This week, we’re going to highlight the top 3 features of Live Mesh – as I see it.
After downloading Live Mesh from Microsoft Essentials, go to your Start>Programs and select Windows Live Mesh to start it up. Now, let’s look at what it can do:
Unlimited Syncing of files between some or all of your computers
With Microsoft Live Mesh, choose folders to back up to another computer or all of your computers. By doing this, you’ll be backing up your documents/pictures or whatever to another location. You’ll be able to get to your photos or documents from other computers, no having to email them or put your documents on a thumb drive. For example, I’m at my family computer and I want to post a picture on Facebook and go to get the picture and realize it’s on my laptop. Instead of going to the laptop and turning it on, etc. I just open up live mesh and it shows me the picture folder from my laptop—problem solved!
Share folders with up to 9 people for each folder
You’ve got folders of pictures, all neatly labeled and categorized. Then you have some videos of your dog doing a funny trick in another folder. You’d like to have some friends see the pictures, but you don’t want to have to move them, email them or burn a CD to mail. Instead, share them.
To do this, log into Live Mesh and take a look at all of your folders. When you find the ones you want to share, click the drop down arrow to the left of the folder and then click on ‘Just Me’ and it’ll take you to where you can type in someone’s email address and then they’ll get an email with a link. You can only share with up to 9 people per folder. You can log in and stop sharing at any time. Caveat – anytime I’ve sent someone a link, they have to log in to get to it with their windows live id. If they don’t have one or don’t know what it is, it’s very frustrating for both parties. When I’m going through the sharing steps, I never get a message from Microsoft warning me that the other party has to have a windows live id.
5 GB of Sky Drive Synced Storage
Yes, you get 5 GB of Synced storage – not the 25 GB you get with Sky Drive. It’s also important to note that the Synced storage area is not in the same place as the Sky Drive storage area. From what I can tell and my experiences, you access the two storage areas in different ways. For Mesh Synced storage, it looks like you only access it from within Live Mesh. When you choose a folder from your hard drive to sync and then choose Sky Drive Synced storage, that is one way you’ll see the synced storage drive.
When you want to find and access a folder that’s been synced, don’t go to your regular Sky Drive because it won’t be there. Instead, start Live Mesh and then you’ll see all the folders you have synced and ‘where they are synced. Click on the SkyDrive synced storage link and you’ll be taken to the clouds where you can access your files.
The other way to get to your sky synced storage is to go to your system tray and click on the Live Mesh icon and go to ‘open live mesh’. You’ll be able to see your synced folders from there too.
The fabulous How-To-Geek has a great article that takes you from install to how to use Live Mesh in much richer depth and detail than this article.
Live Mesh is an interesting product. I wish it were easier to grasp and use. The different pieces and areas of Windows Live, the Sky Drive, the Office Docs, the Picture section seem distant from each other and sometimes difficult to find what you want. Just when I think I have it figured out, I realize I don’t. It’s hard to recommend using Live Mesh to a novice or even intermediate computer user. I hate to wind up this article by saying I can’t really recommend it, but it is somewhat complicated. If you’re looking for a backup solution, this could be part of it. However, there are many easier ways to do it.
You can read the Microsoft blogs and how-tos, but also be sure to read the How-To-Geek’s article too.