With the likes of DropBox being so popular, we doubt many PC and Mac users would be using Windows Live Mesh, heck, we doubt many even heard of the thing before. Windows Live Mesh is Microsoft’s free file syncing service that allows you to access your files anywhere on any computer (Windows or Mac) as long as those systems have Windows Live Mesh installed. The software is pretty decent, which is sad because it doesn’t have that many users when compared to other file syncing services, and for a good reasons nonetheless.
The best thing about Windows Live Mesh is its PC-to-PC synchronization feature. The ability to sync up to 200 folders with 100,000 files in each is just downright crazy, but in a good way. That’s not all, you can sync files up to 40GB each, this is mainly a thing business users would take full advantage of because I am unable to come up with a reason on why a normal user would be doing with a single 40GB file. We’ve tested the PC-to-PC synchronization and it works well, there is no going back now.
Next, users have the option to sync up to 5GB of their files to SkyDrive. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, you are given 25GB free space, but too bad Windows Live Mesh only takes advantage of 5GB instead of the whole thing. Since I am an owner of a Windows Phone 7 device with Mango inside, SkyDrive is at the center of my cloud storage life, so this is a more than welcomed feature.
With the option to sync files between your computers, did you know that you can access your PC remotely with Windows Live Mesh? You betcha. Open the Windows Live Mesh software and allow your PC to be connected to remotely, then go to devices.live.com and have fun. Sadly, if you own a Windows Phone 7 smartphone and is dying to connect to your home computer remotely, you are out of luck. It’s very disappointing that Microsoft failed to add support for its Windows Phone mobile platform, but with the upcoming SkyDrive client for Windows, things could change all for the better.
Finally, Windows Live Mesh makes it possible to sync your Internet Explorer favorites and Microsoft Office templates, Outlook emails, etc. The syncing of IE’s favorites wasn’t of any help to us since we do not dare use Internet Explorer as our main browser. However, IE is the only option on Windows Phone, and despite favorites syncing being available, you do not have access to them via your Windows Phone, which is beyond strange.
If you are a Windows XP user, then we are sorry to say that you are out of luck here. At the moment, only Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OSX 10.5 Leopard and later are supported. The remote desktop feature requires that you use Internet Explorer 7 or later, which might be one of those reasons why Windows Live Mesh is being shunned. No one with the right knowledge wants use IE, not for even love or money. Like with SkyDrive where Microsoft allowed the Firefox browser to launch documents in Office on the desktop, something similar should have been put into place where Live Mesh is concerned.
Windows Live Mesh is no way difficult to use, everything is straight forward which makes synchronizing your files a breeze. It doesn’t take a lot of your computer resources, so even if you have a single GB of RAM, Windows Live Mesh should still be kicking like a donkey.
If you are looking for the best cloud synchronization solution, Windows Live Mesh is not it. However, if you want the best PC-to-PC synchronization client, this is the best you will come across. The 5GB SkyDrive storage limit is a huge disappointment, that being said we cannot complain much since everything is all free of charge. We would have loved to remotely connect to our home PCs via Windows Phone 7, but as it stands, that is not the case.
All in all, Windows Live Mesh is great for what it is, and you should definitely give it a run, you might just fall in-love with the thing.