Automatic online backups have saved our bacon more than once. You’re out of town, you need a file from home, and Viola! as we say in fractured French, there it is in your personal online account, ready to download to whatever computer you’re using.

There are several free services that will do this for you, including Dropbox and SugarSync. But our new favorite is “Syncplicity,” which is tough to pronounce but easy to use. It’s free for personal use up to two gigabytes of storage and works with PCs, Macs and the iPhone.

Instead of having to upload stuff whenever you remember to do it, any file or folder you designate is continually backed up and encrypted to your own private space online. A green check mark next to a file or folder name tells you it’s been backed up.

Syncplicity links with Google Docs, so that all the stuff you’re storing online in Google’s free word processor, called “Docs,” is also transferred to your desktop or phone and available offline, if you check off that option during setup.

To start, click the “download free” link under “personal edition” at; it’s right at the top of their home page. Install the program and choose whatever files you want to keep backed up. If you later decide you chose too many folders, you can right-click and un-sync them. That’s helpful if you’re running up against the two gigabyte limit in the free version.

We had a bit of trouble with the new iPhone version when we tried it out on an iPad; by a lot of trouble, we mean it just wouldn’t load. So we did a little searching and discovered if we went to the mobile version of their website, which is and logged in there, all our files were then available for download.

The business version lets you keep your stuff in sync with other online services, such as Microsoft’s Sharepoint. While the two-gigabyte version for personal use is free, the business version starts at $45 a month for three users.

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