer the minimum amount of data sent over the network. This approach can significantly reduce file backup and file synchronization times.  GoodSync, by contrast, uses block-based data deduplication. Using a block-based data deduplication approach is functional yet doesn’t cover all scenarios. For example, if a file changes and data is added to the beginning of a file – the GoodSync approach fails.  As soon as you add one bit to the beginning of the file, all consecutive blocks will be changed, due to a shift of the data. These fixed block-based algorithms detect that all blocks are changed and need to be re-transmitted. 

Resilio Connect uses proprietary delta encoding algorithms, minimizing data retransmissions for synchronization in all cases. The Resilio algorithm can detect shifted data and detect that only the first block is changed, while others are shifted (as noted in the example above).

Resilio Connect’s sync software also offers data compression on the fly. While there is a debate whether this is necessary in the modern world, Resilio wanted to give customers the flexibility to synchronize files faster in all cases. With Resilio Connect, both deduplication and compression are applied on the fly to any changed files. There is no need for any additional operations from a user perspective. Your files are just transferred faster when syncing.

API Accessibility: Command Line Interface vs. RESTful API

GoodSync uses a command line (CLI) approach to control operations. While Resilio Connect uses full blown RESTful based API that allows you to control, monitor your data transfer jobs remotely and develop any needed integration inside your business process.

GoodSync vs Resilio Connect: Enterprise Features, Microsoft Windows

We considered conceptual differences between GoodSync and Resilio Connect. Of course, Resilio Connect has all the other important enterprise features like: end-to-end encryption of data transfers, job scheduler, bandwidth scheduler, AD/LDAP integration and more. Resilio Connect also offers an excellent replacement for Microsoft’s Distributed File System Replication service (DFSR).

GoodSync vs Resilio Connect: Feature Comparison

 Capability Resilio Connect GoodSync
Agents (endpoints) in job 10,000+ 2
File transfer job to several endpoints or locations +  
File backup job to several endpoints or locations  +  
Sync of several servers +  
TCP/IP  + +
NAT traversal (UDP) +  
WAN optimization (UDP) +  
True P2P +  
Smart data routing +  
Rsync-style deduplication +  
Compression +  
API + +
Scheduler + +
Bandwidth throttling + +
OS support Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple MacOS, FreeBSD, Android, NAS Microsoft Windows, Linux, Apple MacOS, iOS, Android

The speed and efficiency of Resilio’s P2P file transfer protocol combined with reliability, security, and an intuitive user interface, makes Resilio Connect the best file synchronization software on the market.

Are you interested in learning more to see if Resilio Connect is the right GoodSync alternative you’ve been looking for?  Or schedule a Resilio Connect demo or get a free trial.

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