First look at NomaDesk for Mac

nomadesk logoThere are an increasing number of online synchronization, sharing and backup solutions appearing on the market. This is mainly due to our increasingly mobile access-data-on-demand-anywhere lifestyles, with iPhones and Web 2.0 apps being a particularly big driver. One of the latest efforts at satisfying these needs is NomaDesk which has been around for Windows for some time now but has just been released for Mac. I took a look at it to see what it can offer.

NomaDesk bills itself as “The easiest and most secure way to share, synchronize and backup critical files; wherever you are, even off-line.” Such a service does come at a price however – usually $15 per month for teams and $50 a year for individuals although if your data is important, it’s a relatively small price worth paying. Fortunately you can have a free 30 day trial of NomaDesk before parting with any cash.

NomaDesk is available in two separate versions — a “Team Fileserver” for people who want to share and collaborate on documents, and a “Personal Fileserver” for those who use different computers but want to make sure information is synchronized.

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Naturally, all files stored on NomaDesk’s servers are encrypted and password protected. Getting them there is also made as easy as possible. For example, you can e-mail them directly to the server and allowing others to access them is as easy as sending a link. In case the worst happens, there’s a handy “Theftguard,” which enables you to remove data from your hard drive in a flash if your computer gets stolen. NomaDesk can remotely remove data at your request but the information is still securely saved on NomaDesk’s fileservers. The program also uses a “Delta-sync” feature which synchronizes only those parts of a file which have changed, saving you time and bandwidth. Meanwhile, if you’ve got an iPhone, you can access and modify your files extremely easily via a NomaDesk dashboard widget.

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There are some major drawbacks I found to NomaDesk however. One is the lengthy setup process which requires a complete restart after installation and is really annoying if you’ve got lots of applications open. You also have to send a confirmation e-mail after the restart which all adds time onto the account setup process. Worse than this however are the frequent hang-ups and crashes when NomaDesk logs-in. Twice it hung my entire system forcing me to make a complete restart leaving me less than impressed.

However, these problems can probably be attributed to the fact that NomaDesk for Mac is still in Beta stage. When it is working properly, NomaDesk is extremely simple and easy to use. The cost of using NomaDesk may put off some but if your data is valuable, it could be a price worth paying once it’s more stable.

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