We’ve been on a mission to compare synchronization solutions that can sync your local Mac folders to your SFTP To Go storage, and vice versa. 

We previously tried out FreeFileSync, an easy manual solution that’s also completely free. Unfortunately, it fell short in the automated and real-time sync departments.

Well, we found a far more favorable solution in GoodSync, and the bonus is that GoodSync allows for full continuous sync between any of your local or cloud storage folders and your secure SFTP To Go storage.

We love it, so read on to make the most of this workflow-transforming Mac and SFTP sync solution.


GoodSync features and benefits

GoodSync is feature-packed. Other features include:

  • Logs of actions and changes: Reports all changes and file modifications, logs actions to both a file and on screen, with detailed change reports for tracking.
  • Fixing access denied errors: Runs part of its operations in elevated mode to handle files that would typically trigger Access Denied errors.
  • Copy symbolic links or drill down: Offers the option to copy symbolic links as is or as the files to which they point.
  • Automated conflict resolution: Automatically resolves data version conflicts, saving both the winning and overwritten versions.
  • Verify file copying by MD5: Ensures accurate file copying by comparing MD5 checksums or entire file bodies.
  • Automatic reconnect for remote folders: Automatically reconnects remote folders if connection is lost during analysis or synchronization.
  • File mod time translation: Implements a novel technique for non-preserving file systems to appear as if they preserve file modification times.
  • Time shifts detection and correction: Detects and corrects uniform time shifts in file modification times without needing to copy the files.
  • Copy extended attributes: Preserves extended attributes of files, such as custom icons on Mac.
  • Parallel threads: Enhances file transfer speeds by running synchronization in multiple parallel threads.
  • Exclude and include filters: Allows files to be excluded or included in synchronization based on name patterns, size, and modification time.
  • Portable paths for removable drives: Supports paths that start with a volume name, ensuring the correct volume is recognized regardless of disk letter changes.

For further information on GoodSync’s features and settings, explore their Documentation.


Installing GoodSync

  1. First up, navigate to goodsync.com and click the button to download their free app for iOS.
sync local mac to sftp server
  1. Double-click the downloaded Zip package to extract the contents.
sync mac to sftp storage
  1. Once expanded, drag-and-drop the GoodSync app to your Applications folder, then double-click the icon and hit “Open” in the pop-up to to open the installer.
synchronize local OSX and sftp server
  1. Now, click “Install”.
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  1. Enter your Admin pass, then click “OK”.
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  1. You’ll then be prompted to either log in or sign up to your GoodSync account. If clicking “Sign Up”, fill out the necessary details in the pop-up, then click “Create Account”.
  2. Provide the appropriate permissions, then click “Next”.
sftp server to local mac sync
  1. You may be asked to enter your Admin pass again. Do so, then click “OK”. 
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  1. Wait for setup to complete, then click “Start Using GoodSync”.
real-time mac to sftp sync
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  1. A pop-up will prompt you to supply the necessary permissions via your system Security and Privacy Preferences.
sftp to go local mac sync
  1. Adjust your settings as needed, then quit GoodSync and re-open it to implement the new access permissions. GoodSync is now ready to sync your local mac with SFTP To Go.
local osx to sftp server sync

Setting up your sync

GoodSync has two options, “Synchronize”, which is a two way sync that effectively keeps your left and right folders identical, and “Backup”, which is a one-way sync that backs up source changes to your destination folder. 

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll opt for the “Synchronize” option and, while GoodSync does allow for manual backup and sync, we’ll be using GS’s Auto feature to ensure continuous hands-free syncing between our Mac drive and our SFTP To Go storage.

Let’s set this up.

  1. In the top-left corner of the GoodSync dashboard, click “New Job”.
how to sync my mac files to my sftp server
  1. Select the option to Synchronize, and give your job an appropriate name...or any name you like, as long as you can recognize it. Then, click “OK”.
how to sync my mac files to sftp to go

With your job name and type set up, you’ll now need to select your paths, as well as define your parameters for automation.

