To enable, or not to enable, that is the question. The world of automatic syncing has a lot of good and bad aspects. In a best-case scenario, auto sync can wind up saving weeks of work on a lost file. In a worst-case scenario, you might find that you relied on the service only to discover that other factors destroyed files. Which of these, good or bad, will win out in the end? There are a number of different factors that should influence your decision to use file synchronization or not.

One of the biggest deciding factors will come down to internet speed. When you’re on a fast connection, transferring and backing up files over the internet is a trivial process. However, a slow connection can make things rather more problematic. You can often assume that files will be instantly backed up into the cloud. However, when speeds are slow it can literally take days to push a larger file online. Worse, some services can actually become confused when dealing with partially transferred files. This means that in instances of slow speed, it could be better to just wait to sync until the situation improves.

Next up, people should check to find out which of their multiple devicescan make use of the service. It’s quite possible to find services that can be used from a mobile device such as a smart phone, Mac, and PC. Some programs handle these multiple environments better than others. If one is making use of a wider variety of platform, it’s a good idea to fully investigate which software can best support all of them at once. Again, otherwise it might be a situation where turning off syncing until later might be a good idea. The reason here comes down to how different services handle different file systems.

The way programs see the file system of a phone, for example, can be very different to how they see an ext3 formatted hard drive. Trying to make sense of the different file system, and different directory structure, can wind up giving people a lot of very bad errors with the file sync process. It’s often better in these situations to have no syncing rather than error filled syncing.

However, in the end file syncing is a useful tool. Like with all tools, there’s room for problems to occur. If you pay careful attention to the system, do a little research, and proceed with caution, then the results can be fantastic.