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I am looking some software for backup to an external HDD that will essentially mirror my computers documents in their current state, i.e. if I delete or modify a file that modification is applied to the backup and the previous version is removed. It needs to do this live and automatically. Any suggestions?

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I've been really happy with Allway Sync. It can do a unidirectional or bidirectional sync. It can be initiated on a timer, on an event (like plugging in the external drive), or simply always-on. It can keep records of your old files, or you can turn off that option.

It's free for personal use. Very nice program.

  • You should be aware that in the free version of Allway Sync, there is a file operation limit of 40,000 files in any 30 day period – Mawg Dec 2 '15 at 8:46
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As per my answer here ...

You don't mention that it must be free. I would highly recommend paying US $19.99 for a personal version of Bvckup 2. I did, and I have never regretted it.

I did a lot of research before choosing it, and what convinced me was partly that it supports VSS, so that it can synch files which are in use, and, especially, the speed, it wins every test because it uses delta copying:

Reduce the amount of data being moved around by copying modified parts of files only. This speeds things up, in many cases dramatically.

enter image description here.

There is a 5 start review of it at PC World.

If you don't want to spend, or just want to try it out, the last beta, which is quite recent, is available here.

If you still don't like Bvckup2, then I can highly recommend FreeFileSynch, which I previously used. See my long answers to this SR question, and this one and this one too.

To save you the trouble of clicking those links, here is the feature list:

Key Features

Detect moved and renamed files and folders
Copy locked files (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
Detect conflicts and propagate deletions
Binary file comparison
Configure handling of Symbolic Links
Automate sync as a batch job
Process multiple folder pairs
Comprehensive and detailed error reporting
Copy NTFS extended attributes (compressed, encrypted, sparse)
Copy NTFS security permissions
Support long file paths with more than 260 characters
Fail-safe file copy
Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Expand environment variables like %USERPROFILE%
Access variable drive letters by volume name (USB sticks)
Native 64-bit support
Keep versions of deleted/updated files
Prevent disc space bottlenecks via optimal sync sequence
Full Unicode support
Highly optimized runtime performance
Include/exclude files via filter
FreeFileSync portable and local installation available
Handle daylight saving time changes on FAT/FAT32
Use macros %time%, %date%, et al. for recurring backups
Case-sensitive synchronization
Built-in locking: serialize multiple jobs running against the same network share 

Supported Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows FreeFileSync runs natively on all 32 and 64-bit Windows versions:

Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Vista
Windows XP
Windows 2000
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You might want to try autover, which is described by the author as,

real time backup and personal versioning system.

It let's you configure exactly this behavior, but if your requirements should change at some time, you'll be able to adapt quickly and easily.

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