Econ ChronoSync

Econ ChronoSync

ChronoSync’s default interface displays an extensive but daunting options menu.


In the best software design, form and function blend together until one is inseparable from the other. In ChronoSync, form is sometimes a maze you meander in order to find the amazingly powerful and flexible backup engine hiding at its center.


That flexibility includes several features created specifically for network backups. First is the ability to automatically mount a targeted network volume before performing a scheduled backup. ChronoSync offers the best implementation of this out of all the backup apps we tested. When a backup plan targets a network volume, an Options button appears, and behind it is a form for the selected volume’s login details. Second is the ability to sync a local folder with a network folder, automatically copying changes made to either folder in both directions. Surprisingly few backup programs offer syncing, and ChronoSync’s implementation worked flawlessly.


Beyond those features lies a seemingly endless array of backup options. Changed files can be archived in a separate location when a mirrored backup overwrites the originals. Rules allow you to filter files by extension, file size, and modification time, to name only a few.
However, parts of the interface puzzled us. Individual backup plans are saved as files to the hard drive, rather than being listed in the application itself, so it’s difficult to see a list of all your previous backup plans. (Backup plans that are scheduled to repeat are listed together in a separate window.)


Curiously, the app displays the advanced interface by default, with a checkbox that allows you to revert to the simplified interface. That’s a reversal of the aesthetic followed by many Mac apps, which start simple and allow the user to uncover advanced features as you go. Some might argue that such exquisite control is a fair trade for ponderous interface design—we’re just not among them.


The bottom line. It’s hard not to like ChronoSync’s capabilities, but the interface could be much more intuitive.



PRICE: $30

REQUIREMENTS: Mac OS 10.3 or later

Endless number of backup options. Quickly sync local folders with network folders. Universal binary.

Confusing interface. Some options daunting to all but advanced users. No bootable backups.




+ Add a Comment

Log in to Mac|Life directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.