  1. Ensure you’re in the correct job settings by checking to see which job name is highlighted in the job column.
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  1. Ensure AutoRun is toggled On (just click it if it’s off).
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  1. Click the first path icon to select the local folder or drive you’d like to sync.
synchronize my mac folders with sftp server
  1. Type your path into the field on the left, or select your option from the provided list.
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  1. Now, select “SFTP” in the column on the right.
backup local mac to sftp to go
  1. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to enter your SFTP To Go details. 
connect local mac to your sftp storage
  1. Navigate to the “Credentials” tab on your SFTP To Go dashboard to view and copy the required info. Click the obscured password to reveal it. Then, generate an SSH key using your preferred tool and click “Import SSH Key” to save it for the connection. 
sftp connection details
  1. Once you’ve filled your SSH private key, password and all the details into the required fields in GoodSync, test the connection to ensure its success, then click “OK”, then click “Save”.
the best way to sync local mac to sftp
  1. Once your left and right-side sync paths are set up, click “Apply” near the top-left, then click “Analyze” to start a manual sync. 
the best way to sync your sftp server and your local mac
  1. In a few moments, you’ll see the manually synchronized local and SFTP To Go folders with all their contents displayed, as well as handy details like the number of changes made toward the top-left of the sync window. 
sftp two-way sync to local mac
  1. Remember, you can click the “Analyze” and “Sync” icons at any time to compare and manually sync these folders. However, we want to ensure that the process is automated to sync our local Mac and SFTP To Go folders whenever changes are made to either folder. Let’s go.

Automating your sync

  1. To set up hands-free analyze and sync, click the “Auto” icon in the top-right. 
auto sync local mac to sftp

  1. This will open up detailed settings including analyze-and-sync trigger options. These include: 
  • On file-change
  • On folders-connect
  • On GoodSync start
  • Periodically
  • On log-off, and 
  • On schedule. 

These will require delay, frequency, or data and time configuration respectively. 

We’ll opt for “On File Change” as we’re after a continuous sync, and we’ll leave the 20-second default delay setting, before clicking “Save”.

auto sync sftp server local mac
  1. After 20 seconds, you’ll notice that the system starts analyzing by itself, and that’s your proof that you’ve enabled real-time sync between your local Mac and SFTP To Go folders. Groovy!! 
real-time sync sftp to local mac

It’s up to you to determine what’s best for you. You may wish to stick to sync on file changes (recommended), to sync periodically every few hours, or you may wish to schedule syncs instead, in which case there are granular options from months of the year down to times of day.

real-time sync local mac to sftp server
💡
Note: We’ve been using the trial version of this app but, rest assured that once the trial period expires, there is a range of packages available at modest yearly fees, depending on your needs. Explore the options and pricing, Here.

In conclusion

GoodSync is affordable and offers a free trial that offers full-featured access. It boasts options for real-time sync, backup, scheduled sync, periodic sync, triggered sync, customizable filters, and plenty more. 

It allows you to sync with a lot more than SFTP, but we won’t get into that here. 

The best part is, it allows you to continuously sync your local Mac files with your secure SFTP To Go storage with no manual intervention required. It’s everything we’re looking for in a sync solution.

We found the install, setup, and sync process 100% hassle free. What more could we ask for? We really don’t know!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is GoodSync and how does it enhance SFTP To Go synchronization?

GoodSync is an advanced synchronization tool that seamlessly integrates with SFTP To Go to offer robust, real-time file synchronization solutions for Mac users, ensuring secure and efficient data handling.

How can I set up GoodSync with SFTP To Go on my Mac?

To set up GoodSync with SFTP To Go, install GoodSync, create a new sync job, select your local Mac folder and SFTP To Go as your destination, and adjust your sync settings to fit your needs.

Does GoodSync automatically handle sync conflicts and errors with SFTP To Go?

Yes, GoodSync automatically resolves conflicts and handles errors during synchronization with SFTP To Go, providing a smooth and uninterrupted sync experience even under complex scenarios.

What makes GoodSync a preferred choice for syncing with SFTP To Go?

GoodSync offers powerful features such as automated conflict resolution, real-time data replication, and flexible sync options that make it ideal for SFTP To Go users looking for reliable and continuous file synchronization.

How does real-time synchronization work between GoodSync and SFTP To Go?

GoodSync can synchronize changes instantly with SFTP To Go through its real-time sync feature, which monitors changes and triggers immediate synchronization, ensuring that your data is always up-to-date.

Can I automate my sync schedules between my Mac and SFTP To Go using GoodSync?

Absolutely, GoodSync allows you to automate your synchronization tasks by setting up schedules that automatically sync your local Mac with SFTP To Go at specified intervals or in response to specific events, enhancing productivity and data consistency.