Image default
Tech

Air Explorer Pro review: Sync to, from, and between your online storage accounts

Air ExplorerImage: Jon L. Jacobi

At a glance

Expert’s Rating

Pros

Connects to nearly any online storage serviceA wide variety of sync optionsZips uploads

Cons

Zips to local drive did not workSometimes counterintuitive interface

Our Verdict

There’s no arguing with Air Explorer Pro’s wide support of online storage service or the options it presents for syncing to, from, and between them. But the interface is a bear to learn and we had issues with zipping to local destinations.

Price When Reviewed

$42

Best Prices Today: Air Explorer Pro

RetailerPriceAir Explorer42View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

Air Explorer Pro (sometimes “AirExplorerPro”) is a $42 sync program that’s rather unique in the number of online storage services it can connect to. There are other sync and backup programs that treat online storage as sources and destinations, but none that I’m aware of with Air Explorer Pro’s overarching support.

A very short list of supported services includes: Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Azure, Amazon S3, and S3-compatibles. The longer list is shown below. You can understand why we chose not to list them…

There’s also a free version of Air Explorer that may be all you need if you just want to sync occasionally, and only to end-user type online storage services. But it means you can’t leverage cheaper S3/S3-compatible or other enterprise storage solutions. You also can’t save jobs or schedule operation, so operation is manual only and somewhat tedious.

Further reading: Best online backup

Air Explorer Pro interface and features

Air Explorer Pro is easy enough to use — once you’re familiar with it. But I found it curiously disjointed operationally. The main window view (shown below) is controlled by the first six buttons at the top of the window: Explore, Accounts, Search, Scheduler, Synchronize, and Options. View is a drop-down menu that controls the panes in view, and Pro Version lets you activate the pay license. Sadly, it remains present even after you’ve purchased Air Explorer.

While the main window seems logical enough, it led me astray as you have to jump back and forth to get things done. First off, it would make more sense if Accounts were first, followed by Explore, but that’s picayune. What I found very difficult was the separation of the Scheduler and Synchronize tabs, which should be reversed if not integrated.

Once I got over my initial frustration, I did begin to appreciate the Air Explorer Pro’s vast array of options.

Underlining that last point, you must define a Synchronize “Current folders” operation first, then save it before you can use the Synchronize option for a task in the Scheduler. But prior to creating a synchronization task, you must have employed the Explore tab to set the source and destination, aka, right and left. Go figure. If all you want to do is copy, you needn’t define anything.

It’s all workable once you’ve sussed out the modus operandi. But geez Louise, with no real hints anywhere the learning curve is longer than it need be. I just shortened it considerably for you. You’re welcome.

Once I got over my initial frustration, I did begin to appreciate the Air Explorer Pro’s vast array of options. The Synchronize dialog presents four common sync operations, and allows you to customize them. See below.

Scheduling offers three basic transfer modes: Copy, Synchronize, and Zip Uploads. The first, simply copies data to the destination; the second option leverages the aforementioned sync definitions; the last creates a .zip file of the source folder and uploads it.

Copy and Zip Uploads don’t delete files from the destination that have been deleted from the source, though they do replace older files with newer versions — i.e., there’s no versioning and no true backup.

How does Air Explore perform?

Air Explorer Pro performed its tasks quickly and I had no issues during its copy or synchronize operations. However, things went somewhat awry during Zip uploads. There were permission issues even when there shouldn’t have been any, as well as errors describing non-existent folders that I had deleted after they caused issues initially. Defining a new task with the same parameters cured this.

Zip Uploads to an online account worked fine, though there was zero feedback in the Scheduler tab on the status of the job other than it was “Running”– a message that still remained for quite a while even when the log said the job was already finished. However, the program squawked about a missing account when I tried a Zip Upload of a local folder to a local destination and failed. Bummer.

I also tested the Mac version of Air Explorer Pro, which lacks integrated scheduling and Zip Uploads. It suffered a couple of visual bugs, but no operational glitches. Note that you can transfer your license between computers, though it remains single-seat.

Should you buy Air Explorer Pro?

Ignoring the local Zip Uploads issue, Air Explorer Pro is a capable, feature-rich sync app that supports both local storage and myriad online storage services. But that aforementioned issue did cost the program half a star as it does preclude using the program for zipping files locally. I’ll update the review when the company fixes the problem. Hopefully, the company will rethink the interface, workflow, and online help as well. Either way, download the free version and take a look. It might be all you need.

Note: If you already have a sync or backup program you like, check out our article on [cloud storage managers]–applications that treat online storage as local, allowing you to use your preferred tools.

Best Prices Today: Air Explorer Pro

RetailerPriceAir Explorer42View DealPrice comparison from over 24,000 stores worldwideProductPricePrice comparison from Backmarket

Jon Jacobi is a musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time computer enthusiast. He writes reviews on TVs, SSDs, dash cams, remote access software, Bluetooth speakers, and sundry other consumer-tech hardware and software.

Recent stories by Jon L. Jacobi:

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office review: Top-tier do-it-all PC backup5 tools that integrate your cloud storage into Windows File ExplorerNordLocker review: Obsessively secure, easily affordable online storage

Related posts

'Gaming Chromebooks' with RGB keyboards could be here soon

admin

10 killer PC upgrades that are shockingly cheap

admin

Lenovo Slim Pro 7 review: A delightfully thin and light laptop

admin

Leave a Comment